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How to navigate divorce with adopted children in Illinois

by | Apr 26, 2023 | Child Custody

No Illinois couple decides to adopt a child, thinking they might get divorced one day. Regardless of intent, parents of adopted children still get divorced for many reasons.

Parents with adopted children may have more questions than typical divorcing parents. In addition to questions regarding custody and child arrangements, adopted children may have unique needs throughout the process.

Challenges that adopted children will have with divorce

Some children are adopted as infants or young children, with no memory of their life from before. Children adopted at an older age might have trauma or history familiarizing them with loss.

These children will process your divorce as another loss and a major life change. In some ways, they’re right – but hopefully, your divorce is less traumatic.

Helping your children through the divorce

Unless there were unique circumstances to the adoption, it’s safe to say that both parents’ names are in the adoption paperwork. Nothing will change after divorce, except for whatever’s decided in custody or visitation.

You might consider nontraditional custody arrangements such as nesting, or stick with a 50/50 custody arrangement. Anything that increases the child’s stability during this period is good.

Handling your own emotions during the divorce

You might be feeling a lot of intense emotions during the divorce process. It can be easy for adoptive parents to feel extra guilty about the impact of divorce on their children.

Parents should consider visiting a family counselor to work through these feelings in a safe space. In addition, you might consider solo counseling for your child as well.

Instead of lingering on your guilt, try to work through it. It takes courage to leave a marriage that isn’t working, and ultimately, your child will thank you for it.

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