Divorce After Adoption - Myths and Facts

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Adoption and Divorce: Facts and Fantasy

  1. Myth: The divorce will make the adoption null and void automatically, and we will lose our child.

    Fact: No. Divorce can and often does affect the status of a foster care placement, but it has no legal effect on a finalized adoption. Once adopted, a child is your child legally just as if he or she had been born to you. If your adoption has not yet been finalized, it will be up to the court to decide if one or both parents should be allowed to finalize the placement as the marriage dissolves. The recommendation of the adoption agency will be an important factor in the decision. If you wish to finalize the adoption as a single parent, make sure the agency knows this.

  2. Myth: Adoptive parents are more likely to divorce.
    Fact: There is no evidence to support this and in fact, there is reason to believe that the opposite is true. Adoptive parents undergo a great deal of scrutiny individually and as a couple during the homestudy process. If a marriage is on shaky ground, the agency will recommend against adoption and reject the application. Further, most adoptive and many foster parents have experienced infertility and have longed for and struggled emotionally and financially to become parents. If the marriage survives the stress of infertility, it is logical to assume that the adoptive parents will work very hard to keep the marriage and the family intact.

  3. Myth: The non-custodial parent can pay less child support if the child is receiving adoption subsidy assistance.

    Fact: No. Federal law says that assistance is the child's entitlement based on disability and has nothing to do with parental income or support. The adoption subsidy program is designed to help offset some of the costs associated with special needs. It was never designed to be a substitute for typical parental support during or after marriage. NACAC, the North American Council on Adoptable Children, offers free literature on this subject.

  4. Myth: If I divorce, I won't be able to adopt again.

    Fact: Generally, this is false. Single parents, and people who have been married more than once are not denied the chance to adopt again for those reasons alone. As long as the agency feels you can be a good parent, your marital history is not a major factor. However, some countries will not allow international adoption by any single or divorced or re-married persons. If adopting internationally, ask your agency for a list of countries that do not practice this type of global discrimination.
More of this feature
Page 1: Introduction & Online Support
Page 2: Adoption and Divorce: Facts & Fantasy
Page 3: More Myths About Divorce
Page 4: Preparing to Divorce
Page 5: To-Do List: First Week
Page 6: To-Do List: First Six Months
Page 7: To-Do List: First Two Years

Copyright © 2003 Rita Laws and Nancy Ashe. All rights reserved. No part of this material may be reproduced in any form without written consent.

 ~ Rita Laws, Ph.D.
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