Married couples who decided to adopt face a similar situation that other couples face when they decide to get divorced. If you are going through a divorce, and have an adopted child of any age (under 18), it is in your best interest to contact a San Jose divorce and child custody attorney at once to discuss your options and legal plan to achieve your custody goals.

The Court Treats an Adopted Child Like a Biological Child

You may have heard that during a court decision regarding child custody, California family courts make the decision in favor of the child’s best interest. This could mean joint legal custody, sole legal custody for one parent, physical custody for one parent, split custody if there are multiple children that do not get along or visitation rights for the father or mother. When a child has been adopted by a couple, the court uses the same set of criteria to come to its custody conclusion. Usually, the court believes that joint custody is in the child’s best interest, as having both parents in his or her life will lead to decreased chances of behavioral and learning problems–two things that adopted children are more likely to suffer from regardless, according to the Atlantic. The criteria that the court takes into consideration include:

  • Who the child’s primary caretaker has been;
  • Work schedules of each parent;
  • The child’s preference if they are old enough;
  • Physical and mental health of the parents;
  • Sibling and family member relationships;
  • Adjustment to the home, school, and community; and
  • Domestic violence, felony record, and alcohol or drug abuse.

Can the Court Take Away Our Adopted Child?

Around 135,000 children are adopted by U.S. families every year, according to the Public Broadcasting System (PBS). And, adopted children make up 2.5 percent of the child population, which is a very sizeable percentage. With so many families deciding to adopt a child, are there special rules or exceptions made for adopted children and divorce? The answer to that question is no. All of the normal rules of adoption apply to married, unmarried, divorced, or divorcing adoptive parents. You and the child’s other adoptive parent will not lose the child simply because of a divorce. If the birth mother changes her mind before her parental rights have ended, she will be able to get the child back, or if the state finds that the child’s living conditions are unsafe the child may go into protective child custody, but this is the same for any biological child as well.

Call a Child Custody Attorney Today

If you and your spouse are going through a divorce and you are concerned about your future parenting role, you need to get in touch with an experienced San Jose child custody attorney as soon as you are able to. The passionate San Jose child custody attorneys at the office of Gemma V. Reyes are available to help today.

Sources:

https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2015/12/adoption-happily-ever-after-myth/418230/
http://www.pbs.org/pov/offandrunning/fact-sheet/