Helping Adopted Children Cope with a Divorce


Parents considering a Pasadena divorce after adopting often find themselves wondering how to make sure their children are able to handle the change in family structure. Although it's true that many kids grow up with divorced parents, adopted children often find divorce to be more difficult to adjust to at first.

Many adoptive parents stress that they love their children just as much as they would if they had given birth to them. While it's certainly good to want to treat adopted children like your biological children, it's important to realize that adopted children have often already suffered a significant loss in their lives due to the absence of their biological parents. If your child was adopted from foster care, for example, he or she may have trust issues from having experienced abuse and neglect in the past. Divorce can bring these painful feelings back to the surface and result in acting out. As a parent, you must be extra vigilant in watching for behavioral changes in your child and make sure that all issues are addressed promptly. If your child is currently seeing a therapist, it would be a good idea to speak to him or her about the best way to handle telling your child about the divorce.

It's a common misconception among parents who plan to file for divorce in Pasadena that it is hardest for young children to understand what the end of a marriage means. While it's true that young children might struggle to understand the technical details of divorce, teens who were adopted may view the divorce as a form of personal rejection and start acting out by abusing drugs and alcohol or engaging in risky sexual behaviors. Teenagers, regardless of whether they were adopted, are also more reluctant to share their feelings with the adults in their lives. Giving your adopted teen plenty of opportunities to communicate his or her feelings with you is crucial to keeping a strong family bond during this time.

Family counseling services are often recommended for adoptive parents who are going through a divorce. Even if you have a fairly positive relationship with your spouse, family counseling can help you learn new techniques for working together to develop a more effective coparenting relationship. An adopted child can thrive after divorce if both of his or her parents are committed to providing a stable and loving environment.