Couples who choose to adopt children probably do not think about a potential divorce at the time of the adoption. Rather, it is a joyful time that celebrates the introduction of a new member of the family. However, adopted kids whose parents are also divorced may struggle with a specific set of difficulties, according to experts, requiring a specialized approach to child custody and parenting time.

New York parents who call it quits after adopting a child may transition into a co-parenting child custody arrangement. This means that the child may be shuttled back and forth between houses, as parenting time must be split according to a designated formula. For biological children, this can be a challenge, but adopted kids may be especially hard-hit by this type of custody arrangement. Some already feel abandoned by their birth parents – now, their adoptive parents are ‘abandoning’ them, as well. In many instances, adopted children may have friends who are also adopted, but they may not be able to share the difficulties of being a member of a divorced family.

Adopted kids may feel as though they are outsiders to start. Co-parents of adopted children need to take special care to craft their child custody arrangement in a way that demonstrates love, caring and continuing commitment to their children. Just because a child was adopted, it does not mean that their parents love them any less when they divorce. Although adults may realize that fact, adopted kids may feel as though they have simply been rejected again. Further, reconciling family differences between step-siblings, biological siblings and a number of other family members can be particularly difficult for adopted kids.

Co-parents of adopted children may benefit from consulting a qualified family attorney to learn more about their legal custody rights. Crafting an appropriate physical custody arrangement can make the divorce transition far easier for both adopted and biological kids.

Source: The New York Times, “When Divorce Magnifies Adoption’s Losses” Deesha Philyaw, Jan. 12, 2014