Do adoptive parents have the same parental rights as a birth parent during divorce?

By Kate Miller
October 05, 2017
Do adoptive parents have the same parental rights as a birth parent during divorce?

Yes, the effect of adoption is that the adoptive parent is a biological parent. For example if a stepfather adopts his wife's child, the stepfather legally becomes the biological child with all rights and responsibilities for the child. The former biological father's rights are terminated regarding the child.

If a non-biological parent adopts his or her spouse's child during the marriage, they can obtain primary even sole custody during a divorce. A court will consider the adoptive parent the biological parent and will evaluate the adoptive parent's request for custody and decision making with the parent being divorced, the one's who's for example biological mother had the stepfather adopt the child. Biological mother and stepfather are now getting divorced. Biological father wants custody and decision making, he would be considered the same as biological mother. The court in making this decisions evaluates the best interest of the child when deciding to grant custody, whether or not it is biological or adoptive parent.

Kate Miller is a Denver, Colorado attorney focused exclusively on the practices of divorce and family law. She has lived many of the issues regarding divorce and child custody, and is passionate about helping people through this process. To learn more about Kate and her firm visit

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October 05, 2017
Categories:  FAQs

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