While getting a divorce is never easy, it is even harder for your children. They may be confused or feel lost about their new living situation and how your divorce will affect their lives.
For adopted children, it is even more difficult to understand as they may be afraid that you will leave them after they have finally found their forever home.
Divorce After Adoption: How to Help Your Child Feel Secure
Talk To Your Child Together
You and your ex-spouse adopted your child together, and you need to discuss your divorce with them together as well. Your love has not changed for your child, and they need to know this hasn’t changed and never will.
By working together to discuss the new change in your lives, you can help to reassure your adopted child that you will still be a family, just in a different way. Talking to your adoptive child together can show them that you and your spouse will work together to parent them.
Be Honest About The Divorce
Children are amazingly receptive, and notice changes about you and your spouse probably before you both do. They may realize soon on that something is different between you and your spouse and start to worry about where this leaves them.
Be honest with your child and tell them about the divorce between you and your spouse. Do not let their minds wander and create their own story in their heads. They may think that you will take them back or get rid of them because you are getting divorced. By being honest about your divorce, you can help to calm their fears and let them know that they will still be your child and part of your family.
Answer Their Questions
Always ask your child if they have questions about your divorce. Be honest and upfront with your answers and don’t shut them out if they want to talk. You want to let them know that you are there with them and that they can trust you to provide them with the truth.
Be sensitive to their needs and ask them if they want to talk often. They might not be ready at first but knowing that you are there for them can help them feel more at ease when they are. They need to know that they are still important to you and your ex-spouse and despite the divorce that they are still loved.
Tell Your Child How Co-Parenting Will Work
Your adoptive child’s biggest fear is that you don’t want them in your life anymore after a divorce. You need to let your child know how the divorce will work for them. They need to know what it means for them and their future.
Tell them how your custody arrangement will work and that now they will have two homes. They should understand that you are still a family just with separate living arrangements. They should realize that you will spend time together and do special things together even after getting divorced.
Don’t Bad Mouth Your Ex
One of the easiest ways to turn your child against you or sour their taste about your divorce is to say bad things about your ex. Remember that your child loves both of you and you don’t want them to think differently about either of you.
It is not necessary to tell your child about the terrible things that your ex-spouse may have done to you. Instead, let them know that you both still love them no matter how you feel about each other or what happened in the past.
Be Available And Open
Always be there to talk to your adoptive child. They need more time and understanding from you now more than ever. Divorce is hard on a child, especially an adoptive child. They have thoughts of abandonment and loss, which can be terrifying to them. Let your child know you will always be there for them and tell them how the divorce will affect their lives.
The most important thing your child needs to know is that they still have two loving parents, even if they don’t live in the same house. When your child realizes that they can trust you to be there when they need you most, they will be able to accept the divorce and the changes coming to their life.
Reassure Them That Both Parents Love Them
Always tell your child how much both of you love them. Your child needs constant reassurance that they are a big part of your life and even though things are changing. Show them that your love will remain constant even after the divorce.
Your child may rebel at the thought of you divorcing your spouse, but you need to be patient and encourage them to work through it in their own time. Once they understand that you love them unconditionally regardless of your divorce, they will soon realize that your family is changing but not your love for them.
Don’t Give Your Child False Hope
Your child may have a strong imagination that thinks that if they wish or dream hard enough, they can change the circumstances of your divorce. It is best to be firm that your divorce is final and that there are no plans to get back together with your spouse anytime soon.
Feeding into your child’s thoughts of getting back together will only set them up for disappointment and hurt them down the road. As much as it may hurt you, it is important to eliminate these impossible wishes and help them come to the conclusion that your divorce is a permanent part of their life.
You can keep your family together despite divorce after adoption. Just like any birth parent, you have a right to love and care for your child even if it means you have to co-parent with your ex-spouse. Letting your adoptive child know that your love them no matter what happens, can help them release their fears and know that they will always be part of your family.
With a background in publishing, marketing, and online media, Andrea Cerny brings a robust set of skills to Angel Adoption Inc. She thrives on building relationships with like-minded individuals and working hard to ensure their online presence is the absolute best reflection of them.