Adoption and Divorce: A Guide for Adoptive Parents

Being adoptive parents, somehow makes us even harder on ourselves than other people normally would be.  We expect perfection from our parenting skills, our relationships and our family or work life.  We hold ourselves accountable, because we believe that others see us differently… and that because we were chosen to parent someone else’s child, that they too hold us to higher standards than other families. Maybe that is true, but just because we are adoptive parents, it doesn’t mean we can see into the future. Job loss happens, kids get injured, relationships sometimes crumble, and other unforeseen life events show up.  What can we do to help our children during difficult times such as divorce?

Divorce itself is difficult, but add in adopted children and things can get messy.

The adoption process, like parenting itself, is both a challenging and rewarding experience. However, when divorce occurs between two adoptive parents, even more issues arise. I have been through this myself, so I will share a few general guidelines that I found helpful.

  1. It helps to have an amicable split, at least as much as possible. Everyone’s circumstances are different. I was very fortunate because in my case, my ex and I mutually decided to end the relationship and have remained on good terms. We have both remarried since then and have very stable partners and are both able to provide loving stepparents and homes for our daughter.

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Sarah - Content Specialist for, is a mother both biologically and through domestic infant open adoption. She resides with her husband and two boys in Ohio. She is passionate about open adoption and adoption education. In her free time she enjoys cooking, photography, writing, and hiking. You can find more of her adoption work at Heart For Open Adoption on Facebook or on

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