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Adoption and divorce: You can help your child get through it

Adopting your child was the most important decision you and your spouse made together. Unfortunately, now that your marriage is ending, you're not sure how to address your child's needs. You know that your child already lost his parents once, so imagining putting him through that again is heartbreaking.

Being adopted and then going through a divorce does add a layer of complications to a child's relationship with his parents. Adoption issues are difficult on their own, but combined with the loss of a divorce, children may act out or feel they're abandoned by the people who said they wanted them so badly.

How can you help your child through divorce if he's adopted?

Remember, this is a different kind of loss than an adoption is, and for your child, it might even be worse. Losing a biological parent at a young age is devastating, but feeling like you're losing your support system is worse. To help your child through this, it's important to maintain your relationship and his support system as much as possible. Retain traditions and be clear about the intentions in the divorce.

You should talk to your child about divorce and what it means for visitation. How will he spend time with his mother or father? Talk about the changes that you expect and listen to how your child responds. Try to abate fears by discussing solutions. In some instances, just allowing your child to air out his frustrations is enough to start a conversation that puts his mind at ease.

Be mindful of your child's needs throughout the divorce. Do your best to take arguments out of the home, and treat your child with respect. Your child may need special attention during this time, so don't turn away from helpful services like therapy.

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