Going through an adoption process is both a joyous and emotionally taxing journey. It can take a long time for an adoption to go through, and some couples may decide to divorce before the adoption is finalized. Does the adoption process end when the couple separates? How does custody work in this situation?
How the Courts Handle a Divorce During an Adoption
A divorce won’t automatically end an adoption, but it could happen. The New Hampshire courts usually consider three main factors if a couple divorces during an adoption:
- What are the child’s best interests? The needs of the adopted child come first. The court may decide that it would be a hardship for the child if the adoption continues and stop the process completely.
- What do the birth parents want? The court will also take the wishes of the birth parents into account. For example, the birth parents may have wanted the child to go to a married couple and can pull out of the adoption if the chosen couple decides to separate. The biological parents can also decide to let the adoption go through with either one or both of the divorcing parents. In the case of a foster care adoption, the birth parents’ rights have been or will be terminated, and the court won’t consider their wishes.
- Is it a stepparent adoption? A stepparent adopting the biological child of their spouse is common. However, if a divorce between the stepparent and their spouse occurs before the adoption is finalized, the courts will cancel the adoption. No state allows a stepparent adoption to take place if the stepparent and biological parent are not married.
New Hampshire Family Law Attorneys at Tenn And Tenn, P.A.
Getting a divorce during an adoption process can become almost impossible to navigate alone. At Tenn And Tenn, P.A., our experienced family law attorneys can advise you on your options in this situation and answer all your questions. Call us today at (888) 332-5855 or fill out a contact form.