Serving Clients in Knox, Blount, Anderson, Loudon, Sevier & Roane Counties

Divorce and Adoption

A reality in the world of family law is that families sometimes fracture through divorce. Families with adopted children are no different. This might be because new parents are not quite ready to deal with the stress of the adoption process and raising children. A marriage may have already been on the rocks when they decided to adopt. Regardless of the cause of the marriage’s dissolution, adopting a child is a lifelong commitment. It also endures through the death of a marriage. So, when a couple has adopted kids, how does that affect the divorce process?

Unless one parent is determined incompetent by the Court, married couples must adopt jointly. And as with any adoption, the adoptive parents become the child’s legal parents, meaning the rights of one or both biological parent(s) are terminated.

If a biological parent and an adoptive step parent divorce after the adoption, both retain rights to that child. Therefore, adoptive step parents may be awarded custody or child support.


Currently, Tennessee also allows same-sex partners to petition to adopt their partner’s child or a child born through artificial insemination. In the event of a divorce of same-sex partners, custody and child support of their jointly adopted child would be determined as discussed above.

However, for a same-sex couple that does not jointly adopt, the second parent must preserve their legal right to the child via adoption. Then, if a divorce were to occur, they would have all the rights of a biological parent.

Divorce processes involving adopted children can vary depending on individual circumstances. In order to ensure your family receives the care it deserves, give Held Law Firm a call at (865) 685-4780. Our attorneys and staff are here to help.

The information in this blog is accurate as of the time of publication. However, laws often change. Therefore, it’s important to hire an attorney who keeps up with these changes. Contact us today.