When it comes to adoption, once a court decides on an order that revokes visitation rights for biological parents, those rights are often lost forever. This can have a variety of negative effects on adopted children depending on their age and experiences growing up. However, a new law has recently been proposed to reverse this rule and grant biological parents more rights. If you want to change a court order related to adoption or divorce, talk to a Tennessee family law lawyer who can help you assess your options.
New Adoption Law to Reverse Court Orders
The has been proposed to allow family courts to hold proceedings to determine whether visitation rights can be reinstated or granted for biological parents. This new law applies to cases of adoption in which the child or biological parents wish to see each other again or meet up for the first time. Some children are removed from their biological parents at such a young age that they have no memories of their real parents.
Disposition hearings would be held by a judge after the rights of the biological parents have been terminated to see whether the biological parents can regain certain rights with their children like visitation hours. This would be done regardless of whether the adoptive parents agree.
All of this would have to be done with the child’s best interests in mind. That means biological parents who could pose potential harm to the child may not be allowed visitation rights. Common examples of potential harm to children are past abuse, severe mental illness, or unstable substance abuse.
Negative Effects of Losing Contact with Biological Parents
Being completely cut off from biological parents can have negative effects on adopted children. This may not apply for every adopted child because various factors like the age of separation, time spent in foster homes, and past relationships with the biological parents can all affect the way the child feels about adoption.
Common issues faced by include grief, a sense of loss, problems with identity, self-esteem issues, and dwelling on the adoption itself. The effects of grief and loss tied to separation from the child’s birth parents vary by the circumstances that separated them. Some children may be dealing with biological parents who passed away, while others were removed from the home because of substance abuse.
Questions like why their biological parents left them or whether they are similar to their original parents can lead to confusion about the child’s identity. This can also impact self-esteem because not knowing who they are can make children or adolescents feel alone.
When it comes to thinking about the adoption, around 54 percent of adopted adolescents think about the adoption at least once a month. Some adolescents blame themselves.