Now, one of the things you always have to remember in a divorce proceeding in West Virginia is that whenever somebody is adopted by, for example, their step parent, then that step parent has the same rights from that point on as if they were biologically the parent. Sometimes it becomes a real issue in court because the other spouse adopted the child. In this case, the adoptive parent has the same rights as the biological parent going forward.
The court is still going to look at the history of the case in terms of who did what caretaking and who did what for the children and what the work schedules are. However, at the same time, you can’t use that as a defense that the person is not their biological parent. That’s not going to be factored in one way or another. The court’s going to be looking at what they consider to be in the best interest of the child. You could have a situation where the birth mother or father of the child is paying child support to the other person even though they’re not actually the biological parent of that child. That’s something that you always have to factor in when it comes to these cases.
Now, the opposite is also true when it comes to parents who have not adopted. You’re generally not going to have rights, for the most part, in the event that there has been no adoption established. This is something that you also need to factor into this as well. I mean, it can become an issue, but it’s just something that you have to work through in terms of trying to work out a parenting plan. The two people could always agree in the event that one person is not the biological parent. They can come to their own agreement because they think it’s in the best interest of the child. However, generally speaking, to have the same rights as the biological parent, you have to have adopted that child. These are just some of the things to consider when it comes to adoptive rights and your West Virginia divorce.