It is incredibly common for an adoptive family to make an agreement that they believe can be held to be above their heads after mediation. Even if they can meet their short-term commitments, they often don`t think what their life on the street will look like. What happens when the child gets older? What if one or the other party leaves? A good rule of thumb is to promise too little and provide too much. What is the absolute minimum you can offer? Promise it. A birth parent will cling to your promises, and betray them will break their trust and their hearts. If you can make more contact than you promised, that`s for sure. If the adoptive family considers a parent to be a danger to the child under a court contract, they can go to their agency and/or the courts to terminate the contract. If they are able to prove that prolonged contact would jeopardize the child`s safety, they will no longer be required to agree. Like any adoption plan, each open adoption agreement is unique. They are based on the needs and wishes of each family concerned. For example, in some open adoption contracts, letters and images must be sent to the birthing parent once a year or more frequently.
Other open adoption agreements include more intimate interactions, whether through phone calls, emails, text messages, video conversations or personal conversations. While post-adoption contact agreements are legally applicable in a number of states, this is not always the case. If you live in a state where contact agreements after adoption are legally unenforceable, you can still enter into a Good Faith Agreement. Good faith agreements have the advantage of clarifying all expectations about the nature and frequency of contacts after placement. The development of the Good Faith agreement provides parents with birth and adoption opportunities to reconsider, discuss and document their post-mediation contact expectations. Lawyers will also incorporate these expectations into a written document. This minimizes or eliminates misunderstandings about the type of post-placement relationship. Even if good faith agreements are legally unenforceable, the importance of compliance with the good faith agreement should never be minimized and the agreement should be treated with the same respect as an applicable agreement would be respected. Voluntary post-adoption contracts were established to create a framework for enforceable contact after adoption between the biological family members of an adopted child, the child and the adoptive parents.
In Pennsylvania, these agreements are created by law. A PACA is only part of the adoption. Adoptions are wonderful, complex and difficult. A good family lawyer can help you and your family. Nevertheless, some states allow legally binding open adoption treaties. This means that a judge can order contact if the contract is breached. This generally only applies when adoptive parents do not hold the photos or visits promised in the contract. Birth parents are generally not invited to be in contact. If you have questions about a ACAP or other adoption issues in Pennsylvania, contact Willig, Williams and Davidson`s internal relations lawyers at 800-631-1233. In the vast majority of countries, contact agreements after adoption are by no means legally applicable. Adoption agencies are not law firms and cannot comply with the opening agreement of adoptive parents. You can contact the adoptive family and request photos or visits that have not been delivered, but you cannot force them.
Some states allow legally applicable opening agreements. But even in court, a judge can order the agency to contact the adoptive family and request contact.