In a previous blog, we had discussed open adoptions and whether they are the correct choice for your adoption matter. Simply stated, “open adoption” is a type of adoption in which the biological and adoptive families have access to varying degrees of each other’s personal information and have an option of continuing contact post-adoption.
If you have decided that an open adoption is right for you and your family, please consider having the terms of communication set forth in a Continuing Contact Agreement. A Continuing Contact Agreement is one in which biological and adoptive families set forth the terms and types of contact allowed with the minor child post-adoption. In order for a Continuing Contact Agreement to be enforceable, it must be signed by all of the parties (Adoptive Parents/Birth Parents) and approved by the Court. If a child is 12 years of age or more, they too must sign the agreement.
These types of agreements are necessary to protect all parties in an open adoption. Language may be added to the document to further clarify the circumstances in which the Agreement may be modified and/or terminated. For your peace of mind that the terms of ongoing contact between the child(ren) and birth parent(s) will be honored by all parties, it is best to prepare the Agreement as early as possible. It is important to understand that the Agreement must be finalized with Court approval, before the Final Adoption Hearing.
The attorneys at Trinity Law have experience in these matters and are available to discuss your legal options with you. If you have questions regarding an adoption or any other family law issue, please contact Trinity Law today. Our attorneys routinely handle Pennsylvania adoption matters for York, Lancaster, and surrounding counties.