Natural Parent Post Adoption Visitation

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 What are the Birth Parent's Visitation Rights After Adoption?

Typically, visitation by the birth parents is complicated unless the process was an open adoption instead of a closed one. Visitation can depend on the adoptive parents. These circumstances require communication and a relationship between all parties before the child enters the picture. Usually, the only way to have any possibility of visitation with the birth child with the biological parents is if the adoption was open rather than closed, as alluded to earlier.

This open process provides more communication and information between all parties. Sometimes, the mother and father know the adoptive family through this procedure. However, the lengths the adoptive parents take depend on them, and the birth mother and father cannot pressure them into visitation. The child may need years of development before they understand this situation, and the adoptive parents may require time before visits are possible.

Furthermore, if the adoption is open, the biological and adoptive parents can create a relationship that provides the mother and father with details, pictures, and even videos of the child growing up. In some cases, families may even become willing participants in a more untraditional situation where all four parents have direct contact and involvement with the youth growing up.

Nonetheless, the adoptive parents may decide not to use this route and may restrict visits or may not allow the birth parents any time with the youth. Therefore, the stronger the relationship, the more likely the young person will see the birth parents at some point.

Another point is considering the best interests of the child. If the parents want to seek the court’s decision for visitation rights, it is possible in some states because there are no set rules after the adoption is completed. Some judges will award visitation rights to the mother and father that birthed the child, but only if this is in the youth’s best interests. However, some states will reject this because they believe it violates the adoptive parents’ right to full legal custody and interferes with parenting. Some may need to research what the state permits and what the restrictions are in these circumstances.

Lastly, when pursuing to have visitations with a child given up for adoption, there are certain factors to contemplate between natural and adoptive parents. Specific regulations that grant rights rarely exist in specific situations. But, if the mother and father granted consent willingly, the state may need to evaluate what is in the child’s best interests, or a lawyer may need to become part of this process. Some adoptive parents may determine this visitation is best during adolescent years and assess the birth mother and father to see if they have what it takes to work it out.

What Are Some Options for Visitation?

The HR legal services state that in many cases, the birth parents have no legal rights once the child is with the adoptive parents, and the state terminates the mother and father’s rights. However, some scenarios can provide time for the youth. It usually depends on the type of adoption and the relationship with the other mother and father. Confidential, open, and certain other processes can give the birth parents visitation. But, confidential or closed adoption is the least likely unless the birth parents can reacquire the youth.

The standard adoption process provides some degree of contact between the birth and adoptive parents, which can facilitate visitation with the child. However, this is still up to the other family to provide the time or to end all access. The more candid the birth mother and father are and are willing to nurture a relationship, the more willing some adoptive parents are to keep access open to the young person.

Fully open adoption is the best way to attempt visitation rights after the child grows up enough to have a relationship with the biological parents. Avoiding negative behavior and keeping on the best legal path to accomplish this goal is critical.

What are the Post-Adoption Contact Agreements and How Do They Function?

Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Attorneys (AAAA) highlights how to enter into agreements after adoption. Many adoptive parents and birth parents enter into Post-Adoption Contact Agreements (PACA) specifying the contact they will have in the future with one another after the child is placed for adoption.

While some adoptive parents may fear that a request for a PACA reflects the birth parents’ lack of commitment, experience has demonstrated that such agreements often give birth parents the peace of mind they need to move forward with their plan. Having a Post-Adoption Contact Agreement reassures the birth parent that they will have the right to obtain information about the child through a legally binding agreement.

While there is no standard format for PACA, the purpose of such an agreement is to set forth the nature of the contact (letters, emails, telephone calls, or in-person contact), the frequency of that contact, and the duration of the contact. Once the birth and adoptive parents agree to the terms of the PACA, the agreement must be approved by the court. Keep in mind that the judge will only approve the agreement if they determine that enforcing the agreement will be in the best interest of the child. Once the agreement is approved by the court and the adoption is finalized, the birth parents and adoptive parents have the right to request court enforcement of the agreement.

While PACA is legally enforceable in numerous states, but not necessarily in every case, if you reside in a state where PACA is not legally enforceable, you may enter into a “Good Faith Agreement.” Good Faith Agreements have the benefit of clarifying everyone’s expectations regarding the nature and frequency of post-placement contact. Ultimately, the child will have their own opinions regarding post-adoption contact, and the grown-ups’ needs must always bend to the child’s best interests.

What is Post-Adoption Reporting?

According to the U.S. State Department, many countries require adoptive parents to send information regarding the progress and welfare of their adopted child after they join their new families through the submission of post-adoption reports. The Department of State encourages prospective adoptive parents to understand these obligations at the outset of their adoption process and in consultation with their adoption service provider. It is important to consider their willingness and ability to comply with post-adoption reporting requirements before identifying the country from which they wish to adopt.

Post-adoption reports assure authorities in the child’s country of origin that children placed with permanent families in the United States have appropriate care and protection. Missing or delinquent post-adoption reports can negatively impact adoption service providers seeking authorization in impacted countries and U.S. citizen parents requesting to adopt in the future.

U.S. regulations require adoption service providers to include the country of origin’s post-adoption reporting requirements in the contract with the prospective adoptive parents and make good faith efforts to encourage them to submit timely reports.

When Do I Need to Contact a Lawyer?

If you are in the situation described above and want visitation rights, options are available. It may be useful to contact your local adoption attorney to assist you with the process.

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