In Tennessee, a written contact agreement after adoption is called “PACA” or “post-adoption contact agreement.” A PACA can be a moral arrangement or legally enforceable in court. So, while birth and prospective adoptive parents agree that they all want “open adoption,” much remains to be decided. That a legally enforceable or moral contact agreement be used after adoption, it is recommended that the ACAP be written. With regard to the adoption of newborns in particular, both parties initially tend to be vague, which they have in mind, and will assume that they share the same vision, but they are not allowed. Over time, the exact nature and frequency of contact is a common area of misunderstanding. A written PACA also encourages compliance by serving as evidence of the initial agreement that can be shared by both parties with the adopted person if they are older. The laws relating to post-adoption contact agreements differ from country to country, as shown in the state summary. Given the complex mix of legal and emotional issues you will encounter, you will be well served if you speak with a lawyer with adoption expertise who can guide you through this process. You will find an adoptive lawyer in our directory.
Open adoption is an option to facilitate the resolution of contentious termination actions, including children in care facilities, although adoptive parents and children have specific issues related to ACAP. It is difficult to have a constructive relationship with a former adversary, but foster parents and engaged birth parents can make it work. However, a ACAP is not an appropriate solution if a parent is extremely angry, polarized or dysfunctional, or if the presence or voice of the parent “triggers” a traumatized child. Most parties are identified very early in the adoption process; Adopted child, adoptive parents and biological parents. The identification of other biological members of the adoptive child`s family, such as biological siblings. B, can be more problematic. This is especially true when the adopted child has been taken into care. In these cases, it may be difficult to identify all parties with the right to participate in the PACA process. Although there is no standard format for contact agreements after adoption, the purpose of such an agreement is to indicate the nature of the contact (letters, emails, phone calls or face-to-face contacts), the frequency of that contact, and the number of years the contact continues.
As soon as the birth and adoption parents accept the terms of the post-adoption contact agreement, the agreement must be approved by the court. The judge will only approve the agreement if he decides that the implementation of the agreement is in the best interests of the child. Once the agreement is approved by the court and the adoption, birth parents and adoptive parents have the right to apply the agreement in court. This means that if the adoptive parents refuse to comply with the terms of the post-adoption contact agreement, the birth parent has the right to go to court to request enforcement. While non-compliance with the contact agreement after adoption by adoptive parents can never provide a basis for the repeal of the adoption decree, the court has the power to despise adoptive parents if they refuse to respect the agreement. The court also has the power to amend or cancel the contact agreement after the adoption if it finds that continued contact between the parent and the child is not in the best interests of the child. Even in a “closed adoption” it is a good idea to set up a method to exchange important information such as medical information that may appear in the future. The exchange of information through the advice of adoptive parents, the adoption agency or direct contact is a common agreement.