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 September 5, 2014 |

Baton Rouge individuals who give up parental rights may stay in contact with an adopted child under certain circumstances. Not all biological parents seek legal agreements for continuing contact. Sometimes, the Louisiana agreements to maintain a post-adoption relationship involve people other than parents, like siblings or grandparents.

Adoptions through state agencies are closed, which means the rights of the biological parents have been forfeited. Children are not placed with adoptive parents through public agencies unless parental rights have been forfeited. In open adoptions, the biological mother participates in the adoptive parent selection process.

An adoption establishes a legal relationship between a child and adoptive parents. The natural parents no longer have any say in how a child is raised or any obligation to care for the child. Once a biological parent has consented to relinquish parental rights, the decision cannot be changed, but a continuing contact agreement may allow natural parents or others with strong bonds to remain part of a child’s life.

Not all states offer open adoptions and continuing contact agreements. In some cases, adoptive parents oppose allowing the child to stay in touch with individuals from the past. Family courts approve these agreements only when the arrangement serves the best interest of the child.

The child’s needs are also first and foremost in adoption decisions. Prospective parents must show the court they are worthy and capable of raising a child. Parental rights are not automatic for individuals who petition for adoption.

Each state’s rules concerning adoption contain qualifications that must be met before adoptive parents receive approval. In some states, marital status, sexual orientation and parent “reputability” are factors. Reputability may refer to a prospective parent’s criminal or employment record.

Judges review highly-detailed, agency-prepared investigatory reports about would-be parents before making final adoption decisions. A family law attorney can answer your questions about the Louisiana adoption qualification process and continuing contact agreements.

Source: Legal Information Institute, “Adoption: An Overview” Sep. 03, 2014

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