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 June 30, 2016 |

The choice to adopt is not one to be made lightly. After all, bringing a child into one’s home can be a challenge, not to mention having to deal with the lengthy and sometimes contested adoption process. Throughout this process, pre-adoptive families have to make a lot of decisions. Perhaps one of the most important is whether to enter into a post-adoption contact agreement and, if so, what the terms of that agreement should be.

Post-adoption contact agreements in Louisiana don’t just apply to birth parents. They can also apply to siblings and grandparents, so long as the child has developed a strong relationship with that individual; cessation of that relationship would cause harm to the child; and the continuance of contact furthers the best interests of the child. So these factors themselves should be taken into consideration when deciding whether to negotiate a post-adoption contact agreement.

If the decision is made to offer a post-adoption contact agreement, then the pre-adoptive family needs to be prepared to negotiate the terms of the agreement. These can include frequency of physical visitation and the types of communication allowed. Pre-adoptive parents may opt to only allow letters and gifts, for example, but disallow physical visitation.

Considering a post-adoption contact agreement and its terms is critical for a child’s well-being. Though there are certain terms that may make either the biological or the adoptive families happy, all should carefully think about what is best for the child. After all, that is the point of adoption, and a court will not enforce an agreement if it does not further those interests.

Source: Child Welfare Information Gateway, “Post Adoption Contact Agreements Between Birth and Adoptive Families,” accessed in June 24, 2016

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