Birth parent(s) who wish for an open adoption in New York State can be assured that the adoptive parents will honor their wishes for post-adoption contact through a court enforceable Post Adoption Contact Agreement (a legal document).
In New York State agency adoptions, birth mothers and birth fathers who want to have an open relationship with the adoptive family and have post-adoption contact the with child and family can have an legal agreement that guides the relationship. The Post Adoption Contact Agreement is discussed and agreed to by the birth parent(s), adoptive family, and adoption agency at the time the birth parent makes an adoption play for their baby. Post Adoption Contact Agreements are legal contracts between the birth parent(s), adoptive parents, and adoption agency that detail the minimum requirements of post-adoption contact between the birth parent(s) and adoptive family.
Most Post Adoption Contact Agreements include:
- The sending of pictures and letters regarding the child's progress to the birth parents by the adoptive parents. Typically the agreement gives a miminum schedule for pictures and letters. For example, many birth parents receive pictures four times per year during the child's first year of life, twice a year until the child is five, and once a year until the child is 18 years old. The schedule is determined by the birth parent(s) and adoptive parents.
- Visitation between the child, the adoptive parents, and the birth parents. Most courts will approve agreements for one or two visits per year. Again the schedule of those visits is agreed to by the birth parent(s) and adoptive family.
Important Notes Regarding Post Adoption Contact Agreements in New York State:
- Agreements are only court enforceable in New York State Agency Adoptions (not in private independent adoptions). Thus, if birth parent(s) want a court enforceable agreement they must work with an authorized adoption agency.
- Family Connections, Inc. is an adoption agency that ensures the use and enforcement of Post Adoption Contact Agreements
- Family Connections, Inc. was one of the first adoption agency in New York State to advocate for the use of Post Adoption Contact Agreements.
- Many open adoption relationships develop over time and the amount of contact between the birth parent(s) and adoptive family changes. The agreement sets forth only the minimum requirements for contact.
- In the experience of Family Connections, Inc., it is very rare that an adoptive family doesn't comply with the agreement. Most adoptive parents are thrilled to have continued contact with their son or daughter's birth parent(s). Many adoptive parents wish to have more contact than the birth parents wish for.
- Family Connections, Inc. is available to mediate disrupts regarding Post Adoption Contact Agreements.
- Family Connections has never had an adoptive family who has not provided the birth parent(s) with the required post-adoption contact.
- Family Connections, Inc. has never had a Post Adoption Contact Agreement that needed to be enforced by the court.
Family Connections, Inc. is an authorized New York State adoption agency that supports birth parents in open adoption and advocates for Post Adoption Contact Agreements. To learn more about open adoption, please contact Anita or Renee at 1-800-535-5556 or firstname.lastname@example.org or download our agency's Adoption Guide below.