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What is a post-adoption contact agreement?

It has become more common for the parties to an adoption in Georgia to arrange for open adoption. Whereas in the past the expectation was that adoptive children would never have any contact with their birth relatives, open adoption allows and encourages at least some contact between the birth family and the adopted child. A post-adoption contact agreement is a document that outlines the arrangements that the birth parents and the adoptive parents have agreed to. 

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, there are essentially two types of post-adoption contact agreement. An enforceable PACA is a legal document that formalizes the arrangement. If you are a birth mother who has entered into an enforceable PACA and the adoptive parents have violated the terms of the agreement, you have the right to take legal action against the adoptive parents to enforce the terms of the PACA.

However, enforceable PACAs are not available everywhere. As of 2018, Georgia is currently one of 29 states, plus the District of Columbia, with laws on the books that allow enforceable PACAs. Nevertheless, it is important to note that enforceable PACAs are generally not compulsory in states that allow them. In other words, if you and the adoptive parents prefer an unenforceable, informal PACA, you can still choose to create one.

Furthermore, even in states that do not have enforceable PACAs, there are no laws that prohibit post-adoption contact. This means that you can enter into an informal PACA anywhere. You just need to understand that an informal PACA does little more than outline the arrangements and expectations of each party. It does not allow you to petition the courts in the event that the adoptive parents do not live up to what they initially agreed to. 

The information in this article is not intended as legal advice but provided for educational purposes only.

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