The decision to adopt a child is a big one. While it can give newfound life to a child without a proper family, it can also change your own family’s existing dynamics. It’ll also lead to more household costs, which can be a major consideration for even financially stable families. But even if you’re comfortable with the idea of adoption, you might still find yourself stressed about the process and what your relationship with the child’s biological parents is going to look like.
But one way to take control over both of those aspects is to consider entering into a post-adoption contact agreement.
What is a post-adoption contact agreement?
In short, a post-adoption contact agreement is a negotiated contract where adoptive parents agree to provide biological parents some sort of contact once the adoption is finalized. The specific terms of one of these agreements can vary depending on the circumstances and what you’re comfortable with, but it could include any of the following:
- Holding in-person visits
- Facilitating phone calls
- Allowing the biological parent to send of gifts, cards, and letters to the child
- Sending regular written updates about the child
- Sharing recent photographs of the child
The frequency with which this contact occurs can be dictated by the agreement, too. And even if you balk at the idea of allowing the child to maintain some sort of contact with their biological parent, you can take comfort knowing that many of these post-adoption contact agreements carry sunset provisions, where the entire agreement goes away if the biological parent fails to maintain contact or otherwise fails to abide by the terms of the agreement.
What are the benefits of a post-adoption contact agreement?
Post-adoption contact can be very beneficial to you and your adopted child. Here are just some of the ways that one of these agreements can have a positive impact:
- Allowing the child to maintain connection: As your child grows up, they’re going to have a lot of questions about where they came from and why they were adopted. These can be hard questions to answer, especially if you don’t have any contact with the child’s biological parents. But by having a post-adoption contact agreement in place, your child can gain perspective by asking those questions of their biological parent.
- Providing additional support: All children need love and support. By having a positive relationship with their biological parent, your adopted child can seek additional avenues of support. This might even provide you with relief at times.
- Helping the child with their identity: Many adopted children struggle with who they are given that they’re living in a family to which they have no biological connection. This can create a lot of internal strife that, if not appropriately addressed, can cause mental health issues and behavioral problems in your child. One way to minimize the risk of that happening is to ensure that your child has connection with their biological family so that they can better cope with the duality of their situation.
Are you ready to negotiate a post-adoption contact agreement?
Post-adoption contact agreements aren’t right in every circumstance. After all, some biological parents pose a threat to their children’s well-being. However, if you feel like a post-adoption contact agreement may speed up your adoption case and lead to a positive outcome for you and your adopted child, then you might want to consider reaching out to a legal team that has handled these matters before and is experienced in family law. That way you’ll have a strong advocate on your side who can help you negotiate an agreement that supports the child’s best interests.