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Post-Adoption Contact Agreement State Review

Adoption Advocate No. 122, published August 2018 by Eric Freeby and Heidi Cox, explores post-adoption contact agreements. Please see that article for more information.

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Alabama
Ann. Code § 26-10A-30
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Involvement of the Child? Rule Language Court's Role Legally Enforceable?
  Post-adoption visitation rights for the natural grandparents of the adoptee may be granted when the adoptee is adopted by a stepparent, a grandfather, a grandmother, a brother, a half-brother, a sister, a half-sister, an aunt or an uncle and their respective spouses, if any. Such visitation rights may be maintained or granted at the discretion of the court at any time prior to or after the final order of adoption is entered upon petition by the natural grandparents, if it is in the best interest of the child. Not addressed in the statute.
Alaska
Alaska Stat. §§ 25.23.130 (c); 25.23.180(j),(k),(l); 47.10.089(d); (e); (f),(g)
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Involvement of the Child? Rule Language Court's Role Legally Enforceable?
  Nothing in this chapter prohibits an adoption that allows visitation between the adopted person and that person's natural parents or other relatives. Parties involved: the child, natural parents, other relatives. If the parent has retained privileges, the court shall incorporate the retained privileges into the termination order with a recommendation that the privileges retained be incorporated in an adoption decree. Yes; upon showing of good cause, a person who has voluntarily relinquished parental rights may request a review hearing to seek enforcement.
Arizona
Rev. Stat. Ann. § 8-116.01
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Involvement of the Child? Rule Language Court's Role Legally Enforceable?
I. The court may consider the wishes of a child who is at least twelve years of age in determining whether to order a modification pursuant to subsection H. An agreement entered into pursuant to this section shall state that the adoptive parent may terminate contact between the birth parent and the adoptive child at any time if the adoptive parent believes that this contact is not in the child's best interests. The court shall not approve the agreement unless the court finds that the communication between the child adoptee, the adoptive parents and a birth parent is in the child's best interests. The court may consider the wishes of a child who is at least twelve years of age. The court may order a modification of an agreement approved pursuant to this section if it finds that the modification is necessary to serve the best interests of the child adoptee. Yes but;
An agreement is not enforceable unless the agreement is in writing and is approved by the court.
Arkansas
Ark. Code. Ann. § 9-9-215
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Involvement of the Child? Rule Language Court's Role Legally Enforceable?
  In cases where a biological or adoptive parent dies before a petition for adoption has been filed by a step-parent of the minor to be adopted the court may grant visitation rights to the parents of the deceased biological or adoptive parent of the child if such parents of the deceased biological or adoptive parent had a close relationship with the child prior to the filing of a petition for step-parent adoption, and if such visitation rights are in the best interests of the child. N/A Yes
California
Fam. Code § 8616.5; Welf. & Inst. Code § 366.29
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Involvement of the Child? Rule Language Court's Role Legally Enforceable?
Children aged 12 or older must sign any modification agreements. The Legislature finds and declares that some adoptive children may benefit from either direct or indirect contact with birth relatives, including the birth parent or parents or any siblings, or an Indian tribe, after being adopted. Postadoption contact agreements are intended to ensure children of an achievable level of continuing contact when contact is beneficial to the children and the agreements are voluntarily executed by birth relatives, including the birth parent or parents or any siblings, or an Indian tribe, and adoptive parents. Nothing in this section requires all of the listed parties to participate in the development of a postadoption contact agreement in order for the agreement to be executed. At the time an adoption decree is entered pursuant to a petition filed pursuant to Section 8714, 8714.5, 8802, 8912, or 9000, the court entering the decree may grant postadoption privileges if an agreement for those privileges has been executed, including agreements executed pursuant to subdivision (f) of Section 8620. The hearing to grant the adoption petition and issue an order of adoption may be continued as necessary to permit parties who are in the process of negotiating a postadoption agreement to reach a final agreement. Yes, but;
The court may not order compliance with the agreement absent a finding that the party seeking the enforcement participated, or attempted to participate, in good faith in mediation or other appropriate dispute resolution proceedings regarding the conflict, prior to the filing of the enforcement action, and that the enforcement is in the best interests of the child.
Colorado
Title 19
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Involvement of the Child? Rule Language Court's Role Legally Enforceable?
  N/A N/A N/A
Connecticut
Con. Gen. Stat. § 45a-715
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Involvement of the Child? Rule Language Court's Role Legally Enforceable?
(3) consent to postadoption communication or contact is obtained from the child, if the child is at least twelve years of age Con. Gen. Stat. § 45a-715. (h) Either or both birth parents and an intended adoptive parent may enter into a cooperative postadoption agreement regarding communication or contact between either or both birth parents and the adopted child. Such an agreement may be entered into if: (1) An order terminating parental rights has not yet been entered; and (2) either or both birth parents agree to a voluntary termination of parental rights, including an agreement in a case which began as an involuntary termination of parental rights. The postadoption agreement shall be applicable only to a birth parent who is a party to the agreement. Such agreement shall be in addition to those under common law. (i) If the court determines that the child's best interests will be served by postadoption communication or contact with either or both birth parents, the court shall so order, stating the nature and frequency of the communication or contact. A court may grant postadoption communication or contact privileges if: (1) Each intended adoptive parent consents to the granting of communication or contact privileges; (2) the intended adoptive parent and either or both birth parents execute a cooperative agreement and file the agreement with the court; (3); and (4) the cooperative postadoption agreement is approved by the court. Yes. (m) A disagreement between the parties or litigation brought to enforce or modify the agreement shall not affect the validity of the termination of parental rights or the adoption and shall not serve as a basis for orders affecting the custody of the child. The court shall not act on a petition to change or enforce the agreement unless the petitioner had participated, or attempted to participate, in good faith in mediation or other appropriate dispute resolution proceedings to resolve the dispute and allocate any cost for such mediation or dispute resolution proceedings.
Delaware
Del. Ann. Code Tit. 13, § 929
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Involvement of the Child? Rule Language Court's Role Legally Enforceable?
  (a) As part of the adoption planning and placement process, the Department or licensed agency may provide, when in the best interest of the child, identifying information to the birth parent or parents and to the adoptive parent or parents as follows: (1) In the preplacement planning of adoption for children, identifying information shall be limited to the viewing of photographs, provided that such viewing is with the consent of birth parent or parents and adoptive parent or parents and further provided that no additional identifying information is contained in the photographs; (2) After the placement selection process has been completed, and prior to the finalization of the adoption, identifying information may include, but is not limited to, the exchange of names, addresses, photographs and face-to-face meetings   No; A(2)(c) The birth parent or parents and adoptive parent or parents acknowledge in writing their understanding that no legal right of or assurance of continuing contact after finalization of the adoption exists.
District of Columbia
DC ST § 4-361
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Involvement of the Child? Rule Language Court's Role Legally Enforceable?
A child aged 14 or older must consent to the PAC A prospective adoptive parent or an adoptive parent (“adoptive parent”) and the birth parent or other birth relative of a prospective adoptee or adoptee (“adoptee”) may enter into a written post-adoption contact agreement (“PAC agreement”) to allow contact, after the adoption, between the adoptee and a birth parent or other birth relative of the adoptee. The decision to enter into a PAC agreement shall be at the sole discretion of the adoptive parent. The Family Court of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia shall enforce a PAC agreement made in accordance with this section if the Family Court finds that enforcement of the PAC agreement is in the best interest of the adoptee... For cases involving an adoptee who is a respondent in a child abuse or neglect case under Chapter 23 of Title 16, the court finalizing the adoption shall review and approve any PAC agreement based on whether it is in the best interest of the adoptee prior to finalizing the adoption. Yes; if in the best interest of the adopted person.
Florida
West's F.S.A. § 63.0427
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Involvement of the Child? Rule Language Court's Role Legally Enforceable?
  A child whose parents have had their parental rights terminated and whose custody has been awarded to the department pursuant to s. 39.811, and who is the subject of a petition for adoption under this chapter, shall have the right to have the court consider the appropriateness of postadoption communication or contact, including, but not limited to, visits, written correspondence, or telephone calls, with his or her siblings or, upon agreement of the adoptive parents, with the parents who have had their parental rights terminated or other specified biological relatives. If the court determines that the child's best interests will be served by postadoption communication or contact, the court shall so order, stating the nature and frequency of the communication or contact. This order shall be made a part of the final adoption order, but the continuing validity of the adoption may not be contingent upon such postadoption communication or contact and the ability of the adoptive parents and child to change residence within or outside the State of Florida may not be impaired by such communication or contact. Yes.
Georgia
Georgia Ann. Code § 19-8-27
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Involvement of the Child? Rule Language Court's Role Legally Enforceable?
A child 14 years or older must consent in writing. (b)(1) An adopting parent or parents and birth relatives or an adopting parent or parents, birth relatives, and a child who is 14 years of age or older who is being adopted or who has been adopted may voluntarily enter into a written postadoption contact agreement to permit continuing contact between such birth relatives and such child. (b)(4) Enforcement, modification, or termination of a postadoption contact agreement shall be under the continuing jurisdiction of the court that granted the petition of for adoption; provided, however, that the parties to a postadoption contact agreement may expressly waive the right to enforce, modify, or terminate such agreement under this Code section. (i) A court shall not set aside a decree of adoption, rescind a surrender of rights, or modify an order to terminate parental rights or any other prior court order because of the failure of an adoptive parent, a birth relative, or the child to comply with any or all of the original terms of, or subsequent modifications to, a postadoption contact agreement. Yes;
(b)(3) In order to be an enforceable postadoption contact agreement, such agreement shall be in writing and signed by all of the parties to such agreement acknowledging their consent to its terms and conditions.
Guam and Northern Mariana Islands
19 G.C.A.
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Involvement of the Child? Rule Language Court's Role Legally Enforceable?
N/A N/A N/A N/A
Hawaii
HRS § 578
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Involvement of the Child? Rule Language Court's Role Legally Enforceable?
  N/A At any time within one year from the date of entry of any decree of adoption, the court may, for good cause, set aside or modify the decree and, in connection therewith, may make appropriate orders, concerning the custody of the minor child and the disposition and handling of the record of adoption by the department of health. Haw. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 578-12. N/A
Idaho
I. C. § 16
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Involvement of the Child? Rule Language Court's Role Legally Enforceable?
  N/A N/A N/A
Illinois
750 Ill. Comp. Stat. Ann. 50
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Involvement of the Child? Rule Language Court's Role Legally Enforceable?
       
Indiana
Ind. Code Ann. § 31-19-16-1-3; § 31-19-16-6; § 31-19-16-8; § 31-19-16-9
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Involvement of the Child? Rule Language Court's Role Legally Enforceable?
Sec. 2. A court may grant postadoption contact privileges if: (2) the child is at least two (2) years of age and the court finds that there is a significant emotional attachment between the child and the birth parent;

(6) consent to postadoption contact is obtained from the child if the child is at least twelve (12) years of age

Ind. Code Ann. § 31-19-16-2
A postadoption contact agreement filed under section 2(4) of this chapter must contain the following provisions: (1) An acknowledgment by the birth parents that the adoption is irrevocable, even if the adoptive parents do not abide by the postadoption contact agreement. (2) An acknowledgment by the adoptive parents that the agreement grants the birth parents the right to seek to enforce the postadoption privileges set forth in the agreement. Ind. Code Ann. § 31-19-16-3. At the time an adoption decree is entered, the court entering the adoption decree may grant postadoption contact privileges under section 2 of this chapter to a birth parent who has: (1) consented to the adoption; or (2) voluntarily terminated the parent-child relationship. Ind. Code Ann. § 31-19-16-1.

The court may void or modify a postadoption contact agreement approved under this chapter at any time before or after the adoption if the court determines after a hearing that the best interest of the child requires the voiding or modifying of the agreement. Ind. Code Ann. § 31-19-16-6.
Yes;
A court may not revoke an adoption decree because a birth parent or an adoptive parent fails to comply with a postadoption contact agreement approved by a court under this chapter. Ind. Code Ann. § 31-19-16-8.

Postadoption contact privileges are permissible without court approval in an adoption of a child who is less than two (2) years of age upon the agreement of the adoptive parents and a birth parent. However, postadoption contact privileges under this section may not include visitation. Ind. Code Ann. § 31-19-16-9.
Iowa
I. C. A. § 600
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Involvement of the Child? Rule Language Court's Role Legally Enforceable?
  N/A N/A N/A
Kansas
K.S.A. 59
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Involvement of the Child? Rule Language Court's Role Legally Enforceable?
  N/A N/A N/A
Kentucky
KY ST § 199
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Involvement of the Child? Rule Language Court's Role Legally Enforceable?
       
Louisiana
La. Child. Code Ann. art. 1264; 1269.2-.6; 1269.8
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Involvement of the Child? Rule Language Court's Role Legally Enforceable?
E. If the child is twelve years of age or older, the court shall solicit and consider the child's wishes in the matter.
La. Child. Code Ann. art. 1269.5.
Every post-adoption contact agreement shall be in writing and signed by the adopting parents and by any adult granted contact. La. Child. Code Ann. art. 1269.3 Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, the natural parents of a deceased party to a marriage dissolved by death whose child is thereafter adopted, and the parents of a party who has forfeited the right to object to the adoption of his child pursuant to Article 1245 may have limited visitation rights to the minor child so adopted. La. Child. Code Ann. art. 1264.

A. In an agency adoption in which the department is the custodian of the child, the court may approve an agreement executed in conformity with the requirements of this Chapter that provides for continuing contact between the child to be adopted and his grandparent, sibling, and any parent whose consent or relinquishment is required for the adoption of the person, if both of the following conditions are met:

(1) The child has an established, significant relationship with that person to the extent that its loss would cause substantial harm to the child.

(2) The preservation of the relationship would otherwise be in the best interest of the child. La. Child. Code Ann. art. 1269.2
A. Within ten days after the petition is filed, the department, attorney for the child, attorney for the parent, or attorney for the prospective adoptive parents shall file in the court in which the adoption is pending an agreement for continuing contact. B. The agreement may be filed later than ten days after execution only with leave of court for good cause shown. C. If either the department or counsel for the child objects to the agreement, the court may conduct a hearing before approving the agreement. La. Child. Code Ann. art. 1269.4. Yes;
A. The court shall review a continuing contact agreement executed in conformity with the requirements of this Chapter.

B. If the court finds that an agreement serves the best interest of the child, the agreement shall be incorporated into a judgment of the court. An agreement reached by the parties and approved by the department and counsel representing the child is presumed to serve the best interest of the child. The judgment shall provide that failure to comply with the terms of the agreement does not constitute grounds for annulling a surrender or the final decree of adoption.

C. If the court rejects the agreement, it shall make specific findings of fact in support of its conclusion that the best interest of the child would not be served by approval of the agreement. The factors to be considered shall include: (1) The duration of the child's relationship with the parent, grandparent, sibling, or other relative by blood, adoption, or affinity seeking continuing contact. (2) The strength of the psychological attachment between the child and the individual seeking continuing contact. (3) The resulting harm to the child if the relationship is not preserved.

D. The court may receive expert testimony on the issue of continuing contact.
La. Child. Code Ann. art. 1269.5.
Maine
18-A M. R. S. A. § 9
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Involvement of the Child? Rule Language Court's Role Legally Enforceable?
  N/A N/A N/A
Maryland
Md. Fam. Law Code Ann. § 5-308; Md. Fam. Law Code Ann. § 5-525.2
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Involvement of the Child? Rule Language Court's Role Legally Enforceable?
  (a)(1) A prospective adoptive parent and parent of a prospective adoptee under this subtitle may enter into a written agreement to allow contact, after the adoption, between: (i) the parent or other relative of the adoptee; and (ii) the adoptee or adoptive parent. (2) An adoptive parent and former parent of an adoptee under this subtitle may enter into a written agreement to allow contact between: (i) a relative or former parent of the adoptee; and (ii) the adoptee or adoptive parent. Md. Fam. Law Code Ann. § 5-308.

(c)(1) Any siblings who are separated due to a foster care or adoptive placement may petition a court, including a juvenile court with jurisdiction over one or more of the siblings, for reasonable sibling visitation rights. (2) If a petitioner under this subsection petitions a court to issue a visitation decree or to amend an order, the court: (i) may hold a hearing to determine whether visitation is in the best interest of the children; (ii) shall weigh the relative interests of each child and base its decision on the best interests of the children promoting the greatest welfare and least harm to the children; and (iii) may issue an appropriate order or decree.
Md. Fam. Law Code Ann. § 5-525.2
(e) If a dispute as to an agreement made under this section arises, a court may refer the parties to mediation to try to resolve the dispute.

(f)(1) A juvenile court or other court of competent jurisdiction shall enforce a written agreement made in accordance with this section unless enforcement is not in the adoptee's best interests. (2) If a party moves in juvenile court or another court of competent jurisdiction to modify a written agreement made in accordance with this section and satisfies the court that modification is justified because an exceptional circumstance has arisen and the court finds modification to be in an adoptee's best interests, the court may modify the agreement.
Md. Fam. Law Code Ann. § 5-308
Yes; (f)(1) A juvenile court or other court of competent jurisdiction shall enforce a written agreement made in accordance with this section unless enforcement is not in the adoptee's best interests. (2) If a party moves in juvenile court or another court of competent jurisdiction to modify a written agreement made in accordance with this section and satisfies the court that modification is justified because an exceptional circumstance has arisen and the court finds modification to be in an adoptee's best interests, the court may modify the agreement. Md. Fam. Law Code Ann. § 5-308.
Massachusetts
Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 210, § 6C
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Involvement of the Child? Rule Language Court's Role Legally Enforceable?
Written consent of the child if aged 12 or older. (a) Prior to the entry of an adoption decree, prospective adoptive parents and a birth parent may enter into an agreement for post-adoption contact or communication between or among a minor to be adopted, the prospective adoptive parents and the birth parents. Such agreement may be approved by the court issuing the termination decree under section 3; provided, however, that an agreement under this section shall be finally approved by the court issuing the adoption decree. Any breach, modification or invalidation of the agreement, or any part of it, shall not affect the validity of the adoption. The adoption shall be final. Yes; (d) To be enforceable, an agreement for post-adoption contact or communication shall be: (i) in writing; (ii) approved by the court prior to the date for entry of the adoption decree; and (iii) incorporated but not merged into the adoption decree, and shall survive as an independent contract.
Michigan
M.C.L.A. 710; Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 710.
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Involvement of the Child? Rule Language Court's Role Legally Enforceable?
N/A N/A N/A N/A
Minnesota
Minn. Stat. Ann. § 259.58
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Involvement of the Child? Rule Language Court's Role Legally Enforceable?
  Adoptive parents and a birth relative or foster parents may enter an agreement regarding communication with or contact between an adopted minor, adoptive parents, and a birth relative or foster parents under this section. An agreement may be entered between: (1) adoptive parents and a birth parent; (2) adoptive parents and any other birth relative or foster parent with whom the child resided before being adopted; or (3) adoptive parents and any other birth relative if the child is adopted by a birth relative upon the death of both birth parents. For purposes of this section, “birth relative” means a parent, stepparent, grandparent, brother, sister, uncle, or aunt of a minor adoptee. This relationship may be by blood, adoption, or marriage. For an Indian child, birth relative includes members of the extended family as defined by the law or custom of the Indian child's tribe or, in the absence of laws or custom, nieces, nephews, or first or second cousins, as provided in the Indian Child Welfare Act, United States Code, title 25, section 1903. The court shall not enter a proposed order unless the terms of the order have been approved in writing by the prospective adoptive parents, a birth relative or foster parent who desires to be a party to the agreement, and, if the child is in the custody of or under the guardianship of an agency, a representative of the agency. A birth parent must approve in writing of an agreement between adoptive parents and any other birth relative or foster parent, unless an action has been filed against the birth parent by a county under chapter 260. An agreement under this section need not disclose the identity of the parties to be legally enforceable. The court shall not enter a proposed order unless the court finds that the communication or contact between the minor adoptee, the adoptive parents, and a birth relative as agreed upon and contained in the proposed order would be in the minor adoptee's best interests. The court shall mail a certified copy of the order to the parties to the agreement or their representatives at the addresses provided by the petitioners. Yes, but;
(a) An agreement regarding communication with or contact between minor adoptees, adoptive parents, and a birth relative is not legally enforceable unless the terms of the agreement are contained in a written court order entered in accordance with this section.
Mississippi
Miss. Code Ann. § 93-17
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Involvement of the Child? Rule Language Court's Role Legally Enforceable?
       
Missouri
Mo. Ann. Stat. § 453.080 (4)
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Involvement of the Child? Rule Language Court's Role Legally Enforceable?
  Before the completion of an adoption, the exchange of information among the parties shall be at the discretion of the parties. Upon completion of an adoption, further contact among the parties shall be at the discretion of the adoptive parents. The court shall not have jurisdiction to deny continuing contact between the adopted person and the birth parent, or an adoptive parent and a birth parent. Additionally, the court shall not have jurisdiction to deny an exchange of identifying information between an adoptive parent and a birth parent. No.
Montana
Mont. Code Ann. § 42-5-301
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Involvement of the Child? Rule Language Court's Role Legally Enforceable?
  (1) Except as otherwise provided in this title, a decree of adoption terminates any existing order or written or oral agreement for contact or communication between the adoptee and the birth parents or family.

(2) Any express written agreement entered into between the placing parent and the prospective adoptive parent after the execution of a relinquishment and consent to adoption is independent of the adoption proceedings, and any relinquishment and consent to adopt remains valid whether or not the agreement for contact or communication is later performed. Failure to perform an agreement is not grounds for setting aside an adoption decree.
(3) A court may order that an agreement for contact or communication entered into under this section may not be enforced upon a finding that:

(a) enforcement is detrimental to the child;

(b) enforcement undermines the adoptive parent's parental authority; or

(c) due to a change in circumstances, compliance with the agreement would be unduly burdensome to one or more of the parties.
Yes.
Nebraska
Neb. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 43-155; § 43-156; § 43-158 - 560; § 43-162; § 43-163
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Involvement of the Child? Rule Language Court's Role Legally Enforceable?
Child is to have an ad litem. The Legislature finds that there are children in temporary foster care situations who would benefit from the stability of adoption. It is the intent of the Legislature that such situations be accommodated through the use of adoptions involving exchange-of-information contracts between the department and the adoptive or biological parent or parents. Neb. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 43-155

(2) Exchange-of-information contract shall mean a two-year, renewable obligation, voluntarily agreed to and signed by both the adoptive and biological parent or parents as well as the department; Neb. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 43-156

The prospective adoptive parent or parents and the birth parent or parents of a prospective adoptee may enter into an agreement regarding communication or contact after the adoption between or among the prospective adoptee and his or her birth parent or parents if the prospective adoptee is in the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services. Neb. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 43-162

(1) Before approving an agreement under section 43-162, the court shall appoint a guardian ad litem if the prospective adoptee is not already represented by a guardian ad litem, and the guardian ad litem of the prospective adoptee shall represent the best interests of the child concerning such agreement. The court may enter an order approving the agreement upon motion of one of the prospective adoptee's birth parents or one of the prospective adoptive parents if the terms of the agreement are approved in writing by the prospective adoptive parent or parents and the birth parent or parents and if the court finds, after consideration of the recommendations of the guardian ad litem and the Department of Health and Human Services and other factors, that such communication with the birth parent or parents and the maintenance of birth family history would be in the best interests of the prospective adoptee. Neb. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 43-163
The department [The Department of Health and Human Services] may, when planning the placement of a child for adoption, determine whether the best interests of such child might be served by placing the child in an adoption involving exchange of information. Neb. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 43-157

When, after placement of a child for adoption, it is determined by the department, in consultation with the adoptive parent or parents, that certain or all exchanges of information are no longer in the best interests of the child, the department may enter into an agreement with the biological parent or parents to alter the original contract made between the department and the biological parent or parents. Neb. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 43-159

(2) In determining if the agreement is in the best interests of the prospective adoptee, the court shall consider the following factors as favoring communication with the birth parent or parents: Whether the prospective adoptee and birth parent or parents lived together for a substantial period of time; the prospective adoptee exhibits attachment or bonding to such birth parent or parents; and the adoption is a foster-parent adoption with the birth parent or parents having relinquished the prospective adoptee due to an inability to provide him or her with adequate parenting. Neb. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 43-163
Yes;
Nothing in sections 43-155 to 43-160 shall be interpreted to preclude or allow court-ordered parenting time, visitation, or other access with the child and the biological parent or parents. Neb. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 43-158

The existence of any agreement or agreements of the kind specified in section 43-158 shall not operate to impair the validity of any relinquishment or any decree of adoption entered by a court of the State of Nebraska. The violation of the terms of any agreement or agreements of the kind specified in section 43-158 shall not operate to impair the validity of any relinquishment or any decree of adoption entered by a court of competent jurisdiction. The parties to an exchange-of-information contract shall have the authority to bring suit in a court of competent jurisdiction for the enforcement of any agreement entered into pursuant to section 43-158. Neb. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 43-160

Any such agreement shall not be enforceable unless approved by the court pursuant to section 43-163. Neb. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 43-162
Nevada
Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 127.187; § 127.1875; § 127.188; § 127.1885
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Involvement of the Child? Rule Language Court's Role Legally Enforceable?
  1. The natural parent or parents and the prospective adoptive parent or parents of a child to be adopted may enter into an enforceable agreement that provides for post adoptive contact between:

(a) The child and his or her natural parent or parents; (b) The adoptive parent or parents and the natural parent or parents; or (c) Any combination thereof. Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 127.187.

1. Each prospective adoptive parent of a child to be adopted who enters into an agreement that provides for post adoptive contact pursuant to NRS 127.187 shall notify the court responsible for entering the order or decree of adoption of the child of the existence of the agreement as soon as practicable after the agreement is established, but not later than the time at which the court enters the order or decree of adoption of the child. Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 127.1875
2. An agreement that provides for post adoptive contact is enforceable if: (a) The agreement is in writing and signed by the parties; (b) The agreement is incorporated into an order or decree of adoption; and (c) In the case of an agreement that concerns a child who was in the custody of an agency which provides child welfare services before being adopted: (1) The agency which provides child welfare services has determined that the agreement is in the best interest of the child; or (2) The court has determined, after a hearing, that the agreement is in the best interest of the child. Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 127.187. 3. If the court determines that the prospective adoptive parent or parents and the natural parent or parents have entered into an agreement that provides for post adoptive contact, the court shall: (a) Order the prospective adoptive parent or parents to provide a copy of the agreement to the court; and (b) Incorporate the agreement into the order or decree of adoption. Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 127.188

1. A natural parent who has entered into an agreement that provides for post adoptive contact pursuant to NRS 127.187 may, for good cause shown: (a) Petition the court that entered the order or decree of adoption of the child to prove the existence of the agreement that provides for post adoptive contact and to request that the agreement be incorporated into the order or decree of adoption; and (b) During the period set forth in subsection 2 of NRS 127.189, petition the court that entered the order or decree of adoption of the child to enforce the terms of the agreement that provides for post adoptive contact if the agreement complies with the requirements of subsection 2 of NRS 127.187.

2. An adoptive parent who has entered into an agreement that provides for post adoptive contact pursuant to NRS 127.187 may: (a) During the period set forth in subsection 2 of NRS 127.189, petition the court that entered the order or decree of adoption of the child to enforce the terms of the agreement that provides for post adoptive contact if the agreement complies with the requirements of subsection 2 of NRS 127.187; and (b) Petition the court that entered the order or decree of adoption of the child to modify or terminate the agreement that provides for post adoptive contact in the manner set forth in NRS 127.1895. Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 127.1885
Yes;
6. A court that enters an order or decree of adoption which incorporates an agreement that provides for post adoptive contact shall retain jurisdiction to enforce, modify or terminate the agreement that provides for post adoptive contact until: (a) The child reaches 18 years of age; (b) The child becomes emancipated; or (c) The agreement is terminated. Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 127.187

1. An agreement that provides for post adoptive contact entered into pursuant to NRS 127.187 may only be modified or terminated by an adoptive parent petitioning the court that entered the order or decree which included the agreement. The court may grant a request to modify or terminate the agreement only if: (a) The adoptive parent petitioning the court for the modification or termination establishes that: (1) A change in circumstances warrants the modification or termination; and (2) The contact provided for in the agreement is no longer in the best interests of the child; or (b) Each party to the agreement consents to the modification or termination.

2. If an adoptive parent petitions the court for a modification or termination of an agreement pursuant to this section: (a) There is a presumption that the modification or termination is in the best interests of the child; and (b) The court may consider the wishes of the child involved in the agreement.

3. Any order issued pursuant to this section to modify an agreement that provides post adoptive contact: (a) May limit, restrict, condition or decrease contact between the parties involved in the agreement; and (b) May not expand or increase the contact between the parties involved in the agreement or place any new obligation on an adoptive parent. Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 127.1895
New Hampshire
N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 170-B:14
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Involvement of the Child? Rule Language Court's Role Legally Enforceable?
Written consent of child age 14 or older. I. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as encouraging, discouraging, or prohibiting arrangements or understandings reached between the prospective adoptive parents, the birth parents, or the licensed child-placing agency with respect to the post-surrender exchange of identifying or non-identifying information, communication, or contact.

II. The purpose of this paragraph is to facilitate the timely achievement of permanency for children who are in the custody or guardianship of the department by providing an option for the parties to enter into a voluntarily mediated agreement for ongoing communication or contact that is in the best interests of the child, that recognizes the parties' interests and desires for ongoing communi
(d) The court shall approve the voluntarily mediated agreement if the court determines that:

(1) The agreement is in the best interests of the child. In making this determination, factors that the court may consider include: (A) The length of time that the child has been under the actual care, custody, and control of any person other than a birth parent and the circumstances relating thereto. (B) The desires of the child's birth parents as to custody or residency and the desire of the child as to the child's custody or residency. (C) The interaction and interrelationship of the child with birth parents, siblings, and any other person who may significantly affect the child's best interests. (D) The adjustment to the child's home, school, and community. (E) The willingness and ability of the birth parents to respect and appreciate the bond between the child and the prospective adoptive parents. (F) The willingness and ability of the prospective adoptive parents to respect and appreciate the bond between the child and the birth parents. (G) Any evidence of abuse or neglect of the child. (H) The recommendations of any guardian ad litem.

(2) The agreement has been entered into knowingly and voluntarily by all parties. An affidavit made under oath shall accompany the agreement affirmatively stating that the agreement was entered into knowingly and voluntarily and is not the product of coercion, fraud, or duress. The affidavit may be executed jointly or separately.
Yes; j) Nothing contained in RSA 170-B:14, II shall be construed so as to abrogate the rights of the adoptive parents to make decisions on behalf of the child, except as provided in the court-approved voluntarily mediated agreement.
New Jersey
NJ Directives Dir. 17-17
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Involvement of the Child? Rule Language Court's Role Legally Enforceable?
N/A N/A N/A N/A
New Mexico
N.M. Stat. Ann. § 32A-5-35
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Involvement of the Child? Rule Language Court's Role Legally Enforceable?
A child over 14 years of age shall have their wishes considered but those wishes will not control the court’s decision. A. The parents of the adoptee and the petitioner may agree to contact between the parents and the petitioner or contact between the adoptee and one or more of the parents or contact between the adoptee and relatives of the parents. An agreement shall, absent a finding to the contrary, be presumed to be in the best interests of the child and shall be included in the decree of adoption. The agreement may also include contact between siblings and the adoptee based on a finding that it is in the best interests of the adoptee and the adoptee's siblings and a determination that the siblings' parent, guardian or custodian has consented to the agreement. The contact may include exchange of identifying or non-identifying information or visitation between the parents or the parents' relatives or the adoptee's siblings and the petitioner or visitation between the parents or the parents' relatives or the adoptee's siblings and the adoptee. An agreement entered into pursuant to this section shall be considered an open adoption. B. The court may appoint a guardian ad litem for the adoptee. The court shall adopt a presumption in favor of appointing a guardian ad litem for the adoptee when visitation between the biological family and the adoptee is included in an agreement; however, this requirement may be waived by the court for good cause shown.

C. In determining whether the agreement is in the adoptee's best interests, the court shall consider the adoptee's wishes, but the wishes of the adoptee shall not control the court's findings as to the best interests of the adoptee.

D. Every agreement entered into pursuant to provisions of this section shall contain a clause stating that the parties agree to the continuing jurisdiction of the court and to the agreement and understand and intend that any disagreement or litigation regarding the terms of the agreement shall not affect the validity of the relinquishment of parental rights, the adoption or the custody of the adoptee.
Yes; E. The court shall retain jurisdiction after the decree of adoption is entered, if the decree contains an agreement for contact, for the purpose of hearing motions brought to enforce or modify an agreement entered into pursuant to the provisions of this section. The court shall not grant a request to modify the agreement unless the moving party establishes that there has been a change of circumstances and the agreement is no longer in the adoptee's best interests.
New York
N.Y. Dom. Rel. Law § 112-b (McKinney)
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Involvement of the Child? Rule Language Court's Role Legally Enforceable?
If any such sibling or half-sibling is fourteen years of age or older, such terms and conditions shall not be enforceable unless such sibling or half-sibling consents to the agreement in writing.
N.Y. Soc. Serv. Law § 383-c (McKinney)
1. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit the parties to a proceeding under this chapter from entering into an agreement regarding communication with or contact between an adoptive child, adoptive parent or parents and a birth parent or parents and/or the adoptive child's biological siblings or half-siblings. N.Y. Dom. Rel. Law § 112-b (McKinney)

(b) If a surrender instrument designates a particular person or persons who will adopt a child, such person or persons, the child's birth parent or parents, the authorized agency having care and custody of the child and the child's attorney, may enter into a written agreement providing for communication or contact between the child and the child's parent or parents on such terms and conditions as may be agreed to by the parties. If a surrender instrument does not designate a particular person or persons who will adopt the child, then the child's birth parent or parents, the authorized agency having care and custody of the child and the child's attorney may enter into a written agreement providing for communication or contact, on such terms and conditions as may be agreed to by the parties. Such agreement also may provide terms and conditions for communication with or contact between the child and the child's biological siblings or half-siblings, if any…
N.Y. Soc. Serv. Law § 383-c (McKinney)
The court shall not incorporate an agreement regarding communication or contact into an order unless the terms and conditions of the agreement have been set forth in writing and consented to in writing by the parties to the agreement, including the attorney representing the adoptive child. The court shall not enter a proposed order unless the court that approved the surrender of the child determined and stated in its order that the communication with or contact between the adoptive child, the prospective adoptive parent or parents and a birth parent or parents and/or biological siblings or half-siblings, as agreed upon and as set forth in the agreement, would be in the adoptive child's best interests. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a copy of the order entered pursuant to this section incorporating the post-adoption contact agreement shall be given to all parties who have agreed to the terms and conditions of such order.

3. Failure to comply with the terms and conditions of an approved order regarding communication or contact that has been entered by the court pursuant to this section shall not be grounds for setting aside an adoption decree or revocation of written consent to an adoption after that consent has been approved by the court as provided in this section. N.Y. Dom. Rel. Law § 112-b (McKinney).

If the court before which the surrender instrument is presented for approval determines that the agreement concerning communication and contact is in the child's best interests, the court shall approve the agreement. If the court does not approve the agreement, the court may nonetheless approve the surrender; provided, however, that the birth parent or parents executing the surrender instrument shall be given the opportunity at that time to withdraw such instrument. Enforcement of any agreement prior to the adoption of the child shall be in accordance with subdivision (b) of section one thousand fifty-five-a of the family court act. Subsequent to the adoption of the child, enforcement of any agreement shall be in accordance with section one hundred twelve-b of the domestic relations law. N.Y. Soc. Serv. Law § 383-c (McKinney)

(b) If an agreement for continuing contact and communication pursuant to paragraph (b) of subdivision two of section three hundred eighty-three-c of the social services law is approved by the court, and the child who is the subject of the approved agreement has not yet been adopted, any party to the approved agreement may file a petition with the family court in the county where the agreement was approved to enforce such agreement. A copy of the approved agreement shall be annexed to such petition. The court shall enter an order enforcing communication or contact pursuant to the terms and conditions of the agreement unless the court finds that enforcement would not be in the best interests of the child. N.Y. Fam. Ct. Act § 1055-a (McKinney)
Yes, if;
the terms of the agreement are incorporated into a written court order entered in accordance with the provisions of this section. N.Y. Dom. Rel. Law § 112-b (McKinney)

Yes; N.Y. Soc. Serv. Law § 383-c (McKinney)
North Carolina
N.C. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 48-3-610
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Involvement of the Child? Rule Language Court's Role Legally Enforceable?
  If a person executing a consent and the prospective adoptive parent or parents enter into an agreement regarding visitation, communication, support, and any other rights and duties with respect to the minor, this agreement shall not be a condition precedent to the consent itself, failure to perform shall not invalidate a consent already given, and the agreement itself shall not be enforceable. N/A No.
North Dakota
Revised Uniform Adoption Act
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Involvement of the Child? Rule Language Court's Role Legally Enforceable?
  N/A N/A N/A
Ohio
Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 3107.65; Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 3107.63
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Involvement of the Child? Rule Language Court's Role Legally Enforceable?
  (A) No open adoption shall do any of the following: (1) Provide for the birth parent to share with the prospective adoptive parent parental control and authority over the child placed for adoption or in any manner limit the adoptive parent's full parental control and authority over the adopted child; (2) Deny the adoptive parent or child access to forms pertaining to the social or medical histories of the birth parent if the adoptive parent or child is entitled to them under section 3107.17 of the Revised Code; (3) Deny the adoptive parent or child access to a copy of the contents of the child's adoption file if the adoptive parent or child is entitled to them under section 3107.47 of the Revised Code; (4) Deny the adoptive parent, child, birth parent, birth sibling, or other relative access to nonidentifying information that is accessible pursuant to section 3107.66 of the Revised Code or to materials, photographs, or information that is accessible pursuant to section 3107.68 of the Revised Code; (5) Provide for the open adoption to be binding or enforceable. Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 3107.65

(A) A birth parent who voluntarily chooses to have the birth parent's child placed for adoption may request that the agency or attorney arranging the child's adoptive placement provide for the birth parent and prospective adoptive parent to enter into an open adoption with terms acceptable to the birth parent and prospective adoptive parent. Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 3107.63
At the request of a person who has withdrawn from an open adoption, the court with jurisdiction over the adoption shall issue an order barring any other person who was a party to the open adoption from taking any action pursuant to the open adoption. Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 3107.65 No; An open adoption is not enforceable. Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 3107.65
Oklahoma
Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 10, § 7505-1.5
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Involvement of the Child? Rule Language Court's Role Legally Enforceable?
  A. If a child has resided with a birth relative before being adopted, the adoptive parents and that birth relative may enter into an agreement pursuant to the provisions of this section regarding communication with, visitation of or contact between the child, adoptive parents and the birth relative after or during pendency of the adoption proceedings.

B. For purposes of this section, “birth relative” means a parent, stepparent, grandparent, great grandparent, brother, sister, uncle or aunt of a minor adoptee. This relationship may be by blood or marriage. For an Indian child, birth relative includes members of the extended family as defined by the laws or customs of the Indian child's tribe or, in the absence of laws or customs, shall be a person who is eighteen (18) years of age or older and who is the Indian child's great-grandparent, grandparent, aunt or uncle, brother or sister, brother-in-law or sister-in-law, niece, nephew, first or second cousins, or stepparent, as provided in the Indian Child Welfare Act, United States Code, Title 25, Section 1903.
c3. The court shall not enter a proposed order unless the terms of the order have been approved in writing by the prospective adoptive parents, and the birth relative who desires to be a party to the agreement.

D. The court shall not enter a proposed order unless the court finds that the communication, visitation or contact between the child, the adoptive parents and the birth relative as agreed upon and contained in the proposed order would be in the child's best interests and poses no threat to the safety of the child or integrity of the adoptive placement.

F. 1. An agreed order entered pursuant to the provisions of this section may be enforced or modified by filing a petition or motion with the court that includes a certified copy of the order granting the communication, contact or visitation, but only if the petition or motion is accompanied by an affidavit with supporting documentation that the parties have mediated or attempted to mediate any dispute under the agreement or that the parties agree to a proposed modification.

2. The prevailing party may be awarded reasonable attorney fees and costs.

3. The court shall not modify an agreed order pursuant to this section unless it finds that the modification is necessary to serve the best interests of the child, and: a. the modification is agreed to by the adoptive parent and the birth relative, or b. exceptional circumstances have arisen since the agreed order was entered that justify modification of the order.
Yes but only if;
C. 1. An agreement regarding communication with, visitation of or contact between the child, adoptive parents and a birth relative is not legally enforceable unless the terms of the agreement are contained in a written court order entered in accordance with this section.
Oregon
Or. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 109.305 (West)
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Involvement of the Child? Rule Language Court's Role Legally Enforceable?
  (2) An adoptive parent and a birth parent may enter into a written agreement, approved by the court, to permit continuing contact between the birth relatives and the child or adoptive parents. (8)(a) An agreement made under this section may be enforced by a civil action. However, before a court may enter an order requiring compliance with the agreement, the court must find that the party seeking enforcement participated, or attempted to participate, in good faith in mediating the dispute giving rise to the action prior to filing the civil action.

(b) The court may modify an agreement made under this section if the court finds that the modification is necessary to serve the best interests of the adopted child, that the party seeking modification participated, or attempted to participate, in good faith in mediation prior to seeking modification of the agreement and that:

(A) The modification is agreed to by all parties to the original agreement; or

(B) Exceptional circumstances have arisen since the parties entered into the agreement that justify modification of the agreement.
Yes.
Pennsylvania
23 Pa. Stat. and Cons. Stat. Ann. § 2731 - § 2735; § 2737 - §2739
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Involvement of the Child? Rule Language Court's Role Legally Enforceable?
If the child is 12 years of age or older, an agreement made under this subchapter may not be entered into without the child's consent.
23 Pa. Stat. and Cons. Stat. Ann. § 2734
The purpose of this subchapter is to provide an option for adoptive parents and birth relatives to enter into a voluntary agreement for ongoing communication or contact that:

(1) is in the best interest of the child;

(2) recognizes the parties' interests and desires for ongoing communication or contact;

(3) is appropriate given the role of the parties in the child's life; and

(4) is subject to approval by the courts. 23 Pa. Stat. and Cons. Stat. Ann. § 2731

“Birth relative.” A parent, grandparent, stepparent, sibling, uncle or aunt of the child's birth family, whether the relationship is by blood, marriage or adoption. “Child.” An individual who is under 18 years of age. 23 Pa. Stat. and Cons. Stat. Ann. § 2732).

(a) Prospective adoptive parents and birth relatives.--A prospective adoptive parent of a child may enter into an agreement with a birth relative of the child to permit continuing contact or communication between the child and the birth relative or between the adoptive parent and the birth relative. 23 Pa. Stat. and Cons. Stat. Ann. § 2733
(a) General rule.--An agreement shall be filed with the court that finalizes the adoption of the child. (b) Conditions for approval.--The court shall approve the agreement if the court determines that: (1) The agreement has been entered into knowingly and voluntarily by all parties. An affidavit made under oath must accompany the agreement affirmatively stating that the agreement was entered into knowingly and voluntarily and is not the product of coercion, fraud or duress. The affidavit may be executed jointly or separately. (2) The agreement is in the best interest of the child. In making that determination, factors that the court may consider include, but are not limited to, the following: (i) The length of time that the child has been under actual care, custody and control of a person other than a birth parent and the circumstances relating thereto. (ii) The interaction and interrelationship of the child with birth relatives and other persons who routinely interact with the birth relatives and may significantly affect the child's best interests. (iii) The adjustment to the child's home, school and community. (iv) The willingness and ability of the birth relative to respect and appreciate the bond between the child and prospective adoptive parent. (v) The willingness and ability of the prospective adoptive parent to respect and appreciate the bond between the child and the birth relative. (vi) Any evidence of abuse or neglect of the child. 23 Pa. Stat. and Cons. Stat. Ann. § 2735

(a) General rule.--Only the adoptive parent or a child who is 12 years of age or older may seek to modify an agreement by filing an action in the court that finalized the adoption. (b) Standard for modification.--Before the court may enter an order modifying the agreement, it must find by clear and convincing evidence that modification serves the needs, welfare and best interest of the child. 23 Pa. Stat. and Cons. Stat. Ann. § 2737

(a) General rule.--A party to an agreement or a child that is at least 12 years of age or older may seek to discontinue an agreement by filing an action in the court that finalized the adoption. (b) Standard for discontinuation.--Before the court may enter an order discontinuing an agreement, it must find by clear and convincing evidence that discontinuance serves the needs, welfare and best interest of the child. 23 Pa. Stat. and Cons. Stat. Ann. § 2739
Yes, but; (c) Legal effect.--An agreement shall not be legally enforceable unless approved by the court. 23 Pa. Stat. and Cons. Stat. Ann. § 2735

(a) General rule.--Any party to an agreement, a sibling or a child who is the subject of an agreement may seek to enforce an agreement by filing an action in the court that finalized the adoption.

(b) Remedies.--Any party to an agreement, a sibling or a child who is the subject of an agreement may request only specific performance in seeking to enforce an agreement and may not request monetary damages or modification of an agreement.

(c) Requirements.--For an agreement to be enforceable, it must be: (1) In writing. (2) Approved by the court on or before the date for any adoption decree. (3) If the child is 12 years of age or older when the agreement is executed, the child must consent to the agreement…

(d) Prerequisites.--Before the court may enter an order enforcing an agreement, it must find all of the following: (1) The party seeking enforcement of the agreement is in substantial compliance with the agreement. (2) By clear and convincing evidence, enforcement serves the needs, welfare and best interest of the child. 23 Pa. Stat. and Cons. Stat. Ann. § 2738
Puerto Rico
31 L.P.R.A. § 531-539
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Involvement of the Child? Rule Language Court's Role Legally Enforceable?
  N/A N/A N/A
Rhode Island
15 R.I. Gen. Laws Ann. § 15-7-14.1;
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Involvement of the Child? Rule Language Court's Role Legally Enforceable?
(b)(5) (5) Consent to the post-adoption privileges is obtained from the child, if the child is at least twelve (12) years of age; l (a) At the time an adoption decree is entered, the court entering the decree may grant post-adoption visitation, contact and/or conveyance of information privileges (subsequently referred to as “Post-adoption privileges”) under subsection (b) of this section to a birth parent who:

(1) has consented to an adoption or voluntarily terminated the parent-child relationship; or,

(2) Has had his or her parental rights involuntarily terminated pursuant to section 15-7-7(2) (i), (iii), (iv), or (vii) and has properly filed a timely appeal of the termination which is pending and the child was not in a pre-adoptive home prior to the granting of the termination of parental rights petition by the family court.
(b) A court may grant post-adoption privileges if: (1) The court determines that the best interests of the child would be served by granting post-adoption privileges; (2) The court finds there is a significant emotional attachment between the child and the birth parent; (3) The adoptive parents and the birth parents jointly negotiate and execute a post-adoption privileges agreement which is approved by and filed with the family court; (4) The department of children, youth and families and the child's court appointed special advocate or the guardian ad litem, if one has been appointed pursuant to § 40-11-12, recommends that the post-adoption privileges agreement be approved by the court; or if the adoption petition is being sponsored by a licensed child placing agency other than the department of children, youth, and families, the licensed child placing agency sponsoring the adoption makes a recommendation that the post-adoption privileges agreement be approved by the court. (5); and (6) The post-adoption privileges agreement is approved by the court.

(c) A post-adoption privileges agreement filed under subdivision (b)(4) of this section must contain the following provisions: (1) An acknowledgement by the birth parents that the adoption is irrevocable, even if the adoptive parents do not abide by the post-adoption privileges agreement. (2) An acknowledgement by the adoptive parents that the agreement grants the birth parents the right to seek to enforce the post-adoption privileges set forth in the agreement.

(d) A birth parent or an adoptive parent may file a petition with the court entering the adoption decree for the following purposes: (1) To modify the post-adoption privileges agreement; (2) To compel a birth parent or adoptive parent to comply with the post-adoption privileges agreement;

(e) The court may not award monetary damages as a result of the filing of a petition under subsection (d).

(f) The court may void or modify a post-adoption privileges agreement approved under this section at any time before or after the adoption if the court determines after a hearing that the best interests of the child require the voiding or modification of the agreement. Before the court: (1) Voids or modifies an agreement, or (2) Hears a motion to compel compliance with an agreement approved under this section, the court shall give notice and an opportunity to be heard to the licensed, child placement agency that sponsored the adoption and to the child's court appointed special advocate (CASA) or court appointed guardian ad litem if one had been appointed prior to the finalization of adoption.
Yes but;
(g) A court may not revoke a decree of adoption because a birth parent or an adoptive parent fails to comply with a post-adoption privileges agreement approved by the court under this section.
South Carolina
S.C. Code Ann. § 63-9-760
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Involvement of the Child? Rule Language Court's Role Legally Enforceable?
  (D) The validity of the final decree of adoption is not affected by an agreement entered into before the adoption between adoptive parents and biological parents concerning visitation, exchange of information, or other interaction between the child and any other person. Such an agreement does not preserve any parental rights with the biological parents and does not give to them any rights enforceable in the courts of this State. S.C. Code Ann. § 63-9-760 N/A N/A
South Dakota
S.D. Codified Laws § 25-6-17
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Involvement of the Child? Rule Language Court's Role Legally Enforceable?
  The natural parents of an adopted child shall retain no rights or privileges to have visitation or other post-adoption contact with the child, except in cases where a natural parent consents to the adoption of a child by the child's stepfather or stepmother who is the present spouse of the natural parent or in cases of voluntary termination where there is a written pre-adoption agreement between the natural parent or parents and the adoptive parents.

The South Dakota Supreme Court decision, People in Interest of S.A.H., 537 N.W.2d 1 (S.D. 1995), is abrogated by the South Dakota Legislature in so far as the case gave circuit courts the option to order an open adoption or post-termination visitation. Post-adoption visitation is an extraordinary remedy and may be exercised only by the adoptive parents when in the child's best interests.
N/A N/A; Post-adoption visitation is an extraordinary remedy and may be exercised only by the adoptive parents when in the child's best interests.
Tennessee
Tenn. Code Ann. § 36-1-121
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Involvement of the Child? Rule Language Court's Role Legally Enforceable?
  (f) The adoptive parents of a child shall not be required by any order of the adoption court to permit visitation by any other person, nor shall the order of the adoption court place any conditions on the adoption of the child by the adoptive parents. Any provision in an order of the court or in any written agreement or contract between the parent or guardian of the child and the adoptive parents requiring visitation or otherwise placing any conditions on the adoption shall be void and of no effect whatsoever; provided, that nothing under this part shall be construed to prohibit “open adoptions” where the adoptive parents permit, in their sole discretion, the parent or guardian of the child who surrendered the child or whose rights to the child were otherwise terminated, or the siblings or other persons related to the adopted child, to visit or otherwise continue or maintain a relationship with the adopted child; and provided further, that the permission or agreement to permit visitation or contact shall not, in any manner whatsoever, establish any enforceable rights in the parent or guardian, the siblings or other related persons. No.
Texas
Tex. Fam. Code Ann. § 161.2061; § 161.2062
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These statutes only apply to child protective service cases. Once an adoption is granted by the court the child’s biological family will no longer have court ordered access.
Involvement of the Child? Rule Language Court's Role Legally Enforceable?
  (a) If the court finds it to be in the best interest of the child….and on agreement of the parent and the Department of Family and Protectives Services

(b) The order of termination may include terms that allow the biological parent to:

(1) receive specified information regarding the child;

(2) provide written communications to the child; and

(3) have limited access to the child. Tex. Fam. Code Ann. § 161.2061

(a) An order terminating the parent-child relationship may not require that a subsequent adoption order include terms regarding limited post-termination contact between the child and a biological parent. Tex. Fam. Code Ann. § 161.2062
(a) If the court finds it to be in the best interest of the child, the court may provide in an order terminating the parent-child relationship that the biological parent who filed an affidavit of voluntary relinquishment of parental rights under Section 161.103 shall have limited post-termination contact with the child as provided by Subsection (b) on the agreement of the biological parent and the Department of Family and Protective Services. Tex. Fam. Code Ann. § 161.2061 Yes, but;(c) The terms of an order of termination regarding limited post-termination contact may be enforced only if the party seeking enforcement pleads and proves that, before filing the motion for enforcement, the party attempted in good faith to resolve the disputed matters through mediation.

(d) The terms of an order of termination under this section are not enforceable by contempt.

(e) The terms of an order of termination regarding limited post-termination contact may not be modified.

(f) An order under this section does not: (1) affect the finality of a termination order; or (2) grant standing to a parent whose parental rights have been terminated to file any action under this title other than a motion to enforce the terms regarding limited post-termination contact until the court renders a subsequent adoption order with respect to the child.
Tex. Fam. Code Ann. § 161.2061 (West)
Utah
Utah Code Ann. § 78B-6-146
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Involvement of the Child? Rule Language Court's Role Legally Enforceable?
(c) If the adopted child is 12 years old or older, approved by the child. 1(a) “Postadoption contact agreement” means a document, agreed upon prior to the finalization of an adoption of a child in the custody of the division, that outlines the relationship between an adoptive parent, birth parent, or other birth relative, and an adopted child after the finalization of adoption. 1(b) “Other birth relative” means a grandparent, stepparent, sibling, stepsibling, aunt, or uncle of the prospective adoptive child. (4) A postadoption contact agreement shall:

4(a) describe: (i) visits, if any, that shall take place between the birth parent, other birth relative, adoptive parent, and adopted child; (ii) the degree of supervision, if any, that shall be required during a visit between a birth parent, other birth relative, and adopted child; (iii) the information, if any, that shall be provided to a birth parent, or other birth relative, about the adopted child and how often that information shall be provided; (iv) the grounds, if any, on which the adoptive parent may: (A) decline to permit visits, described in Subsection (4)(a)(i), between the birth parent, or other birth relative, and adopted child; or (B) cease providing the information described in Subsection (4)(a)(iii) to the birth parent or other birth relative; and 4(b) state that following the adoption, the court shall presume that the adoptive parent's judgment about the best interest of the child is correct in any action seeking to enforce, modify, or terminate the agreement.
(7) In an action seeking enforcement of a postadoption contact agreement: (a) an adoptive parent's judgment about the best interest of the child is entitled to a presumption of correctness;

(b) if the party seeking to enforce the postadoption contact agreement successfully rebuts the presumption described in Subsection (7)(a), the court shall consider whether: (i) the parties performed the duties outlined in the open adoption agreement in good faith; (ii) there is a reasonable alternative that fulfills the spirit of the open adoption agreement without ordering mandatory compliance with the open adoption agreement; and (iii) enforcement of the open adoption agreement is in the best interest of the adopted child; and

(c) the court shall order the parties to attend mediation, if the presumption in Subsection (7)(a) is successfully rebutted and mediation is in the child's best interest.

(12) The court that approves a postadoption contact agreement retains jurisdiction over modification, termination, and enforcement of an approved postadoption contact agreement.
Yes, if; (3) In order to be legally enforceable, a postadoption contact agreement shall be:

(a) approved by the court before the finalization of the adoption, with the court making a specific finding that the agreement is in the best interest of the child;

(b) signed by each party claiming a right or obligation in the agreement; and

(c) if the adopted child is 12 years old or older, approved by the child.
Vermont
Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 33, § 5124; Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 15A, § 4-112
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Involvement of the Child? Rule Language Court's Role Legally Enforceable?
(C) an agreement to the postadoption contact or communication from the child to be adopted, if he or she is 14 years of age or older; (a) Either or both parents and each intended adoptive parent may enter into a postadoption contact agreement regarding communication or contact between either or both parents and the child after the finalization of an adoption by the intended adoptive parent or parents who are parties to the agreement. Such an agreement may be entered into if: (1) the child is in the custody of: (A) the Department for Children and Families; or (B) a nonparent pursuant to subdivision 5318(a)(2) or (a)(7), or subdivision 5232(b)(2) or (b)(3) of this title; (2) an order terminating parental rights has not yet been entered; and (3) either or both parents agree to a voluntary termination of parental rights, including an agreement in a case which began as an involuntary termination of parental rights. Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 33, § 5124

(a) Upon the request of the petitioner, the petitioner's spouse, the adoptee's other parent or a relative of the adoptee, the court shall review a written agreement that permits another person to visit or communicate with the minor after the decree of adoption becomes final. The agreement shall be signed by the person, the petitioner, the petitioner's spouse, the minor if 14 years of age or older, and, if an agency placed the minor for adoption, an authorized employee of the agency. Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 15A, § 4-112
b) The court shall approve the postadoption contact agreement if: (1)(A) it determines that the child's best interests will be served by postadoption communication or contact with either or both parents; and (B) in making a best interests determination, it may consider: (i) the age of the child; (ii) the length of time that the child has been under the actual care, custody, and control of a person other than a parent; (iii) the desires of the child, the child's parents; and the child's intended adoptive parents; (iv) the child's relationship with and the interrelationships between the child's parents, the child's intended adoptive parents, the child's siblings, and any other person with a significant relationship with the child; (v) the willingness of the parents to respect the bond between the child and the child's intended adoptive parents; (vi) the willingness of the intended adoptive parents to respect the bond between the child and the parents; (vii) the adjustment to the child's home, school, and community; (viii) any evidence of abuse or neglect of the child; (ix) the recommendation of any guardian ad litem; (x) the recommendation of a therapist or mental health care provider working directly with the child; and (xi) the recommendation of the Department; (2) it has reviewed and made each of the following a part of the court record: (A) a sworn affidavit by the parties to the agreement which affirmatively states that the agreement was entered into knowingly and voluntarily and is not the product of coercion, fraud, or duress and that the parties have not relied on any representations other than those contained in the agreement; (B) a written acknowledgment by each parent that the termination of parental rights is irrevocable, even if the intended adoption is not finalized, the adoptive parents do not abide by the postadoption contact agreement, or the adoption is later dissolved; (C); and (D) an agreement to the postadoption contact or communication in writing from the Department, the guardian ad litem, and the attorney for the child. Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 33, § 5124.

(b) The court may enter an order approving the agreement only upon determining that the agreement is in the best interest of the minor adoptee. (c) In addition to any agreement approved pursuant to subsections (a) and (b) of this section, the court may approve the continuation of an existing order or issue a new order permitting the minor adoptee's former parent, grandparent, or sibling to visit or communicate with the minor if: (1) the grandparent is the parent of a deceased parent of the minor or the parent of the adoptee's parent whose parental relationship to the minor is terminated by the decree of adoption; (2) the former parent, grandparent, or sibling requests that an existing order be permitted to survive the decree of adoption or that a new order be issued; and (3) the court determines that the requested visitation or communication is in the best interest of the minor. (d) In making a determination under subdivision (c)(3) of this section, the court shall consider the factors listed in subsection (b) and any objections to the requested order by the adoptive stepparent and the stepparent's spouse. Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 15A, § 4-112
Yes. Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 33, § 5124
(e) An order issued under this section may be enforced in a civil action only if the court finds that enforcement is in the best interest of a minor adoptee. Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 15A, § 4-112
Virgin Islands
16 V.I.C. § 141 - 147
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Virginia
Va. Code Ann. § 63.2-1220.2; § 63.2-1220.3; § 63.2-1220.4; Va. Code Ann. § 16.1-283.1
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Involvement of the Child? Rule Language Court's Role Legally Enforceable?
(A)4: Where the child is 14 years of age or older, consent to the post-adoption contact and communication agreement is obtained from the child Va. Code Ann. § 63.2-1220.3 A. In any proceeding for adoption pursuant to this chapter, the birth parent(s) and the adoptive parent(s) of a child may enter into a written post-adoption contact and communication agreement. A post-adoption contact and communication agreement may include, but is not limited to, provisions related to contact and communication between the child, the birth parent(s), and the adoptive parent(s) and provisions for the sharing of information about the child, including sharing of photographs of the child and information about the child's education, health, and welfare.

B. Any post-adoption contact and communication agreement entered into by the birth parent(s) and the adoptive parent(s) of a child shall include acknowledgment by the birth parent(s) that the adoption of the child is irrevocable, even if the adoptive parent(s) do not abide by the post-adoption contact and communication agreement, and acknowledgment by the adoptive parent(s) that the agreement grants the birth parent(s) the right to seek to enforce the post-adoption contact and communication provisions set forth in the agreement. The petitioner for adoption shall file such agreement with other documents filed in the circuit court having jurisdiction over the child's adoption. Va. Code Ann. § 63.2-1220.2

A. In any case in which a child has been placed in foster care as a result of court commitment, an entrustment agreement entered into by the parent or parents, or other voluntary relinquishment by the parent or parents, or in which the parent or parents have voluntarily consented to the adoption of the child, the child's birth parent or parents may enter into a written post-adoption contact and communication agreement with the pre-adoptive parent or parents as provided in Article 1.1 (§ 63.2-1220.2 et seq.) of Chapter 12 of Title 63.2. Va. Code Ann. § 16.1-283.1
A. The circuit court may approve a post-adoption contact and communication agreement authorized pursuant to § 16.1-283.1 or entered into pursuant to this article and filed with the court for a petition for adoption if: 1. The court determines that the child's best interest would be served by approving the post-adoption contact and communication agreement; 2. The adoptive parent or parents and birth parent or parents have consented to a post-adoption contact and communication agreement filed with the court; 3. The agency authorized to place the child for adoption and to consent to an adoption or authorized to recommend the placement of a child for adoption and the child's guardian ad litem have recommended that the post-adoption contact and communication agreement be approved as being in the best interest of the child, or, if there is no agency sponsoring the adoption, the agency that prepared the adoption report has been informed of the post-adoption contact and communication agreement and has recommended in the agency's report to the circuit court that the post-adoption contact and communication agreement be approved; however, in cases in which no child placing agency or guardian ad litem for the child is involved, this requirement may be waived; and 4. Va. Code Ann. § 63.2-1220.3.

A. Unless otherwise stated in the final order of adoption, the circuit court of the jurisdiction in which the final order of adoption was entered shall retain jurisdiction to modify or enforce the terms of a post-adoption contact and communication agreement entered into pursuant to this article. B. A birth parent or parents or adoptive parent or parents who have executed a post-adoption contact and communication agreement as described in this article may file a petition with the circuit court of the jurisdiction in which the final order of adoption was entered: 1. To modify the post-adoption contact and communication agreement; and 2. To compel a birth or adoptive parent to comply with the post-adoption contact and communication agreement. The court may not award monetary damages as a result of the filing of a petition for modification of or compliance with the agreement. The court may modify the agreement at any time before or after the adoption if the court, after notice and opportunity to be heard by the birth parent or parents and the adoptive parent or parents, determines that the child's best interest requires the modification of the agreement. Before the court modifies an agreement or hears a motion to compel compliance, the court may appoint a guardian ad litem to represent the child's best interest. C. The circuit court shall not grant a request to modify the terms of a post-adoption contact and communication agreement unless the moving party establishes that there has been a change of circumstances and the agreement is no longer in the child's best interest; provided, however, that no modification shall affect the irrevocability of the adoption. Va. Code Ann. § 63.2-1220.4

B. The court may consider the appropriateness of a written post-adoption contact and communication agreement entered into pursuant to subsection A and in accordance with Article 1.1 (§ 63.2-1220.2 et seq.) of Chapter 12 of Title 63.2 at the permanency planning hearing pursuant to § 16.1-282.1 and, if the court finds that all of the requirements of subsection A and Article 1.1 (§ 63.2-1220.2 et seq.) of Chapter 12 of Title 63.2 have been met, shall incorporate the written post-adoption contact and communication agreement into an order entered at the conclusion of such hearing. Va. Code Ann. § 16.1-283.1
Yes but; B. To be enforceable, any agreement under this section shall be approved by the circuit court and incorporated into the final order of adoption. Va. Code Ann. § 63.2-1220.3
Washington
Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 26.33.295; § 26.33.420; § 26.33.430
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Involvement of the Child? Rule Language Court's Role Legally Enforceable?
  The legislature finds that the importance of children's relationships with their siblings is well recognized in law and science. The bonds between siblings are often irreplaceable, leading some experts to believe that sibling relationships can be longer lasting and more influential than any other over a person's lifetime. For children who have been removed from home due to abuse or neglect, these bonds are often much stronger because siblings have learned early the importance of depending on one another and cooperating in order to cope with their common problems. The legislature further finds that when children are in the foster care system they typically have some degree of contact or visitation with their siblings even when they are not living together. The legislature finds, however, that when one or more of the siblings is adopted from foster care, these relationships may be severed completely if an open adoption agreement fails to attend to the needs of the siblings for continuing postadoption contact. The legislature intends to promote a greater focus, in permanency planning and adoption proceedings, on the interests of siblings separated by adoptive placements and to encourage the inclusion in adoption agreements of provisions to support ongoing postadoption contact between siblings.
Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 26.33.420
(2) The court shall not enter a proposed order unless the terms of such order have been approved in writing by the prospective adoptive parents, any birth parent whose parental rights have not previously been terminated, and, if the child or siblings of the child are in the custody of the department or a licensed child-placing agency, a representative of the department or child-placing agency. If the child is represented by an attorney or guardian ad litem in a proceeding under this chapter or in any other child-custody proceeding, the terms of the proposed order also must be approved in writing by the child's representative. An agreement under this section need not disclose the identity of the parties to be legally enforceable. The court shall not enter a proposed order unless the court finds that the communication or contact with the child adoptee, as agreed upon and as set forth in the proposed order, would be in the child adoptee's best interests. (4) An agreed order entered pursuant to this section may be enforced by a civil action and the prevailing party in that action may be awarded, as part of the costs of the action, a reasonable amount to be fixed by the court as attorneys' fees. The court shall not modify an agreed order under this section unless it finds that the modification is necessary to serve the best interests of the child adoptee, and that: (a) The modification is agreed to by the adoptive parent and the birth parent or parents; or (b) exceptional circumstances have arisen since the agreed order was entered that justify modification of the order.
Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 26.33.295

The court, in reviewing and approving an agreement under RCW 26.33.295 for the adoption of a child from foster care, shall encourage the adoptive parents, birth parents, foster parents, kinship caregivers, and the department or other supervising agency to seriously consider the long-term benefits to the child adoptee and siblings of the child adoptee of providing for and facilitating continuing postadoption contact between siblings. To the extent feasible, and when in the best interests of the child adoptee and siblings of the child adoptee, contact between the siblings should be frequent and of a similar nature as that which existed prior to the adoption. If the child adoptee or known siblings of the child adoptee are represented by an attorney or guardian ad litem in a proceeding under this chapter or in any other child custody proceeding, the court shall inquire of each attorney and guardian ad litem regarding the potential benefits of continuing contact between the siblings and the potential detriments of severing contact.
Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 26.33.430
Yes but; (2) Agreements regarding communication with or contact between child adoptees, adoptive parents, siblings of child adoptees, and a birth parent or parents shall not be legally enforceable unless the terms of the agreement are set forth in a written court order entered in accordance with the provisions of this section. Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 26.33.295
West Virginia
W. Va. Code, § 48-22-101 - 903
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Wisconsin
Wis. Stat. Ann. § 48.925
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Involvement of the Child? Rule Language Court's Role Legally Enforceable?
Whenever possible the court will consider the wishes of the child. (1) Upon petition by a relative who has maintained a relationship similar to a parent-child relationship with a child who has been adopted by a stepparent or relative, the court, subject to subs. (1m) and (2), may grant reasonable visitation rights to that person if the petitioner has maintained such a relationship within 2 years prior to the filing of the petition, if the adoptive parent or parents, or, if a birth parent is the spouse of an adoptive parent, the adoptive parent and birth parent, have notice of the hearing and if the court determines all of the following:

(a) That visitation is in the best interest of the child.

(b) That the petitioner will not undermine the adoptive parent's or parents' relationship with the child or, if a birth parent is the spouse of an adoptive parent, the adoptive parent's and birth parent's relationship with the child.

(c) That the petitioner will not act in a manner that is contrary to parenting decisions that are related to the child's physical, emotional, educational or spiritual welfare and that are made by the adoptive parent or parents or, if a birth parent is the spouse of an adoptive parent, by the adoptive parent and birth parent.
The court must determine: 2(a) That visitation is in the best interest of the child.

(b) That the petitioner will not undermine the adoptive parent's or parents' relationship with the child or, if a birth parent is the spouse of an adoptive parent, the adoptive parent's and birth parent's relationship with the child.

(c) That the petitioner will not act in a manner that is contrary to parenting decisions that are related to the child's physical, emotional, educational or spiritual welfare and that are made by the adoptive parent or parents or, if a birth parent is the spouse of an adoptive parent, by the adoptive parent and birth parent.
Yes; (4) Any person who interferes with visitation rights granted under sub. (1) may be proceeded against for contempt of court under ch. 785, except that a court may impose only the remedial sanctions specified in s. 785.04(1)(a) and (c) against that person.
Wyoming
W.S.1977 T. 1, Ch. 22, Art. 1
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