Do you feel open adoption agreements should be legally binding?

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Veronica - posted on 11/13/2014

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Thanks for everyone's feed back I am done with this topic and on to the next lol

Sarah - posted on 11/13/2014

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It depends on what state you live in (US). Open adoption is a general category. It means that the birth parents and adoptive parents have exchanged identifying information. That is what open adoption means. You can have an open adoption or semi-open adoption (semi-open means no identifying information is exchanged, but there can be non-identifying exchanged) and have an adoption agreement. If you are working with an adoption agency that agency is always going to get that agreement in writing and signed by all parties. But just because that agreement is in writing does not mean it is legally binding in some states. It just depends on what state the adoption was filed in. Some states see that agreement as legally binding and others just morally binding.

If the birth parents are working with a good and reputable adoption agency they will enforce the adoptive family to follow through with the agreement as long as no harm is being done to the child. This is one of the reasons why it is really important to work with an adoption agency when placing a child as they will help and protect the birth parent, the adoptive family, and the child.

Raye - posted on 11/13/2014

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As I said in my post - "If one party or other no longer wishes to abide by the contract, then they need to petition for a change. They shouldn't just take it on themselves to go against the contract."

If they make a contract and the adoptive parents or the birth parents don't hold up their end of it, then there should be consequences. Pictures, letters, and visits are not too much to ask. However, if the arrangement starts causing problems with the child, then that needs to be brought before the court to determine what is in the best interest of the child.

Jodi - posted on 11/13/2014

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I'm aware of that. But is it in writing that they must send pics, letters and allow a yearly visit, specifically? It is my understanding that an open adoption is simply where you have each others contact details. The contact side of things is an option, not a given. SO if it isn't specifically stated, it may not be legally binding.

Having said that, if it IS written in the contract, then seek legal advice.

Guest - posted on 11/13/2014

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If the adoptive parents and the biological parents had a legally binding agreement (in most US states that means signed by both parties and witnessed by an impartial 3rd party or notary), that the adoptive parents would send a specified number of pictures each year and arrange an annual visit for a specified amount of time, and they are not fulfilling their end of the agreement, you can take them to court to make them comply. That said, because most states in the US do not allow such alterations to adoption agreements, the agreement for contact would have to be separate from the adoption agreement. Thus, the agreement should also include what action is to be taken in the event one or both parties does not fulfill their part of the agreement, otherwise, even if you have an agreement, you may have no legal recourse, depending on your state.

Veronica - posted on 11/13/2014

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Most open adoption plans are in writing that's why whatever is on paper should be legally binding

Jodi - posted on 11/13/2014

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Unless the "promises" were part of the contract, then what they are doing is not legally wrong. Morally wrong, yes, but not legally.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 11/13/2014

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Veronica, that is YOUR opinion. Just because it is YOUR opinion, does not make it right. Everyone has their own version of right and wrong, even mothers who think giving their child up for adoption would be the best thing....then they deliver....hear that baby cry....see it....hold it....and realize that you cannot spend another moment without your baby....let alone the rest of your life.

Clearly you have been burned.

Veronica - posted on 11/13/2014

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Regardless of the situation right is right and wrong is wrong. Why is that so hard to understand

Veronica - posted on 11/13/2014

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When a pregnant woman/girl is promised pics letters or even a yearly visit and does her part by relinquishing if there is no threat to adoptive parents or adoptee then why not keep the promise.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 11/13/2014

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This is NOT a black and white question the way you want people to answer. I think there are definately different circumstances that can arise, and yes I feel the mother has the right to change her mind directly after giving birth.....situation dependant. There is NO difinitive answer.

Veronica - posted on 11/13/2014

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That is so off the subject the question was about making it legally binding due to the fact that a lot of adoptive parents make promises to the birth mom and after birth break the promises which is selfish and unfair don't agree to a open adoption if you really didn't intended to keep your promise bottom line.

Raye - posted on 11/13/2014

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I think once an agreement is made between the pregnant woman and the adoptive family that she should have to go through with the adoption. I understand that, once the baby is born, the birth mother might change her mind. But she should have thought about that and waited before making the decision to give up the baby.

If the terms of the contract say she has contact with the child after adoption, then that contact needs to be respectful of the adoptive family and she should not try to interfere with that family dynamic. The adoptive family also needs to be respectful of the birth parents as agreed in the contract. If one party or other no longer wishes to abide by the contract, then they need to petition for a change. They shouldn't just take it on themselves to go against the contract.

Now, if it's learned that one or other of the parties would harm the child (allegations of abuse, or something serious) then a case should be opened to make a determination on the fitness of the that person to remain in the child's life. But if one just decides they don't like the other, then tough, that's not good enough reason to interfere or break contract.

Veronica - posted on 11/11/2014

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I feel that if the adoptive parents and birth mom have that agreement it should not be broken. The birth mom as trusting enough to choose the parents and kept her word to relinquish it's only fair what if the shoes were on the other foot! Not every adoption is open but for those that are in agreement should be legally binding as long as there is no harm or threat to either side!

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