Thursday, July 23, 2009

Open Adoption Aggreement

I would appreciate any and all thoughts on this. While it is not legally binding in our state, we intend to live up to it. I will be sitting down with Jess this Sunday, she has no idea I will have papers or plan to request adopting Kiera. I am scared to death. It's not even that she will say, No. It's that I am worried about her feelings and reaction. If she refuses, we will fight. She is not safe. We have multiple credible witnesses that have offered to testify to her continued neglect and endangerment of her other daughter on unsupervised visits. We have the support of our therapist and her pediatrician. It is detrimental to her emotional and physical health that she remain with us. She is not able to parent these girls. I do feel we can have an open relationship like I suggest in this agreement. All visits will be supervised.

Open Adoption Agreement

We, me and him, as the Adoptive Parents agree to and encourage continued contact after finalization of the adoption of Kiera between her Mother known as Jess, her Father known as Lee, any siblings, and any appropriate extended family. We feel biological family is extremely important to the emotional and mental health of a child. The goal of the Adoptive Parents is to increase/decrease the openness of the relationship based on the appropriateness of the Mother and/or Father. Each relationship will be considered separately.

We will not consider the private life and activities of the Mother and/or Father unless it directly affects the child, Adoptive Parents, or the child’s Adoptive Siblings.

We agree to make our phone number, email, and address available to her Mother and Father so long as they are appropriate and it is safe to do so.

We agree to be responsible for a minimum of 3 trips per year to the (medium size town) area for the child to spend supervised time with her biological Mother and/or Father, siblings, and any appropriate extended family.

We consent to the visit being held in their home, family’s home, or in a public venue, as long as it is appropriate for the child. There shall be no drugs or alcohol consumed prior to visit or during visit or the visit will be terminated at the discretion of the Adoptive Parents.

We agree to allow extended biological family and/or friends that meet the following criteria to join the Mother and/or Father on a scheduled visit: must not be a registered sex offender, must not have any recent history of violence or criminal activity (5 years), must not be suspected of being intoxicated, must not be a convicted felon with a history of any domestic violence, weapons charges, drug charges, or child abuse charges. Anyone attending will need to have prior consent from Adoptive Parents.

We will make child available to Mother and Father as close to child’s birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter as possible.

Mother and Father are welcome to visit the child in her home with proper notice given with day, time, and participants agreed upon by all parties. The stipulations above regarding visits apply here, as well. The Adoptive Parents will supervise the visit unless other arrangements are made that are agreeable between all parties. This will be revoked if Mother and/or Father is inappropriate in any way while in the home or on the property.

Adoptive Parents agree to make available pictures through email or texts monthly.

Mother and Father are invited to call the child any time that would be considered appropriate. During day time hours, before child is in bed. Conversation must not put any undue pressure on child and may be discontinued if it is in the best interest of the child. Calls may be monitored if it is deemed necessary by Adoptive Parents.

Mother and Father are encouraged to join Adoptive Parents and their extended family on special occasions, outings, or holidays with prior arrangements. The stipulations above regarding visits apply here, as well. This will be revoked if the Mother and/or Father is inappropriate in any way.


Paula Perry said...

its sounds pretty good. all with the child in mind. I pray that everything will go smoothly for you all. I have an open adoption too but Sarah's mother doesn't want to see her, she doesn't want photos either. i wonder what to do when that happens as i'd like you think it would be better if they had some contact with their biological parents.

Nichole said...

Contracts...yippee :) territory I know and love

I would add:

Replace all "we"s with
"Adoptive Parents" and specifically state "Biological Parents/Family" in all instances when referring to her bio parents and family

Any visitations will be at Adoptive Parent's sole discretion and approval. Biological Parents/Family may join Adoptive Parents during holidays (etc) at Adoptive Parent's sole approval and discretion.

Adoptive Parents have the right to terminate this agreement at any time without written notice.

Good luck! She has to know what is best for her child. I hope she doesn't fight you.

Abby said...

Fantastic! Hope all goes well....

Tudu said...

Nicole, I made all of those. Thank you so much!

Michelle said...

I've never read an adoption agreement so thank you for posting this.

When i suggested to our caseworkers that we have an open adoption, our caseworkers freaked out. She said she did NOT (and she stressed the "not") approve of this but she was going to make note in her file that the foster/adoptive parents want the children to continue a relationship with the birthparents even though they are drug addicts.

Needless to say, it went over like a lead balloon. We dropped it and now we have no idea where the parents are at....and now I'm almost scared to even find them. I admire your tenacity.

Anonymous said...

Question ... I've not known anyone who was part of an open adoption (legally binding or not) ... do you have any plan in place for if an older child (10 or 12) requests that visits with their biological parents stop?