What is a Post Adoption Contact Agreement?
A Post Adoption Contact Agreement (PACA) is a legal and binding contract that birth mothers and adoptive families sign off on. It lays out the details of the contact between the birth parents and adoptive parents, like how often and how to get in touch. The PACA is signed by the birth mother (and father) and adoptive parents when the baby is placed for adoption. PACAs can include:
- How often the birth mother gets photos
- How often the birth mother gets life updates for the baby
- How often the families will meet in person
- How birth mothers and adoptive families should contact each other
When is a Post Adoption Contact Agreement Needed?
No matter what kind of adoption you’re considering, you should know about post adoption contact agreements. These agreements can make everyone’s boundaries clear and set expectations for life after adoption. Whether you’re choosing an open or closed adoption, post adoption contact agreements are needed to make sure everyone is on the same page.
In closed adoptions there is little contact between you and the adoptive family. That means you’ll have limited chances to meet your baby or talk to them. Another option is a semi-closed adoption. They’re like closed adoptions, but with more contact through the adoption agency. Semi-closed adoptions rarely have birth mothers and adoptive families speak directly.
Another option is an open adoption. They are becoming popular because they allow the most contact. Birth mothers and adoptive families can share contact information and get to know each other in open adoptions. Post adoption contact agreements are still needed to make sure that everyone is comfortable with the set up and contact.
Both the adoptive family and the birth parents can decide which adoption works best for them. But, it is ultimately up to the birth mother to decide what kind of adoption to plan for. No matter what, a post adoption contact agreement is a great tool to have in any adoption.
Some Important Facts about Post Adoption Contact Agreements
A PACA is not required for an adoption. It is optional and agreed upon by the birth parents and the adoptive family. At the end of the day, the goal is protecting the best interest of the child.
If you decide to create a PACA, it will become a legally binding agreement. The adoptive family must comply with the agreed upon contact. But, the birth parent can decide not to take part in all of the post-adoption activities. For example, if you don’t want to visit the child as written in the agreement, you don’t have to.
The terms of the post adoption contact agreement will be discussed and decided by both the birth parents and adoptive parents. Then, it gets negotiated through the adoption agency and attorneys.
The PACA protects the rights of everyone involved, especially the baby. It’s clear and concise so everyone has guidelines to follow.
If the adoptive family doesn’t hold up their end of the agreement, it’s enforceable in court. Courts can always step in and help change PACAs to keep the child safe and happy.
At A Baby Step Adoption, we can help you decide if adoption is the right choice for you. We work with all birth mothers to help them create the best adoption plan for them, including creating post adoption contact agreements. Get in touch with our caring case workers at 888-505-2367 or text us at 610-998-3340 firstname.lastname@example.org. We are here 24/7 to talk you through your options with no judgments.