• MAY 13, 2020
  • BY Amanda Barton

What is a Post Adoption Contact Agreement (PACA) for birth parents and adoptive families in Adoption?

What is a Post Adoption Contact Agreement (PACA) for Birth Parents and Adoptive Families in Adoption?

 

In an adoption agreement, there are different ways to approach the contact between the birth parents and adoptive families. The different types of adoption include closed adoption, in which there is limited contact between the two parties, semi-open adoption where there is contact but typically without identifying information and usually the agency is involved as an intermediary for ongoing contact.

An open adoption, which has become more popular in recent years, is when there is mutually agreed upon contact and varying degrees of their sonal information is shared. Although both the adoptive family and the birth parents decide which adoption works best for them, it is ultimately up to the birth parents to choose which kind of adoption  they prefer when they make an adoption plan for their unborn child.  At A Baby Step Adoption, we work with both the birth parents and the adoptive family to fully explain their options for domestic adoption. We want both parties to be fully comfortable with the adoption plan and the plan going forward after the baby is born. A Post Adoption Contact Agreement (PACA) may be used in all types of adoptions.

 What is a Post Adoption Contact Agreement?

A Post Adoption Contact Agreement is a legal and binding contract that lays out the details of the type of frequency of contact between the birth parents and adoptive parents regarding the child. The PACA is  signed by the birth mother (and father) and adoptive parents when the baby is placed for adoption. The type of details in the PACA include how often the adoptive family will send the birth family pictures and updates about the child  as well as how often the birth family and adoptive family will meet each other during the year.

Some Important Facts about PACA

  • A PACA is not required for an adoption. It is voluntary and agreed upon by the birth parents and the adoptive family and are always subject to the best interest of the child. If a PACA is formed, it is filed with the court decree.
  • The adoptive family is obligated to comply with all agreed upon contact, but the birth parent can decide not to participate in all of the post-adoption activities.  For example, if the birth mother does not wish to visit the child as previously agreed, she does not have to do so.
  • The terms of the Post Adoption Contact Agreement will be discussed and decided upon by the birth parents, adoptive parents and is negotiated through their adoption agency and attorneys.  
  • The PACA protects the rights of the birth parents, adoptive parents and the child. It is clear and concise and serves as a guideline so that all parties meet their obligations.  
  • The PACA is enforceable in court if the adoptive family does not comply with the agreed upon contact.  In addition, the PACA are always subject to the best interest of the child and the court can modify them if necessary if the agreement becomes not in the best interest of the child.

At A Baby Step Adoption, we can help you decide if adoption is the right choice or you and your baby, and if you choose adoption, we can work with you to decide what level of openness, if any, you want for you and your baby.  While we are located in Pennsylvania, we work with women from all over the country from Arkansas to North and South Carolina and New Jersey. Wherever you reside, please contact us at 888-505-2367 or text us at 610-613-1911 info@ababystepadoption.com. We are here 24/7 to talk you through your options with no judgements.