Indiana Code 31-19-16 allows for post adoption contact agreements (PACA) between adoptive parents and biological parents that are willing to sign a consent to the adoption. Indiana Code 31-19-16.5 allows for post adoption contact agreements between siblings that are being adopted. The former happens much more often than the latter. This is because siblings are typically adopted together into the same family. Being adopted into the same family would eliminate the need for a sibling PACA. PACAs are a great idea because they allow children to know their biological family. When a child knows where they came from they are going to feel much more secure in the fact that they are adopted. They are going to understand the circumstances of their biological parents and understand the reasons for their removal from their biological parents.
PACAs can include anything from written or phone contact to in-person visits occurring at some regular interval. Keeping in mind that the agreement can include any terms the parties agree to, they typically range from an annual written update and photo to monthly, supervised, in-person visits. Whatever terms are agreed upon between the parties must also be approved by the adoption court judge. It is important to make sure the terms of the agreement are not too much that the adoption court judge does not feel comfortable granting the PACA.
PACAs should include provisions that terminate the agreement if the terms of the agreement are not followed by the biological parent. It should also set clear parameters of how scheduling in-person visits will occur and how requests for written updates need to be made. Having all of these terms clearly spelled out in the PACA will be best for all parties.
If you are in need of an adoption attorney please contact Grant Kirsh today.