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What states are open adoption contracts legally enforceable in?

I keep hearing most states you cannot legally enforce an open adoption which is true. But what states are not most.....which ones DO enforce open adoption agreements?

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Asked by Anonymous at 11:27 PM on Jun. 8, 2009 in Adoption

Answers (12)
  • I'm sorry, I didn't know any can actually enforce open adoption. Unfortunately in my state of Indiana it is not. My husband & I are trying to adopt & we were hoping for a very open adoption, we have been advised by attorneys and agencies that adoptions shouldn't be "that" open. We thought we would like for the expectant mother to become part of the family, she would be giving us the most precious gift, but I've even had women on here advise against it! We are hoping God bring our little one to us soon!!!

    Answer by Christian-Mom79 at 9:47 AM on Jun. 9, 2009


    Dont know how current this is, but here a document that gives a little detail about agreements.

    Christian-Mom: Why do you need a legal document to "enforce" an open adoption. You simply ask the bmom if she wants an open adoption, but you cant force her to be open if she doesnt want one. I would just not match with the particular bmom if she wants closed and you want open. .

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:03 AM on Jun. 9, 2009

  • We don't need one, but we have had several attorneys & agencies "advise" us against it. We are open to anything, from very open to closed, we would leave it up to the expectant mother and how good of a relationship we formed during the pregnancy.

    Answer by Christian-Mom79 at 2:23 PM on Jun. 9, 2009

  • In Domestic Infant Adoption no state has ever enforced an open adoption agreement. They are not legally enforceable. I don't know about foster adoption. (If anyone disputes this, please supply a link)


    Answer by onethentwins at 3:03 PM on Jun. 9, 2009

  • Ok. So I played around looking for information. (I personally don't need a contract as I will do as I said- I just have good morals-lol).
    Anways, here is link that lists the states that have some type of post open adoption agreements

    I went ahead and put the Indiana law in since Christian-Mom79 said Indy did not have one but the link says it does.. However, the law is only enforceable if the child is over the age of 2.
    Here is the link to the Indy law:

    If you type the code into google, most of the laws pop up.

    Answer by luckyshamrock at 8:43 PM on Jun. 9, 2009

  • What I did find interesting is if they have to be entered into the court system. It must be before termination of parent rights. Also, what expectant mother knows to have this agreement put into the court system.

    Answer by luckyshamrock at 8:46 PM on Jun. 9, 2009

  • I don't have a link, but I was told by the SW that a judge can order for birth parent family contact after adoption. There was a miscommunication between DS's attorney and what we had stated we would do after adoption (we were his foster parents initially). The attorney thought that maintaining contact meant that we were willing to do visits with extended family members and asked that it be court ordered after adoption. Thankfully the county attorney said that it was not for the court to decide what contact would be maintained after adoption. The judge agreed and said that contact would be left up to the adoptive family.


    Answer by Anonymous at 2:49 AM on Jun. 10, 2009

  • One of my best friends have an enforceable agreement with the birthmother of 3 children adopted via foster care. And they're legally bound to the terms they agreed to with her prior to tpr. This is in Washington.

    I can say this - I know the state we adopted our son thru, the biomom was told multiple times to be sure before she signed the tpr that it was what she really wanted to do because after it was processed, she would have NO right to ask for anything other than what we decided to give her. I didn't like it because I felt our integrity was being questioned and while I don't agree with the way she did it - the worker was trying to make sure biomom made the right decision for herself and our son. In this case, the biomom is our adopted daughter also - she was adopted as an adult, though we parented her from age 9-14 - she came back as an adult and we'd have adopted her even if our son didn't exist.

    Answer by AAAMama at 8:14 AM on Jun. 10, 2009

  • con't...

    I don't think adoptive parents really "need" a law to make it a requirement - but I do strongly feel that in many cases, birthparents do. For whatever reason, too many times, the pictures are not given as promised - or visits, or whatever. This is just sad to me.

    And it shouldn't HAVE to be a matter of law but more a matter of integrity.

    I guess we don't live in an ideal world, do we :(

    Answer by AAAMama at 8:16 AM on Jun. 10, 2009

  • From what I have read and heard, open adoption agreements are only enforcable when the child was adopted from foster care and still has some relationship with their bio-family.

    If the child was adopted via a private adoption, then no. And even if there is some vague law that might lead to court enforced visits/pictures/etc...the courts never side with the bio parents.

    Sadly, there are a lot of agencies and lawyers who lead expectant mothers into believing that the "agreements" they are signing are legally enforcable.

    Answer by randi1978 at 2:03 PM on Jun. 10, 2009

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