Postadoption Contact Agreements Between Birth and Adoptive Families - Alaska

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What may be included in postadoption contact agreements?

Citation: Alaska Stat. §§ 25.23.130(c); 47.10.089(d)

Nothing in this chapter prohibits an adoption that allows visitation between the adopted child and the adopted child's natural parents or other relatives.

A parent may retain privileges with respect to the child, including the ability to have future contact, communication, and visitation with the child in a voluntary relinquishment to the Department of Health and Social Services. A retained privilege must be in writing and stated with specificity.

Who may be a party to a postadoption contact agreement?

Citation: Alaska Stat. §§ 25.23.130(c); 47.10.089(d)

The adopted child and the adopted child's natural parents or other relatives may participate.

What is the role of the court in postadoption contact agreements?

Citation: Alaska Stat. §§ 25.23.180(j); 47.10.089(e)

In a relinquishment of parental rights, a parent may retain privileges with respect to the child, such as the ability to have future contact, communication, and visitation, if the privilege is stated in writing with specificity. If the parent has retained privileges, the court shall incorporate the retained privileges into the termination order with a recommendation that the privileges retained be incorporated in an adoption decree.

Are agreements legally enforceable?

Citation: Alaska Stat. §§ 25.23.180(k), (l); 47.10.089(f)&(g)

A voluntary relinquishment may not be withdrawn and a termination order may not be vacated on the grounds that a retained privilege has been withheld from the relinquishing parent or that the relinquishing parent has been unable, for any reason, to act on a retained privilege.

Upon a showing of good cause, a person who has voluntarily relinquished parental rights may request a review hearing to seek enforcement.

How may an agreement be terminated or modified?

Citation: Alaska Stat. §§ 25.23.180(l); 47.10.089(g)&(j)

Upon a showing of good cause, a person who has voluntarily relinquished parental rights may request a review hearing to seek enforcement or modification of or to vacate a privilege retained in the termination order. The court may modify, enforce, or vacate the privilege if doing so would, by clear and convincing evidence, be in the best interests of the child.

After a termination order is entered and before the entry of an adoption decree, the prospective adoptive parent may request that the court decline to incorporate a retained privilege (for future contact, communication, and visitation) that was included in a termination order and was recommended for incorporation in an adoption decree. The court may decline to incorporate a retained privilege if the person who retained the privilege agrees with the request or if the court finds that it is in the child's best interests.