Postadoption Contact Agreements Between Birth and Adoptive Families - Arizona

Date:

What may be included in postadoption contact agreements?

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 8-116.01

The parties to a proceeding under this chapter may enter into an agreement regarding communication with an adopted child, the adoptive parents, and a birth parent.

The agreement shall state that the adoptive parent may terminate contact between the birth parent and the adopted child at any time if the adoptive parent believes that this contact is not in the child's best interests.

The agreement shall contain a clause stating that the parties agree to the continuing jurisdiction of the court to enforce and modify the agreement and that they understand that failure to comply with the agreement is not grounds for setting aside an adoption decree, for revocation of a written consent to an adoption, or relinquishment of parental rights.

Who may be a party to a postadoption contact agreement?

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 8-116.01

The court shall not approve an agreement unless the agreement is approved by the prospective adoptive parents, any birth parent with whom the agreement is being made, and, if the child is in the custody of the division or an agency, a representative of the division or agency.

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

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 8-116.01

The court shall not approve the agreement unless the court finds that the communication between the adopted child, the adoptive parents, and a birth parent is in the child's best interests. The court may consider the wishes of a child who is at least 12 years old.

The court retains jurisdiction after the decree of adoption is entered to hear motions brought to enforce or modify an order entered pursuant to this section. Before filing a motion, the party seeking to enforce or modify an order shall make a good faith attempt to mediate the dispute. The court shall not enforce or modify an order unless the party filing the motion has made a good faith attempt to mediate the dispute.

Are agreements legally enforceable?

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 8-116.01

An agreement is not enforceable unless the agreement is in writing and is approved by the court.

An agreement entered into pursuant to this section is enforceable even if it does not disclose the identity of the parties to the agreement.

Failure to comply with an agreement is not grounds for setting aside an adoption decree, revocation of a written consent to an adoption, or relinquishment of parental rights.

How may an agreement be terminated or modified?

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 8-116.01

The court may order a modification of an agreement if it finds that the modification is necessary to serve the best interests of the adopted child, and one of the following is true:

  • The modification is agreed to by the adoptive parents.
  • Exceptional circumstances have arisen since the agreement was approved that justify modification of the agreement.

The court may consider the wishes of a child who is at least age 12 in determining whether to order a modification.