Postadoption Contact Agreements Between Birth and Adoptive Families - Florida

Date: August 2018

What may be included in postadoption contact agreements?

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 63.0427

The court may be asked to consider the appropriateness of postadoption communication or contact, including, but not limited to, visits, written correspondence, or telephone calls.

Who may be a party to a postadoption contact agreement?

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 63.0427

The child shall have the right to have contact with his or her siblings or, upon agreement of the adoptive parents, the child shall have the right to have contact with the parents who have had their parental rights terminated or other specified biological relatives.

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

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 63.0427

The court shall consider the following in determining the appropriateness of postadoption communication:

  • Any orders of the court pursuant to § 39.811(7)
  • Recommendations of the Department of Children and Family Services, the foster parents if other than the adoptive parents, and the guardian ad litem
  • Statements of the prospective adoptive parents
  • Any other information deemed relevant and material by the court

If the court determines that the child's best interests will be served by postadoption communication or contact, the court shall so order, stating the nature and frequency of the communication or contact. This order shall be made a part of the final adoption order, but the continuing validity of the adoption may not be contingent upon such postadoption communication or contact. The ability of the adoptive parents and child to change residence within or outside the State of Florida may not be impaired by such communication or contact.

Are agreements legally enforceable?

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.

How may an agreement be terminated or modified?

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 63.0427

Notwithstanding § 63.162, the adoptive parent may, at any time, petition for review of a communication or contact order if the adoptive parent believes that the best interests of the adopted child are being compromised, and the court may order the communication or contact to be terminated or modified, as the court deems to be in the best interests of the adopted child. However, the court may not increase contact between the adopted child and siblings, birth parents, or other relatives without the consent of the adoptive parent or parents. As part of the review process, the court may order the parties to engage in mediation. The department shall not be required to be a party to such review.