Postadoption Contact Agreements Between Birth and Adoptive Families - Maryland

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What may be included in postadoption contact agreements?

Citation: Fam. Law § 5-308

The prospective adoptive parent and the biological parent of a prospective adopted child may enter into a written agreement to allow contact after the adoption between the parent or other relative of the child and the child or adoptive parent.

An agreement made under this section applies to contact with an adopted child only while he or she is a minor.

Who may be a party to a postadoption contact agreement?

Citation: Fam. Law §§ 5-308; 5-525.2

The prospective adoptive parent and birth parent may enter into a written agreement to allow contact after the adoption between:

  • The parent or other relative of the adopted child
  • The adopted child or adoptive parent

An adoptive parent and former parent of an adopted child may enter into a written agreement to allow contact between:

  • A relative or former parent of the adopted child
  • The adopted child or adoptive parent

Any siblings who are separated due to a foster care or adoptive placement may petition a court, including a juvenile court with jurisdiction over one or more of the siblings, for reasonable sibling visitation rights.

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

Citation: Fam. Law §§ 5-308; 5-525.2

If a dispute as to an agreement arises, a court may refer the parties to mediation to try to resolve the dispute.

If a petitioner petitions a court to issue a sibling visitation decree or to amend an order, the court:

  • May hold a hearing to determine whether visitation is in the best interests of the children
  • Shall weigh the relative interests of each child and base its decision on the best interests of the children, thus promoting the greatest welfare and least harm to the children
  • May issue an appropriate order or decree

Are agreements legally enforceable?

Citation: Fam. Law § 5-308

A juvenile court or other court of competent jurisdiction shall enforce a written agreement made in accordance with this section unless enforcement is not in the adopted child's best interests.

How may an agreement be terminated or modified?

Citation: Fam. Law § 5-308

If a party moves in juvenile court or another court of competent jurisdiction to modify a written agreement made in accordance with this section and satisfies the court that modification of the agreement is justified because an exceptional circumstance has arisen, and the court finds modification of the agreement to be in an adopted child's best interests, the court may modify the agreement.