Postadoption Contact Agreements Between Birth and Adoptive Families - Missouri

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What may be included in postadoption contact agreements?

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 453.080(4)

Before the completion of an adoption, the exchange of information among the parties shall be at the discretion of the parties. Prospective adoptive parents and birth parents may enter into a written postadoption contact agreement to allow contact, communication, and the exchange of photographs after the adoption between the adoptive parents and the birth parents. The agreement shall include all of the following:

  • An acknowledgment by the birth parents that the adoption is irrevocable, even if the adoptive parents do not abide by the postadoption contact agreement
  • An acknowledgment by the adoptive parents that the agreement grants the birth parents the right to seek to enforce the provisions of the postadoption contact agreement
  • An acknowledgment that the postadoption contact agreement shall be filed with and approved by the court in order to be enforceable
  • An acknowledgment that the birth parents' consent to the adoption was not conditioned on the postadoption contact agreement and that acceptance of the agreement is fully voluntary

Who may be a party to a postadoption contact agreement?

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 453.080(4)

Prospective adoptive parents and birth parents may enter into a written postadoption contact agreement.

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

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 453.080(4)

The court shall not order any party to enter into a postadoption contact agreement. The agreement shall be filed with and approved by the court at or before the finalization of the adoption. The court shall approve an agreement only if the agreement is in the best interests of the child.

Upon completion of an adoption, further contact among the parties shall be at the discretion of the adoptive parents or in accordance with a postadoption contact agreement executed under this subsection. The court shall not have jurisdiction to deny an exchange of identifying information between an adoptive parent and a birth parent.

Are agreements legally enforceable?

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 453.080(4)

Remedies for a breach of the agreement shall include specific performance of the terms of the agreement, provided that nothing in the agreement shall preclude a party seeking to enforce the agreement from utilizing child welfare mediation before, or in addition to, the commencement of a civil action for specific enforcement.

The court may enforce an agreement made under this subsection, unless such enforcement is not in the best interests of the child.

How may an agreement be terminated or modified?

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 453.080(4)

The court may modify an agreement made under this subsection, unless such modification is not in the best interests of the child.