Postadoption Contact Agreements Between Birth and Adoptive Families - Montana

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What may be included in postadoption contact agreements?

Citation: Ann. Code § 42-5-301

Except as otherwise provided in this title, a decree of adoption terminates any existing order or written or oral agreement for contact or communication between the adopted child and the birth parents or family.

An express written agreement entered into between the placing parent and the prospective adoptive parent after the execution of a relinquishment and consent to adoption is independent of the adoption proceedings.

Who may be a party to a postadoption contact agreement?

Citation: Ann. Code § 42-5-301

The agreement may be entered into between the placing parent and the prospective adoptive parent.

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

Citation: Ann. Code § 42-5-301

Any express written agreement entered into between the placing parent and the prospective adoptive parent after the execution of a relinquishment and consent to adoption is independent of the adoption proceedings, and any relinquishment and consent to adopt remains valid whether or not the agreement for contact or communication is later performed. Failure to perform an agreement is not grounds for setting aside an adoption decree.

Are agreements legally enforceable?

Citation: Ann. Code § 42-5-301

The court may order that an agreement for contact or communication entered into under this section may not be enforced upon a finding that:

  • Enforcement is detrimental to the child.
  • Enforcement undermines the adoptive parent's parental authority.
  • Due to a change in circumstances, compliance with the agreement would be unduly burdensome to one or more of the parties.

How may an agreement be terminated or modified?

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.