Postadoption Contact Agreements Between Birth and Adoptive Families - Ohio

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What may be included in postadoption contact agreements?

Citation: Rev. Code § 3107.65

Subject to divisions (A) and (B) of this section, an open adoption may provide for the exchange of any information, including identifying information, and have any other terms. No open adoption shall do any of the following:

  • Provide for the birth parent to share with the prospective adoptive parent parental control and authority over the child placed for adoption or in any manner limit the adoptive parent's full parental control and authority over the adopted child
  • Deny the adoptive parent or child access to forms pertaining to the social or medical histories of the birth parent if the adoptive parent or child is entitled to them under § 3107.17
  • Deny the adoptive parent or child access to a copy of the contents of the child's adoption file if the adoptive parent or child is entitled to them under § 3107.47
  • Deny the adoptive parent, adopted child, birth parent, birth sibling, or other relative access to nonidentifying information that is accessible pursuant to § 3107.66, or to materials, photographs, or information that is accessible pursuant to § 3107.68
  • Provide for the open adoption to be binding or enforceable

An open adoption may provide for the exchange of any information, including identifying information, and have any other terms.

Who may be a party to a postadoption contact agreement?

Citation: Rev. Code § 3107.63

A birth parent who voluntarily chooses to have the birth parent's child placed for adoption may request that the agency or attorney arranging the child's adoptive placement provide for the birth parent and prospective adoptive parent to enter into an open adoption with terms acceptable to the birth parent and prospective adoptive parent. Except as provided below, the agency or attorney shall provide for the open adoption if the birth parent and prospective adoptive parent agree to the terms of the open adoption.

An agency or attorney arranging a child's adoptive placement may refuse to provide for the birth parent and prospective adoptive parent to enter into an open adoption. If the agency or attorney refuses, the agency or attorney shall offer to refer the birth parent to another agency or attorney the agency or attorney knows will provide for open adoption.

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

Citation: Rev. Code § 3107.65

A probate court may not refuse to approve a proposed placement pursuant to § 5103.16(D)(1) to issue a final decree of adoption or interlocutory order of adoption under § 3107.14 on the grounds that the birth parent and prospective adoptive parent have entered into an open adoption, unless the court issues a finding that the terms of the open adoption violate the law or are not in the best interests of the child.

A probate court may not issue a final decree of adoption or interlocutory order of adoption that nullifies or alters the terms of an open adoption, unless the court issues a finding that the terms violate the division above or are not in the best interests of the child.

Are agreements legally enforceable?

Citation: Rev. Code §§ 3107.62; 3107.65

An agency or attorney arranging a child's adoptive placement shall inform the child's birth parent and prospective adoptive parent that the birth parent and prospective adoptive parent may enter into a nonbinding open adoption in accordance with § 3107.63.

All terms of an open adoption are voluntary. Any person who has entered into an open adoption may withdraw from the open adoption at any time. An open adoption is not enforceable.

At the request of a person who has withdrawn from an open adoption, the court with jurisdiction over the adoption shall issue an order barring any other person who was a party to the open adoption from taking any action pursuant to the open adoption.

How may an agreement be terminated or modified?

Citation: Rev. Code § 3107.65

All terms of an open adoption are voluntary and any person who has entered into an open adoption may withdraw from the open adoption at any time.