Postadoption Contact Agreements Between Birth and Adoptive Families - South Dakota

Date: August 2018

What may be included in postadoption contact agreements?

Citation: Codified Laws § 25-6-17

The natural parents of an adopted child shall retain no rights or privileges to visitation or other postadoption contact with the child, except in cases where a natural parent consents to the adoption of a child by the child's stepfather or stepmother who is the present spouse of the natural parent, or in cases of voluntary termination where there is a written preadoption agreement between the natural parent or parents and the adoptive parents.

Who may be a party to a postadoption contact agreement?

Citation: Codified Laws § 25-6-17

In cases where the natural parent consents to an adoption by the child's stepparent, or where there is a voluntary termination of the natural parent(s)' rights, the natural parents may enter into a written preadoption agreement with the adoptive parents.

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

Citation: Codified Laws § 25-6-17

The courts do not have jurisdiction over the agreements. The South Dakota Supreme Court decision, People in Interest of S.A.H., 537 N.W.2d 1 (S.D. 1995), is abrogated by the South Dakota Legislature insofar as the case gave circuit courts the option to order an open adoption or posttermination visitation. This section does not apply to preadoption agreements entered into before July 1, 1997.

Are agreements legally enforceable?

Citation: Codified Laws § 25-6-17

Enforcement is not specifically addressed in the statutes reviewed.

Postadoption visitation is an extraordinary remedy that may be exercised only by the adoptive parents when in the child's best interests.

How may an agreement be terminated or modified?

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.