Postadoption Contact Agreements Between Birth and Adoptive Families - Wisconsin

Date:

What may be included in postadoption contact agreements?

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.

Who may be a party to a postadoption contact agreement?

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 48.925(1), (3)

Upon petition by a relative who has maintained a relationship similar to a parent-child relationship with a child who has been adopted by a stepparent or relative, the court may grant reasonable visitation rights to that person if the petitioner has maintained such a relationship within 2 years prior to the filing of the petition.

This section applies to every child in this State who has been adopted by a stepparent or relative, regardless of the date of the adoption.

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

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 48.925(1)-(2)

The adoptive parent or parents, or, if a birth parent is the spouse of an adoptive parent, the adoptive parent and birth parent, shall have notice of the hearing. The court will determine all of the following:

  • That visitation is in the best interests of the child
  • That the petitioner will not undermine the adoptive parent(s) relationship with the child
  • That the petitioner will not act in a manner contrary to parenting decisions related to the child's physical, emotional, educational, or spiritual welfare made by the adoptive parent(s)

The court may not grant visitation rights to a relative if the relative has been convicted of the intentional homicide of a parent of the child, and the conviction has not been reversed, set aside, or vacated. If a relative who is granted visitation rights with a child is convicted of the intentional homicide of a parent of the child, and the conviction has not been reversed, set aside, or vacated, the court shall issue an order prohibiting the relative from having visitation with the child on petition of the child or the parent, guardian, or legal custodian of the child, or on the court's own motion, and on notice to the relative. These provisions do not apply if the court determines by clear and convincing evidence that the visitation would be in the best interests of the child. The court shall consider the wishes of the child in making that determination.

Whenever possible, in making a determination of visitation with a relative, the court shall consider the wishes of the adopted child.

Are agreements legally enforceable?

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 48.925(4)

Any person who interferes with visitation rights granted under this section may be proceeded against for contempt of court, except that a court may impose only the remedial sanctions against that person.

How may an agreement be terminated or modified?

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.