A network of adoptive families, birth families, and adoption professionals which exists to improve the lives of children and others touched by adoption through support and education. UFA is actively engaged in community outreach and advocacy to raise awareness of adoption as a loving option.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

UT SB155: Enforceable Post-Adoption Agreements

The information about this enforceable post-adoption contact agreement bill in the UT Senate is a bit confusing. We'd love to hear your thoughts. Here are a few things we get from a Deseret News article:
image by nirots
1. It applies only to adoptions of children in custody of DCFS (for the time being). However,
Kimberly Wilson, a social worker and an adoptee, said children eligible for adoption in the DCFS system are least likely to have "appropriate parents" with whom to form an ongoing relationships.
2. This bill is on a "test drive" to see how it works. To see how it works for what? Private adoptions? The two kinds of adoption are apples and oranges. And what would the long-term plan for this law be? Is there a timetable being considered for broadening its reach to all adoptions?

3. The last paragraphs of the article are clearly referencing private adoption situations, to which this proposed law would not currently apply.
...family law attorney Jackie DeGaston, said SB155 "is long overdue. It would have helped kids for the past 15 years." 
DeGaston said she has handled cases in which birth fathers have consented to stepfathers adopting their children only to have no options to enforce open adoption agreements.
Under current state law, open adoption agreements are not legally enforceable, Hillyard explained in a previous hearing on the issue.

Because the agreements have no enforcement mechanism, unscrupulous adoptive parents "promise the sun and the moon" to birth parents, Hutchins said. "When the ink on adoption decree is dry, they change their mind."

What are your thoughts? Is a law like this the best way to prevent broken promises in private adoption situations? Or would a specific education requirement be better?

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