It is possible to keep in touch with your child subsequent to the termination of your parental rights and their adoption if all parties to the action, i.e. natural parents/relatives and adoptive parents, mutually agree. Act 101, which became law in 2010, authorizes post-adoption contact by agreement of all the parties. Specifically, a birth relative by blood, marriage or adoption can contract with the new adoptive parents in terms of continued contact with the adoptee. In each adoption case, even if there is not any interest in post-adoption contact, all parties are required to be notified of the existence of Act 101 and option to enter a contract for continued contact. The parties should sign to acknowledge they received notice of the options available under Act 101 and their signed acknowledgment would then be filed with the court. If the parties do not sign an acknowledgement, then proof that they were served with the notice should be filed to the court. A sample of the Act 101 notice is included below.
NOTICE REQUIRED BY ACT 101 of 2010
23 Pa. C.S. §2731-2742
This is to inform you of an important option that may be available to you under Pennsylvania law. Act 101 of 2010 allows for an enforceable voluntary agreement for continuing contact or communication following an adoption between an adoptive parent, a child, a birth parent and/or birth relative of the child, if all parties agree and voluntary agreement is approved by the Court. The agreement must be signed and approved by the Court to be legally binding.
A birth relative is defined only as a parent, grandparent, stepparent, sibling, uncle or aunt for the child’s birth family, whether the relationship is by blood, marriage or adoption.
This voluntary agreement may allow you to have continuing contact or communication, including, but not limited to:
Letters and/or emails
Photos and/or videos
Telephone calls and/or text messages; or
Supervised or unsupervised visits.
If you are interested in learning more about this option for a voluntary agreement, you contact your attorney.
By April M. Townsend