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What is a post-adoption contract agreement in Georgia?

Allowing children to be adopted can have many benefits, both to the individuals involved and society as a whole. The ability to transfer custody of children from a place where they cannot be adequately cared for, or are less likely to receive certain advantages, to a home where they may be able to be healthier, happier and enjoy more opportunities is often a net positive. However, it can also be a very emotional process, as both the birth and adoptive parents, and the child, may need to wrestle with strong feelings regarding the relationships each has with the other, if any.

One way to potentially handle some of these possible emotional repercussions is through a post-adoption contract agreement. State law allows adopting parents and the birth relatives of a child to enter into an agreement with regard to the allowance of continued contact between the birth relatives and the child. If a child is over the age of 14, the child is also a party to the agreement. These contracts may specify various types of contact or information sharing, including personal visitation, if the parties agree. Birth relatives are a mother, non-legal father, siblings and grandparents.

However, it is very important to note that non-compliance with a post-adoption agreement will not void the adoption. In fact, every post-adoption contract must contain warnings in a large enough font stating that that failure to adhere to the agreement will not void the adoption and any legal action taken by a party to modify, enforce or terminate such contract will not rescind the adoption, affect its validity or create a right to modify custody orders for a child.

Georgia has in interest in adoptions being final, as it is considered to generally be in the best interests of the children involved not to have uncertainty regarding their legal guardianship.

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