Post-adoption contact bill heads to House

Published: Thursday, March 7 2013 6:55 p.m. MST

SALT LAKE CITY — A House committee gave a favorable recommendation Thursday to a bill that would create enforceable post-adoption agreements in adoptions of children in the custody of the Division of Child and Family Services.

The House Judiciary Committee gave unanimous approval to a substituted version of SB155. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Lyle Hillyard, R-Logan, would permit prospective adoptive parents, birth parents or other birth relatives of a prospective adoptive child to enter into an open adoption agreement.

Post-adoption agreements would have to be approved by judges. The agreements would also require the consent of adoptive parents. However, a judge can consider amendments to the agreements if the parties are not complying with the original terms, Hillyard said.

The bill would primarily apply to older children who have close relationships with other relatives and their contact would conceivably be cut off once an adoption is finalized, Hillyard said.

"If giving them sense of security that they (biological parent, grandparent) won't lose contact with daughter or granddaughter, you'll find people more willing to make that transition," Hillyard said.

Marjorie Cortez

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