2001-S 286A
Enacted 07/13/2001

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Introduced By:  Senator J. Michael Lenihan Date Introduced:   February 8, 2001

It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:

SECTION 1. Section 15-7-14.1 of the General Laws in Chapter 15-7 entitled "Adoption of Children" is hereby amended to read as follows:

15-7-14.1. Decree of open adoption -- (a) At the time an adoption decree is entered, the court entering the decree may grant post-adoption visitation, contact and/or conveyance of information privileges (subsequently referred to as: "Post-adoption privileges") under subsection (b) to a birth parent who:

(1) has consented to an adoption or voluntarily terminated the parent-child relationship.; or.

(2) has had his/her parental rights involuntarily terminated pursuant to section 15-7-7(2) (i), (iii), (iv), or (vii) and has properly filed a timely appeal thereof which is pending and the child was not in a preadoptive home prior to the granting of the terminations of parental rights petition by the family court.

(b) A court may grant post-adoption privileges if:

(1) The court determines that the best interests of the child would be served by granting post-adoption privileges;

(2) The court finds there is a significant emotional attachment between the child and the birth parent;

(3) Each adoptive parent consents to the granting of post-adoption privileges;

(4) The adoptive parents and the birth parents jointly negotiate and execute a post-adoption privileges agreement which is approved by and filed the agreement with the family court;

(5) The department of children, youth, and families and the child's court appointed special advocate or the guardian ad litem if one has been appointed pursuant to section 40-11-12 recommends that the post-adoption privileges agreement be approved by the court; or if the adoption petition is being sponsored by a licensed child placing agency other than the department of children, youth, and families, the licensed child placing agency sponsoring the adoption makes a recommendation that the post-adoption privileges agreement be approved by the court.

(6) Consent to the post-adoption privileges is obtained from the child, if the child is at least twelve (12) years of age; and

(7) The post-adoption privileges agreement is approved by the court.

(c) A post-adoption privileges agreement filed under subsection (b)(4) must contain the following provisions:

(1) An acknowledgement by the birth parents that the adoption is irrevocable, even if the adoptive parents do not abide by the post-adoption privileges agreement.

(2) An acknowledgement by the adoptive parents that the agreement grants the birth parents the right to seek to enforce the post-adoption privileges set forth in the agreement.

(d) A birth parent or an adoptive parent may file a petition with the court entering the adoption decree for the following purposes:

(1) To modify the post-adoption privileges agreement;

(2) To compel a birth parent or adoptive parent to comply with the post-adoption privileges agreement;

(e) The court may not award monetary damages as a result of the filing of a petition under subsection (d).

(f) The court may void or modify a post-adoption privileges agreement approved under this section at any time before or after the adoption if the court determines after a hearing that the best interests of the child require the voiding or modification of the agreement. Before the court:

(1) Voids or modifies an agreement; or

(2) Hears a motion to compel compliance with an agreement approved under this section; the court shall give notice and an opportunity to be heard to the licensed, child placement agency that sponsored the adoption and to the child's court appointed special advocate (CASA) or court appointed guardian ad litem if one had been appointed prior to the finalization of adoption.

(g) A court may not revoke a decree of adoption because a birth parent or an adoptive parent fails to comply with a post-adoption privileges agreement approved by the court under this section.

SECTION 2. This act shall take effect upon passage.

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