TO ALLOW AN ADOPTIVE PARENT AND A BIRTH RELATIVE TO ENTER INTO A WRITTEN AGREEMENT TO PROVIDE FOR POST-ADOPTION CONTACT AND COMMUNICATION AND TO MAKE OTHER CONFORMING STATUTORY CHANGES.
Enacts a new Article 11 (Post-Adoption Contacts) of GS Chapter 48 to provide for post-adoption contacts and makes conforming changes in other statutes. Defines post-adoption contacts to include visitation, communication, or any other contact or conveyance of information regarding a child who has been adopted. Parties to the agreement are the adoptive parent and birth relative; each adoptive parent must consent to the post-adoption contacts. The agreement must be approved by the court and signed by a district court judge. The Administrative Office of the Courts is authorized to adopt rules and required to provide forms for the civil action. The entire record of a proceeding regarding a contacts agreement is confidential. Failure to follow the contacts agreement is not considered grounds for setting aside an adoption order. A party to the contacts agreement may file a civil action in district court in order to modify, enforce, or terminate the agreement after the parties have undergone mediation. The act also sets out factors for the court to consider in determining whether to modify, enforce, or terminate an agreement. Amends GS 7B-1110(a) to include post-adoption contacts agreements as a factor to consider when determining the best interest of the child. Amends GS 1-301.2(b) to require motions concerning post-adoption contacts be transferred to domestic court and that the identity of the parties be kept confidential. Amends GS 48-1-100, GS 7B-1100, and GS 7B-1112 to make conforming changes.
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