2020 Massachusetts General Laws
Part II - Real and Personal Property and Domestic Relations
Title III - Domestic Relations
Chapter 210 - Adoption of Children and Change of Names
Section 6c - Agreement for Post-Adoption Contact or Communication
Section 6C. (a) Prior to the entry of an adoption decree, prospective adoptive parents and a birth parent may enter into an agreement for post-adoption contact or communication between or among a minor to be adopted, the prospective adoptive parents and the birth parents. Such agreement may be approved by the court issuing the termination decree under section 3; provided, however, that an agreement under this section shall be finally approved by the court issuing the adoption decree. Any breach, modification or invalidation of the agreement, or any part of it, shall not affect the validity of the adoption. The adoption shall be final.
(b) The court shall approve an agreement for post-adoption contact or communication if the court finds that such agreement:
(i) is in the best interests of the child;
(ii) contains terms that are fair and reasonable; and
(iii) has been entered knowingly and voluntarily by all parties to the agreement. This requirement may be satisfied by an affidavit executed by all parties, either jointly or separately, that is filed with the court. The affidavit shall state that the agreement is entered into knowingly and voluntarily and is not the product of coercion or duress. The court may hear testimony from the parties to the agreement.
(c) To be approved by the court, an agreement for post-adoption contact or communication shall contain the following statements:
(i) This agreement is entered into pursuant to the provisions of section 6C of chapter 210 of the General Laws.
(ii) Any breach, modification or invalidation of the agreement or any part of it shall not affect the validity of the adoption. The adoption shall be final.
(iii) The parties acknowledge that either the birth or adoptive parents who have entered into the agreement have the right to seek enforcement as set forth in section 6D of chapter 210 of the General Laws.
(iv) The parties have not relied on any representations other than those contained in this agreement.
The agreement shall be signed by the parties and acknowledged before a notary public as the free act and deed of the parties. If the child is above the age of 12, the agreement shall contain the written consent of the child. If the child is in the custody of the department of children and families, the agreement shall contain the written approval of the department and the attorney for the child. If the child is in the custody of a licensed child care agency, the agreement shall contain the written approval of the agency.
(d) To be enforceable, an agreement for post-adoption contact or communication shall be: (i) in writing; (ii) approved by the court prior to the date for entry of the adoption decree; and (iii) incorporated but not merged into the adoption decree, and shall survive as an independent contract.
(e) An agreement under this section need not disclose the identity of the parties to be enforceable; but if an identity is not disclosed, the unidentified person shall designate an agent for the purpose of service of process.
(f) An agreement for post-adoption contact or communication shall cease to be enforceable on the date the adopted person turns 18 years of age.