Three Pitfalls To Avoid When You're Negotiating Visitation Rights As Part Of An Open Adoption Process


An open adoption is an adoption where you acquire full parenting rights to the child but the biological parents still retain some visitation rights. Although an open adoption can be psychologically gratifying for both the child and the biological parents, placing some limits on the deal so that your parenting won't be undermined is a good idea.

So when you're negotiating visitation rights as part of an open adoption process, take care to avoid these three pitfalls:

Not Specifying How Much The Child Can Be Fed During Visitation

Even if the biological parents don't intend to do so, it's easy for them to overfeed your child during a long visitation. This is because it's much easier for them to acquiesce to a child's demands for food if they weren't there to witness normal meal hours.

Your three main options are specifying that the child can only be taken to areas without food, shortening the visitation sessions enough so that there won't be much time to feed the child, and explicitly saying in the contract that the parents can't feed the child anything during normal visitation hours.

Committing Yourself To Transporting The Child A Long Distance Before Visitation

Not specifying how the child is to be transported from your home to a visitation area is a good way to unwittingly commit yourself to long car rides. A good solution to this problem is to specify in the contract that the transportation burden will always be on the biological parents. This way, all you'll have to do is make sure that the child is at home before every visitation session.

If you don't want to completely shift the burden of transportation, you can also just specify that all visitation has to occur in venues very close to your own home. You can include occasional exceptions in the contract for when the biological parents want to take the child to a distant theme park or resort for a short vacation.

Being Too Lenient With The Maximum Amount Of Time That Visitation Can Go On

Both your parenting and your professional schedule will be compromised if the biological parents routinely drop the child off late after visitation sessions. Therefore, to keep as much control over your life as you can, consider including a clause in the contract saying that every minute after the end of a visitation session that the biological parents fail to drop off the child will be deducted from a future session.

Contact a company such as Margit M. Hicks, PA Attorney at Law to learn more.


6 August 2015

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