☰ Revisor of Missouri

Title XXX DOMESTIC RELATIONS

Chapter 453

< > Effective - 28 Aug 2018, 3 histories bottom

  453.080.  Hearing — decree — contact or exchange of identifying information between adopted person and birth or adoptive parent not to be denied, when — post adoption contact agreement — contact preference form. — 1.  The court shall conduct a hearing to determine whether the adoption shall be finalized.  If their attorney appears in person, out-of-state adoptive petitioners may appear by video conference.  During such hearing, the court shall ascertain whether:

  (1)  The person sought to be adopted, if a child, has been in the lawful and actual custody of the petitioner for a period of at least six months prior to entry of the adoption decree; except that the six-month period may be waived if the person sought to be adopted is a child who is under the prior and continuing jurisdiction of a court pursuant to chapter 211 and the person desiring to adopt the child is the child's current foster parent.  Lawful and actual custody shall include a transfer of custody pursuant to the laws of this state, another state, a territory of the United States, or another country;

  (2)  The court has received and reviewed a postplacement assessment on the monthly contacts with the adoptive family pursuant to section 453.077, except for good cause shown in the case of a child adopted from a foreign country;

  (3)  The court has received and reviewed an updated financial affidavit;

  (4)  The court has received the recommendations of the guardian ad litem and has received and reviewed the recommendations of the person placing the child, the person making the assessment and the person making the postplacement assessment;

  (5)  There is compliance with the Indian Child Welfare Act, if applicable;

  (6)  There is compliance with the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children pursuant to section 210.620; and

  (7)  It is fit and proper that such adoption should be made.

  2.  If a petition for adoption has been filed pursuant to section 453.010 and a transfer of custody has occurred pursuant to section 453.110, the court may authorize the filing for finalization in another state if the adoptive parents are domiciled in that state.

  3.  If the court determines the adoption should be finalized, a decree shall be issued setting forth the facts and ordering that from the date of the decree the adoptee shall be for all legal intents and purposes the child of the petitioner or petitioners.  The court may decree that the name of the person sought to be adopted be changed, according to the prayer of the petition.

  4.  Before the completion of an adoption, the exchange of information among the parties shall be at the discretion of the parties.  Prospective adoptive parents and birth parents may enter into a written post adoption contact agreement to allow contact, communication, and the exchange of photographs after the adoption between the adoptive parents and the birth parents.  The court shall not order any party to enter into a post adoption contact agreement.  The agreement shall be filed with and approved by the court at or before the finalization of the adoption.  The court shall approve an agreement only if the agreement is in the best interests of the child.  The court may enforce or modify an agreement made under this subsection unless such enforcement or modification is not in the best interests of the child.  The agreement shall include:

  (1)  An acknowledgment by the birth parents that the adoption is irrevocable, even if the adoptive parents do not abide by the post adoption contact agreement;

  (2)  An acknowledgment by the adoptive parents that the agreement grants the birth parents the right to seek to enforce the provisions of the post adoption contact agreement.  Remedies for a breach of the agreement shall include specific performance of the terms of the agreement; provided, that nothing in the agreement shall preclude a party seeking to enforce the agreement from utilizing child welfare mediation before, or in addition to, the commencement of a civil action for specific enforcement;

  (3)  An acknowledgment that the post adoption contact agreement shall be filed with and approved by the court in order to be enforceable; and

  (4)  An acknowledgment that the birth parents' consent to the adoption was not conditioned on the post adoption contact agreement and that acceptance of the agreement is fully voluntary.

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Upon completion of an adoption, further contact among the parties shall be at the discretion of the adoptive parents or in accordance with a post adoption contact agreement executed under this subsection.  The court shall not have jurisdiction to deny an exchange of identifying information between an adoptive parent and a birth parent.

  5.  Before the completion of an adoption, the court shall make available to the birth parent or parents a contact preference form developed by the state registrar pursuant to section 193.128 and provided to the court by the department of health and senior services.  If a birth parent chooses to complete the form, the clerk of the court shall send the form with the certificate of decree of adoption to the state registrar.  Such form shall accompany the original birth certificate of the adopted person and may be updated by a birth parent at any time upon the request of the birth parent.

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(RSMo 1939 § 9613, A.L. 1947 V. II p. 213, A.L. 1985 H.B. 366, et al., A.L. 1997 H.B. 343, A.L. 1998 H.B. 1918 merged with S.B. 674, A.L. 2001 S.B. 348, A.L. 2016 H.B. 1599, A.L. 2018 S.B. 819)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 14078; 1919 § 1100

(1953) Validity of judgment of adoption is determined solely by this section.  Judgment held sufficient.  Hyman v. Stanley (A.), 257 S.W.2d 388.

(1962) In adoption proceedings where petitioning stepfather had married the natural mother who had custody of child under Texas divorce decree, and for more than nine months thereafter shared custody of the child in the home, stepfather's custody was sufficient under this section.  In re Adoption of P.J.K. (A.), 359 S.W.2d 360.


---- end of effective   28 Aug 2018 ----

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