What is Included in a Post Adoption Contact and Communication Agreement?
A Post Adoption Contact and Communication Agreement (PACCA) is a very technical document, which must include everything provided for by the appropriate statutes.It therefore must be prepared by a qualified adoption attorney, and is not something which either the parties themselves may prepare, or which a social worker or counselor may prepare.
The statutes also provide that both the social worker and the guardian ad litem must approve and endorse the agreement, or it cannot go into effect.It is an interesting provision because not all types of adoptions involve a guardian ad litem.However, the court has the authority to appoint one, and would likely do so if informed that it was for the purpose of preparing a PACCA to be agreed upon and incorporated into the Final Order.
A guardian ad litem is an attorney appointed by the court to represent the interests of the child involved and not of any of the adults in the case.The court wants the guardian ad litem to investigate the case and make a recommendation to the court with respect to what is in the child’s best interests.
Among the things required to be included in a PACCA is a clear statement acknowledging that the existence of the Agreement does not affect the validity of the adoption itself, which is final, and may not be reversed.There are no provisions in Virginia law for reversing an adoption.
If you have further questions about Open Adoption, or any other matters related to adoption in Virginia, send me an e-mail at [email protected].Or if you prefer, call 703-361-5051 to schedule either a telephone or office consultation at my Manassas or Farifax, Virginia office.