In re J.R., No. 10-FS-38 (Decided Dec. 22, 2011). The DC Court of Appeals affirmed exercise of temporary jurisdiction under UCCJEA and affirmed the neglect finding under D.C. Code x 16-2301(9)(A)(ii). Child Abuse Levels Drop (Huffington Post) – Available here. Child Abuse and its Effects on the Brain (Reuters) – Available here. 20/20 Report Foster Children and Over Medication (ABC News) – Available here.
Often times in contested adoptions the biological parents as well as all involved biological relatives should balance the litigation strategy in light of the Adoption Reform Amendment Act (“ARA”) § 101 which established enforceability of post-adoption contact agreements between biological parents, other birth relatives, adoptive parents, and adoptees (if they are 14 or older) for first time in the District of Columbia. The contact agreement is tantamount to a custom made contract tailored to terms and conditions dictates by negotiating parties generally governing “contact” between the child and his or her biological family after the adoption is finalized with specific provisions addressing duration, place, frequency, holidays etc. The agreement can be somewhat similar to the custody agreements with specifics provision addressing all relevant issues involving the welfare of the child, biological parents, and the adoptive family. The contract has to be court approved to be court enforceable. The only criteria for court approval is the best interest of the child standard. Thus if the biological parents have not been actively involved with the care and support of their child and the legal elements of abandonment and lack of financial support can be established by clear and convincing evidence, then, granted