Reply Tue 18 Aug, 2009 07:46 pm
Beyond "competence, consideration and mutual consent" what constitutes a contract?

Let's pretend:

A pregnant woman wants to place her baby for adoption. She wants some contact with the family -- pictures, updates, that sort of thing.

She signs something the adoption agency calls an "open adoption agreement"; the adoptive parents sign too. This agreement outlines the amount and type of contact that will be allowed/provided.

Then the adoptive parents "disappear" -- they don't send photos or notes, all contact information is no longer working: letters are returned to sender, the phone number and email account are disconnected, etc.

The birthmother is left wondering what happened.

********

From what I've read open adoption agreements are only enforcable in a few states.

But isn't this a contract?

Why isn't it enforcable everywhere?

What constitutes a contract?

Thanks!
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CalamityJane
 
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Reply Tue 18 Aug, 2009 08:24 pm
Who would enforce it boomer?

Would the birth mother call the police because the adoptive parents missed
a few letters or forgot to send pictures?

Would the adoptive parents call the police because the birth mother hasn't
seen her child in 6 months?

What is if the child in question doesn't want to see the birth mother/parents?

Isn't it that birth mothers are mostly interested in the beginning to see
that their child is taken care of? In time they (birth mothers) get married
and start a family of their own and an open adoption would complicate
things further.

There are so many question marks on an open adoption to begin with,
enforcing one would be a heartache for both sides.

We opted for a closed adoption and I still don't have second thoughts about
that initial decision.
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boomerang
 
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Reply Tue 18 Aug, 2009 08:39 pm
I don't know how it would be enforced, CJane.

I guess it's kind of like restraining orders -- they're supposed to be enforced but it is problematic to do so.

The thing about a closed adoption though is that you would have never signed a document stating that you would provide contact. You were upfront - no contact.

I didn't really have any choice -- all of Mo's people knew me. Closed adoption wasn't even possible.

I'm talking about a woman who feels "tricked" -- she signed something saying there would be contact and there was never any contact.
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roger
 
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Reply Tue 18 Aug, 2009 08:47 pm
@boomerang,
boomerang wrote:

Beyond "competence, consideration and mutual consent" what constitutes a contract?



You would have to add "legal purpose" and "mutual benefit"

I don't think law of contract is going to apply, though. Maybe Joe or Tico will show up with different thoughts.
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Aug, 2009 09:14 pm
@roger,
roger wrote:

boomerang wrote:

Beyond "competence, consideration and mutual consent" what constitutes a contract?



You would have to add "legal purpose" and "mutual benefit"

I'm not sure about mutual benefit being necessary for an enforceable contract, but legality certainly is. Persons cannot engage in an illegal transaction just because they have a contract. For instance, a husband's contract with a hitman to murder his wife isn't enforceable, even though it's a contract.

I don't know enough about family law to say whether an "open adoption" contract is enforceable. My guess is that, if such contracts are allowed by the law, there are some pretty stringent requirements for them.
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