Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Ask Your Legislators to Support Voluntary Post-Adoption Agreements

In the last few days available for the House to consider bills, an important piece of legislation promoting child adoption remains on the table. Senate Bill 1360, a cost-neutral bill which provides for voluntary post-adoption contact agreements, still needs approval. Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children has a sign-on letter you can use to support this bill today.

The policies proposed in SB 1360 (which have already been adopted in 23 other states) are not new. Many children in foster care, especially youth, are reluctant to be adopted because they don't want to lose all contact with close birth relatives. About ten years ago the federal government encouraged states to amend adoption law to encourage the use of voluntary post-adoption agreements; and the Joint State Government Commission made a similar recommendation to the General Assembly.

These agreements both promote the adoption of children from foster care and provide children the opportunity to maintain appropriate contact with birth relatives following adoption such as contact between siblings. If children are given the opportunity to have a permanent family while being able to keep in appropriate contact with their siblings and relatives, they will be more likely to consider adoption.

Please take a moment today to contact your legislators about this important legislation.

image courtesy of http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Child_drawing.jpg

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