Post-Contact Adoption Agreement (PACA) is a voluntary agreement between the child’s birth relatives and the adoptive parents that is enforceable under Georgia law. They are not required, but completely voluntary. If the child being adopted is over 14, then he or she is also considered a party to the agreement. Many birth parents or birth relatives want to know what happens to the child following adoption. PACAs provide that agreed upon reassurance. In many cases, adoptive parents agree to provide photographs and periodic updates. If the child is older, the arrangements may be different. Modifications may be made in the future. A violation of the PACA does not affect the finality of the adoption. A party may petition a court to seek enforcement or modification of the PACA, if the agreement does not expressly waive that right. The adoption court will then make a determination related to modifications based on the child’s best interests. PACAs are not intended to interfere with the finality of the adoption; they just recognize the importance of some degree of continuing contact between all the parties.
A home study is a report created by a social worker for prospective adoptive parents (PAPs). The report itself contains information regarding PAPs’ home, family and marital history, education, social life, health, family relationships, and the PAPs’ thoughts and feelings about adoption, parenting, and infertility, as applicable. PAPs also undergo fingerprinting and criminal history background checks, and they are interviewed by a social worker, who also visits their home. The home study is a comprehensive process, which varies from state-to-state and agency-to-agency. Time to complete the home study generally takes anywhere from three to six months, although it can be expedited under some circumstances. At the conclusion of the home study, the social worker typically makes recommendations as to whether the PAPs should be permitted to adopt. A great explanation of the Adoption Home Study Process and what it generally entails is found here on the Child Welfare Government website.
The Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) of 1978 is Federal law that governs the removal and out-of-home placement of American Indian children. The law was enacted after recognition by the Federal Government that American Indian children were being removed from their homes and communities at a much higher rate than non-Native children. ICWA established standards for the placement of Indian children in foster and adoptive homes and enabled Tribes and families to be involved in child welfare cases.