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      CHC 1269.5     


Art. 1269.5.  Court approval; incorporation into judgment

A.  The court shall review a continuing contact agreement executed in conformity with the requirements of this Chapter.

B.  If the court finds that an agreement serves the best interest of the child, the agreement shall be incorporated into a judgment of the court.  An agreement reached by the parties and approved by the department and counsel representing the child is presumed to serve the best interest of the child.  The judgment shall provide that failure to comply with the terms of the agreement does not constitute grounds for annulling a surrender or the final decree of adoption.

C.  If the court rejects the agreement, it shall make specific findings of fact in support of its conclusion that the best interest of the child would not be served by approval of the agreement.  The factors to be considered shall include:

(1)  The duration of the child's relationship with the parent, grandparent, sibling, or other relative by blood, adoption, or affinity seeking continuing contact.

(2)  The strength of the psychological attachment between the child and the individual seeking continuing contact.

(3)  The resulting harm to the child if the relationship is not preserved.

D.  The court may receive expert testimony on the issue of continuing contact.

E.  If the child is twelve years of age or older, the court shall solicit and consider the child's wishes in the matter.

Acts 2001, No. 568, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2002; Acts 2008, No. 583, §2.

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