August 10, 2020
IN RE AVA W.*
Robinson, C. J., and Palmer, McDonald, D’Auria,
Mullins, Kahn and Ecker, Js.**
Argued May 4—officially released August 10, 2020***
The Connecticut Supreme Court held that a trial court does, in fact, have the authority to order post-termination & post-adoption visitation between children and their birth parents, following a trial on the issue of termination of parental rights. Previously, in order to ensure visitation with their children after the child had been adopted, birth parents had to give up their right to a trial and sign an open adoption agreement; these agreements were largely dictated by the interests of the state and the foster parents. Following this ruling, the Court determined that the trial court is independently empowered to issue orders continuing post-adoption contact between children and their birth parents, assuming such contact is shown at trial to be in the best interests of the child.
CCA attorney Stacy Schleif was the child’s counsel both at trial and for the appeal to the Supreme Court.
The decision is here: https://jud.ct.gov/external/supapp/Cases/AROcr/CR335/335CR178.pdf
With the concurrence here: https://jud.ct.gov/external/supapp/Cases/AROcr/CR335/335CR178A.pdf