Vermont Bar Journal, Vol. 40, No. 2 Fall 2015, Vol 41, No. 3 - Page 29

What Now? As written, and in the case of a failure of the proposed adoption, this law is not enforceable as claimed. In the case of a failed adoption, the agreement is rendered moot and irretrievable. Until and unless these problems are rectified in the law, as a matter of practice, juvenile practitioners should be wary of using a post-adoption contact agreement as the basis or even as a reason to recommend a voluntary relinquishment of parental rights. But, if termination is inevitable, and the birth parent(s) wish to avoid findings being recorded in their case, then the practitioner can still use this agreement as a persuasive tool just as unenforceable letters of intent have been used for many years. ____________________ Danielle Sweeney started with Eric S. Louttit, Attorney at Law as a paralegal almost five years ago and is currently read- www.vtbar.org ing for the law with Eric as her supervising attorney. She plans to sit for the bar exam upon completion of her clerkship. Danielle serves as a pack committee chairperson for the Boy Scouts of America and has volunteered with at risk youth organizations for many years. Eric Louttit, Esq., is admitted to the Vermont State and United States District Court bars. Aside from private practice, Eric holds conflict contracts for criminal defense and juvenile cases in Rutland and Windsor counties. He serves on the Board of Directors for Recovery House, Inc., and served for years on the Board of Directors for The Vermont Achievement Center. He is an active participant in juvenile issues, both in the legal and outside communities. The Children’s Corner to make the voluntary relinquishment and the post-adoption contact agreement contingent upon the completion of the proposed adoption. In other words, if the adoption does not go through, the birth parent(s) should be able to withdraw their voluntary relinquishment since they relied upon the agreement in voluntarily relinquishing their parental rights and accepting the proposed adoption in the first place. ____________________ 1 http://legislature.vermont.gov/bill/status/ 2016/S.9 2 http://legislature.vermont.gov/assets/Documents/2016/Docs/ACTS/ACT060/ACT060%20 As%20Enacted.pdf, at 25-32. 3 Id. 4 Id. 5 Id. 6 http://legislature.vermont.gov/assets/Documents/2016/Docs/ACTS/ACT060/ACT060%20 As%20Enacted.pdf, at 28 (emphasis added). THE VERMONT BAR JOURNAL • FALL 2015 29