A couple with a shaky marriage agrees to stay married because one of the parties sincerely wants a child and adoption is the only recourse left. The ‘non adopting’ spouse agrees to stay married and the parties sign an agreement that the ‘non adopting spouse’ will not seek parenting time and the ‘adopting spouse’ will not seek child support as a part of the impending divorce proceeding. Home visits are scheduled and passed, and the adoption is approved.
Said agreement to stay married is solely for the purpose of circumventing adoption laws. For example, starting in July, 2014, the U.S. will require that adoptions of foreign children be through the Hague Convention.
The Intercountry Adoption Universal Accreditation Act (UAA) was signed by President Obama on Monday, January 14, 2013. UAA applies the Hague Accreditation and Approval requirements to all agencies and persons providing “adoptions services” in cases where a child immigrates to or emigrates from the United States for purposes of adoption. This is a complicated Act, but most important to the Act is the assurance that all agencies follow not only U.S. adoption laws, but the country’s laws from which the child is adopted. For example, a single man cannot adopt a female child who is a citizen of Belize. //adoption.state.gov/country_information/country_specific_info.php?country-select=belize
The parties go through with the adoption, but shortly after the adoption, the parties separate and a divorce proceeding ensues.
Minnesota would not recognize such agreements, but should practitioners take this into account when negotiating a settlement? Should mediators?