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Birth Family Visits

We have an open adoption with our children’s birth family and currently visit them twice a year. Their birth father has a PACCA with very specific language and we have a good relationship with him. Previously, he was incarcerated and did not visit with the children but he called once a week. He is now out and has shown that he making strides to rebuild his life - job, apartment. We visited him over Thanksgiving and now he would like to visit us. I don’t have any issue with the visit or him coming to us or safety concerns. He will stay in a hotel. But I want to set boundaries at the beginning. If he visits and stays in a hotel and visits multiples times over a weekend, does each day count as a visit in regards to the PACCA? So if we visit him 3x over the weekend. Is that 3 visits? In my mind, it is. We are too busy as a family to have him come for a couple of weekends a year, as well as, our 2 agreed visits for us to come to him. He lives about 3 hours away from us. Thanks for you advice.


To me it is just one extended visit, but I would think that it would count as one of your 2 yearly visits

Posted by rn4kidz on Jan 08, 2019 at 3:36pm

You don’t say what state you are from (which I can understand), so that limits response as I don’t know what the laws are in your state.  In Oregon, we have to follow the agreement, but anything over and above that is what we feel comfortable with.

That being said.  You are correct that you need to establish what boundaries you are comfortable with as this change happens.  It would be harder to get those boundaries in place after these visits start happening. 

I can understand being busy.  We go camping a lot in the summer.  In fact, one of our visits usually coincides with us heading off somewhere as we stop by on our way.  Also, the birth family is south and our family is north which limits visits even more. 

So I would decide if you want to make his visits to you extra to the agreement or replace one of your visits.  Then decide how often they can occur.  You can also tell him something like, “If you come here to visit us we won’t be able to spend the entire time with you, but you can go to Sally’s game on Saturday and join us for breakfast on Sunday.  We have too much going on for more time.”  The best of rule of thumb I have heard for birth family visitation is - How would you treat your crotchety grandmother if she was asking for this?

Posted by justaminion on Jan 08, 2019 at 4:34pm

Thank you. We intend to do our two visits to him no matter what. I don’t want to replace his visit to us with one of our visits. We have a good relationship with him but want to set boundaries in the beginning.

Our PACCA states up to 6 visits - two - we visit him, two - he is invited to an event, special occasion, two - he pays for a social worker supervised visit. This weekend visit isn’t really listed as an option but in my mind it replace two of the 4 he is allotted.

I think it will end up being a nonissue. It’s costly for him to come to visit and stay in a hotel. He lives 3 1/2 hours away and is just getting back on his feet.

I had a slight panic that 6 visits a year is a lot especially if he is going to stay the weekend each time. While the first visit was good, it is disruptive to the kids and takes them awhile to recover from birth family visits. We also see extended family and half-siblings none of which live nearby. So we’ll play it by ear and set boundaries in the beginning.

Posted by Two Cats and a Cradle on Jan 11, 2019 at 1:24pm

Will seeing his father six times a year seem excessive to his child?

Posted by NoraT on Jan 11, 2019 at 1:37pm

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