WHO CAN ADOPT IN OKLAHOMA?
An individual who is 21 years or older, a husband and wife jointly if both are 21 years or older, a married person who is legally separated who is 21 years or older, or the husband or wife if his/her spouse is a relative of the child.
Can LGBT families adopt? Yes, same-sex couples can petition for joint adoption.
OKLAHOMA DOMESTIC ADOPTION LAWS
Can adoptive parents advertise for birth parents? Yes but only adoptive parents with valid homestudy. No outside agencies, attorneys or facilitators may legally advertise in Oklahoma.
Can out-of-state residents finalize an adoption? Yes, but discouraged.
Can adopting parents use an adoption facilitator or another paid intermediary? Yes, but only the State Department, a licensed child-placing agency, or an attorney may act as an intermediary in placing a minor for adoption. Children being brought into the state for the purpose of adoption must comply with the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (the parent or guardian of the child is excused).
What birth parent expenses may be paid, and in what time period? Medical, legal, counseling. Living for birth-related necessities. Transportation, but no car payments or repairs. No furniture. Living expenses allowed after birthmother contacts agency or attorney and for up to two months after placement; counseling for up to six months after placement, with court approval. Court must pre-approve expenses over $500. Payments must be made to third party unless otherwise ordered by a Judge.
Is there a putative father registry? Yes.
When can consent to adoption be granted? BBirthmother: after birth (need judge); Native American Indian Birthmother: If child is registered in Federally Recognized tribe, 10 days after birth, with notices sent to all tribes for which the child is eligible and BIA by Registered mail. Putative birthfather: May sign Extra Judicial Consent with 15 days to revoke; can be served with “Adoption Plan”, with 30 days to turn it in to Paternity Registry, or rights will be terminated. Legal Father or Indian Child Welfare Case (ICWA): If father is legal or child is registered Native American, Waiver/Confession after birth.
When does consent become irrevocable? If consent is revoked, is return to birth parent automatic? Upon signing before a Judge. The birthparent can file for child’s return but unless she can prove fraud or duress, the putative father’s rights cannot be terminated, or the adoptive parents did not file a Petition for Adoption within (9) mos. after the relinquishment, the relinquishment is irrevocable.
Are post-adoption contact agreements legally enforceable? Yes, as long as the agreement is in writing and approved by the court.
OKLAHOMA INTERNATIONAL ADOPTION LAWS
Is a foreign adoption decree automatically recognized by the state? Yes, the decree issued by a foreign court or other governmental authority is recognized by Oklahoma as long as the adoption decree is issued under due process of law.
Can parents readopt in this state? Is it mandatory? Yes, an adoptive parent may petition to readopt in Oklahoma if s/he is an Oklahoma citizen and resident when the petition is filed. The court will grant an adoption decree to a minor born outside of the U.S. upon receipt of a copy of the termination of parental rights and documents from a foreign governmental body proving that the child is up for adoption. All documents in a foreign language must be translated into English.
When will a U.S. birth certificate be issued? The State Registrar will issue a supplementary U.S. birth certificate upon receipt of a decree, judgment, or final order issued by a foreign court or other governmental authority or proof that the child is a U.S. citizen.
ADOPTION FROM FOSTER CARE IN OKLAHOMA
Are adoption subsidies available? When do they start and how long do they last? Yes, adoption subsidies are available to a special needs child as defined by at least one of the following: 8 years or older, 3 years or older if American Indian, Hispanic, Asian, or African-American, member of a sibling group being placed together, has or is at high risk for developing a professionally diagnosed physical or mental disability, has a professionally diagnosed emotional disturbance, or is receiving paid or unpaid kinship care. In addition, the child must be in the custody of the Oklahoma Dept. of Human Services or a federally recognized Indian tribe and 18 years or younger. Subsidies start upon adoption finalization or placement.
Where can I learn more about the process of adopting a child from foster care in Oklahoma? http://www.okdhs.org/programsandservices/adopt
OKLAHOMA ADOPTION UNITPO Box 25352
Oklahoma City, OK 73125