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Adoption Terms: Understanding the Process

smiling hispanic family with daughter laughing in garden at homeAdoption involves a unique set of legal processes and terminology.  Being familiar with these key terms will empower you to make informed decisions and confidently understand your rights and options as you explore the possibility of adoption.

Key Adoption Terms

Adoptee: The child or individual being adopted.

Adoption Assistance Agreement: A document outlining the specific adoption subsidies or benefits the adoptive family will receive.

Adoption Subsidy: Financial assistance that may be available for families adopting children who have been in foster care. An OKC adoption attorney can help you explore eligibility.

Adoptive Parents: The parents who are legally adopting the child.

Adult Adoption: A legal process where an adult adopts another adult. This can be used to formalize family connections such as between step-parents and step-children, or in other cases where adults wish to establish a legal parent-child relationship.

Birth Parents: Also known as biological parents, they are the genetic parents of the child being placed for adoption.

Closed Adoption: In this type of adoption, there is no contact or exchange of identifying information between the birth parents and the adoptive family.

Disruption: The unfortunate circumstance where an adoption placement does not work out prior to finalization, and the child is removed from the adoptive home.

Dissolution: A rare occurrence where an adoption is reversed after finalization.

Finalization: The legal process by which an adoption is formally completed in court. Following finalization, a new birth certificate is issued, naming the adoptive parents as the child’s legal parents. This process is often handled by an Oklahoma City adoption attorney.

Home Study: A mandatory assessment of the prospective adoptive family, often required in Oklahoma City adoptions. It encompasses background checks, personal interviews, financial statements, and home visits. The home study ensures that the adoptive family can provide a safe, stable, and nurturing environment for the child.

ICPC (Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children): A set of regulations governing the placement of children for adoption across state lines, particularly relevant for Oklahoma adoptions. The ICPC ensures safeguards are in place for the child’s safety and well-being.

Legal Risk Placement: Occurs when the child is placed with the adoptive family before the finalization of the adoption, often while the termination of parental rights process is still pending. Oklahoma adoption attorneys frequently advise on legal risk placements.

Matching: The process of identifying a potential adoptive family in Oklahoma City that aligns with the child’s needs and the birth parents’ wishes for the placement.

Open Adoption: A type of adoption where the adoptive family and birth parents maintain some level of contact. This may involve exchanging letters, photos, or even in-person visits, allowing the child to have a connection with their birth family.

Parental Consent: A legal document signed by the birth parents voluntarily relinquishing their parental rights and responsibilities, often facilitated by an adoption attorney in Oklahoma.

Placement: The act of placing the child with the adoptive family after matching and any necessary legal processes have been completed.

Post-Placement Supervision: A period following placement where a social worker or adoption agency provides support and monitors the child’s adjustment in the adoptive home.

Stepparent Adoption: A family law specialization handled by attorneys in Oklahoma City, where a stepparent adopts their spouse’s biological child with the consent of the other birth parent or in the event of their absence or death.

Termination of Parental Rights (TPR): A legal process that permanently severs the rights of the biological parents. TPR may be voluntary or involuntary based on factors such as abandonment or neglect. An Oklahoma adoption lawyer can provide guidance on this process.

Waiting Child: A child in the foster care system in Oklahoma who is legally cleared for adoption and waiting for a permanent family.

Adoption in Oklahoma City: Key Terms and Your Options

Understanding the terminology and options associated with adoption will empower you as you consider this fulfilling journey. Building a family through adoption is a remarkably rewarding decision.  While the process might initially seem overwhelming, compassionate and experienced legal guidance can provide clarity and peace of mind.

If you are considering adoption in Oklahoma City, contact Lisa R Howard PLLC for a consultation. Our OKC adoption attorneys are dedicated to helping you grow your family through the gift of adoption.

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Law Office of Lisa R. Howard PLLC
7 S. Mickey Mantle Drive, Ste. 385
Oklahoma City, OK 73104

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 12428
Oklahoma City, OK 73157

Phone: (405) 943-2500
Mobile: (405) 249-3080
Email: lisa@attorneylisahoward.com

Disclaimer: The information contained in this Website is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter.