Common Requirements for Adoption in Oklahoma
Adoption is a big decision for the adopter, the adoptee(s), and the biological parents. It is common for adoption to be positive, life-changing experience for both parties.
It’s wise to talk with one of the adoption lawyers OKC, Lisa R. Howard before beginning the adoption process.
Here, we will cover adoption requirements and other considerations below. Keep in mind that this is a general overview, and the specifics can be rather nuanced and complicated.
Three Different Types of Oklahoma Adoption
Adult adoption occurs when one adult adopts another adult. Often, this is done to clarify and reinforce existing relationships.
Adoption can also play a role in inheritance.
Related adoption is the most common type of adoption in Oklahoma. The child or person to be adopted is related to the parent through either blood or marriage. It is common that it is considered a step-parent adoption in Oklahoma, adopting their spouse’s child.
This adoption type occurs when a child is unrelated to both adopting parents. Typically, when children are adopted from other countries through adoption agencies and organizations, it’s an unrelated adoption.
Of course, before adopting someone, it’s vital to closely consider your circumstances, relevant laws, the needs of the adoptee, and various other factors. While adoption is often the right choice, it’s not a decision that should be rushed into.
While step parent adoption in Oklahoma is, in some ways, a bit more straightforward than unrelated adoption, the process can still be complex. No matter the type of adoption, it’s wise to talk to an attorney to understand the full implications of adoption, your obligations, and any potential roadblocks.
Adoption Process in OKC
A prospective adoptive parent will first apply to be an adoptive parent. The actual application can differ from adoption agency to adoption agency but will typically consider your financial situation, current family life, home, and your lifestyle.
Once the application is made, you’ll have to undergo a home study, during which a social worker will visit your home. This social worker will interview household members and observe daily life within the home. Throughout the process, your physical health, ability to financially support the child, and other factors will be considered.
Your emotional and mental health will also be examined. This may include the relationship between spouses and children already in the household. Every member of the family must be in sync. Emotional grief, say from infertility and miscarriage, will also be considered.
The adoption home study process is not something to be afraid of or stressed out about. It is not a white glove test of your home. It is an extra layer of protection to ensure that the family wanting to adopt a child can provide a safe and loving home.
Common Oklahoma Adoption Requirements
In Oklahoma, you must be 21 years or older to adopt someone. If the child is 12 years or older, they must also typically consent to adoption.
Different adoption agencies may also have their requirements. Generally speaking, these requirements are put in place to protect the child’s well-being. Your financial situation, space in your home, and other factors may be considered.
Courts take a holistic approach when considering adoptions. A felony on your record will not automatically exclude you from adopting a child.
However, the courts will consider your criminal record, which may affect your application. Any crimes involving children could prove especially detrimental to getting approved for adoption. Your OKC Adoption attorney can discuss this issue further with you.
Biological Parents Consent
When you adopt someone, the biological parent’s parental rights are terminated. As such, it’s a requirement in Oklahoma that the biological parents be contacted, or at least every reasonable effort is put into contacting them for them to receive notice.
Some people adopting may come from a miscarriage that sometimes leads to emotional distress. It can take time to emotionally work through these issues before you are ready to adopt. Adoption Attorney Lisa R. Howard can help you navigate these issues and can also help you in finding resources to help you grieve.
Your home study provider will ask questions about your income and expenses each month. You do not need to be rich to adopt a child. You need only to be able to adequately meet the child’s needs.
You do not need to be married to adopt a child. Adopting as an individual is possible, but married couples can petition to adopt together.
Same-sex couples can also adopt in Oklahoma. There are no laws covering same-sex adoptions in Oklahoma. Thus there are no legal impediments.
As you can see, the adoption application process is complex and also rather intensive. This helps to ensure that children are protected, and their interests championed. If you’re looking for an adoption attorney in OKC or have questions regarding adoption in OKC, contact Lisa R. Howard P.L.L.C.