What are the Requirements to Adopt in Oklahoma?
Adoption is a life changing decision for your family and the child you bring into your life. There are multiple requirements to adopt a child in Oklahoma, which are intended to ensure your home is a safe and proper place for a child to be raised. This page provides an overview of the Oklahoma adoption requirements, but the specific details are complicated and should be taken seriously
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What are the requirements to adopt in Oklahoma?
There are multiple requirements in order to qualify as an adoptive parent in Oklahoma. However, with the help of an experienced Oklahoma City adoption attorney the process will be greatly simplified and you can have certainty that you have passed all the hurdles to finalize your adoption.
The list immediately below this paragraph provides the legal requirements to adopt in Oklahoma. However, there is more required in order to connect with a birth family, reach an agreement on the terms of your adoption, and complete the legal process of adoption, which is discussed further down. The following is a list of basic requirements to legally qualify for adoption in Oklahoma:
- Age: You must be at least 21 years old.
- Physical Health: You must be in good health.
- Marital Status: marital status does not impact your eligibility to adopt in Oklahoma. You may be single, married, divorced, or widowed and quality to adopt in Oklahoma.
- Mental Health: You must demonstrate that you have the emotional and mental capacity to take care of your current home and the addition of another child.
- Living Arrangements: You must have sufficient personal space and a bed for each child in your home, including your prospective adoptive child.
- Finances: You must have sufficient income to meet the financial needs of your current family and the additional obligation of adopting a child into your family.
- Home Study: you must demonstrate the capacity to love and accept a child into your home while nurturing his or her development into adulthood. More to follow below on the adoption home study.
- Orientation: you and if you have one, your spouse are both required to complete the home assessment process and attend the state’s 27-hour orientation session. Our Oklahoma City adoption attorneys would be glad to explain everything you want to know about the adoption orientation process.
What does a home study consist of for an Oklahoma adoption?
You have certainly heard about the adoption “home study”, if you are contemplating adopting in Oklahoma. The home study is the state’s tool to ensure that your home is a safe environment to raise a child and that you are a fit parent. Those two concerns are very difficult to qualify as they are very subjective. However, in an effort to evaluate your fitness to adopt a child prior to allowing prospective adoptive parents to take responsibility for a child, the state must have criteria to consider.
Therefore, the following is the State of Oklahoma’s list of considerations that as a whole make up the adoption home study. Our Oklahoma adoption attorneys can assist you in preparing for and completing each of these requirements:
- Completion of OKDHS forms and application
- Reference checks
- Background checks
- Medical Examination
- Family Assessment, including interviews of all family members
- Orientation (discussed above)
- Safety Assessment of your Home
- Verification of sufficient Income to support your Home
- Vaccination verification for all pets
- Verification of automobile insurance
What Types of Adoption exist in Oklahoma?
Many of our Oklahoma adoption clients know that they want to adopt a child; however, they do not know what type of adoption or what adoption option is right for their family. We are glad to answer all your questions and walk you through your options for adoption in Oklahoma. This is obviously a life changing choice that should not be taken lightly. It is important to have all your questions answered.
- Related Adoption: you may be surprised to know that related adoption or kinship adoption is the most common type of adoption in Oklahoma. In a related adoption, the child has either a blood relationship or relation through marriage with the adoptive parent. The most common related adoption in Oklahoma is step-parent adoption, where the spouse of the child’s biological parent adopts they child as their own.
- Unrelated Adoption: the unrelated adoption is the most well-known type of adoption. It occurs when the child is not related to either adopting parent or the single adoptive parent. This type of adoption is very common in Oklahoma and we have helped many clients complete their families through unrelated adoption in Oklahoma. The most common form of unrelated adoptions are through adoption agencies, out of foster care, out of state, or international adoptions.
- Adult adoption: this type of adoption in Oklahoma is often a tool to reinforce a relationship or to address probate/inheritance issues.
We encourage you to schedule an adoption planning session with our Oklahoma adoption attorneys to get answers to your questions regarding any adoption you are considering in Oklahoma.
Each type of adoption available in Oklahoma, including the overarching adoption types discussed above have challenges both procedurally and legally. Whether you decide to work with us or not it is in your best interest to work with an experienced Oklahoma City adoption attorney throughout the process to ensure you are making the right moves to achieve your goal of a peaceful and fulfilling adoption process.
What is the Adoption Process in Oklahoma City?
The first step in the adoption process is identifying and hiring an experienced Oklahoma City adoption attorney that you trust to walk beside you on this important journey. Next is the application process to become eligible to adopt in Oklahoma. You may either begin this process through the state’s DHS application process to adopt a child in the state system or you may work with your choice of adoption agencies to do a private adoption.
Our owner and founder, John Cannon, and his wife adopted with the assistance of a private adoption agency, but it came after much heartache and stress. This is part of why we are so passionate about making the process as easy as possible for you and your family.
What is the Oklahoma Adoption Application?
Your Oklahoma City adoption attorney can assist you in identifying the right adoption agency for your family. However, keep in mind that you will need to compile information on the following for their evaluation process: financial records, health records for your family, your lifestyle, and your family dynamic. These interviews can often feel like an investigation into your personal life; however, we are glad to assist you in understanding and navigating the adoption agency application process.
What does the Oklahoma Adoption Home Study involve?
Once you have completed the adoption application, a home study will take place, which is conducted by an Oklahoma social worker. The social worker on your adoption application will have regular contact and communication with you over the course of the home study process. He or she will interview everyone in your home, including your children. He or she will observe life in your home. Additionally, the adoption home study will include evaluation of your mental, emotional, and financial capacity to adopt a child.
Do not fear your adoption home study. We are glad to walk you through the process and help you understand everything that you can expect during your adoption home study process. This is a layer of protection for both you and the child you will adopt.
Once you have retained the right Oklahoma City adoption attorney, completed your adoption agency application, and your home study, the most difficult step comes next, waiting. Your adoption attorney and adoption agency can assist you in identifying a child to adopt or birth parents that are seeking to place their child with an adoptive family. However, this process takes time.
Your Fierce Advocates® at Cannon and Associates will do everything we can to ensure you know what to expect in your Oklahoma adoption case. There are a number of legal documents that must be completed and an agreement between you and the birth parents that we can prepare for you to review during the waiting period or we will simple handle this part of the process for you.
Legal Documents for Adoption in Oklahoma
Once a child is identified for adoption the best part begins, making your adoption legal! Your Oklahoma City adoption attorneys at Cannon and Associates will draft all the necessary documents to ensure your adoption will establish your legal rights and terminate the parental rights of the birth parents or biological parents once the adoption occurs.
There are nearly unlimited options for arrangements between the biological parents and adoptive parents during the adoption process and beyond. This can be a very confusing and stressful part of adoption. We look forward to explaining to you what we have seen in the past, what your options are for communication and beyond, as well as helping you determine the arrangement with the birth parents that is best for everyone involved.
Once the arrangements for your adoption are finalized, your Oklahoma City adoption attorney will finalize the legal documents for all parties’ signature and present the orders to the Court. Once your Oklahoma adoption pleadings are signed by the Court and filed, the adoption is legal and your parental rights are final!
There are few things more rewarding as an attorney than seeing a finalized adoption and helping a family come together. We are passionate about adoption in Oklahoma and many members of our team are personally impacted by adoption. We look forward to answering your specific Oklahoma adoption questions and being Your Fierce Advocates® for adoption, if we are the right adoption attorney for you.
What are the Oklahoma Adoption Requirements?
In Oklahoma, as in many states, you have legal requirements in order to be eligible to adopt under state law as well as separate requirements by the adoption agency. The first threshold requirement to adopt in Oklahoma is that you and your partner or spouse, if applicable, must be 21 years or older to adopt.
Each of the following Oklahoma adoption requirements or adoption agency requirements are intended for the benefit of your family and the child’s well-being, i.e. ensuring as much as possible that the arrangement will be positive for everyone involved.
Criminal record: the existence of a criminal record does not by itself bar you from being able to adopt; however, a felony conviction is a barrier that must be overcome in order to adopt in Oklahoma. Adoption judges take a holistic look at your family dynamic in approving or disapproving an adoption. Your OKC adoption attorney can answer your specific questions about a criminal record and its impact on adopting in Oklahoma.
Consent: when you adopt a child the biological parents are agreeing to their parental rights being terminated, which is not something anyone takes lightly. Both biological parents must either consent to the adoption or the Court must determine that the adoption should occur for the best interest of the child, despite the biological parent’s contesting the adoption in a Contested Adoption. In place of consent, an adoption judge may determine that the adoption should happen despite a parent contesting the adoption; however, this is a complicated process, which you should discuss with your OKC adoption attorney in detail.
Emotional and Mental Health: your stability and readiness to adopt is evaluated by the state, the adoption agency, and the Court over your adoption. Needless to say, it is important to take a serious look at your emotional preparedness to adopt. Our OKC Adoption attorneys at Cannon and Associates can help you understand this important element of adoption in Oklahoma.
Financial: the state, the adoption agency, if you work with an agency, and the birth parents will all want to ensure that you are financially able to support the child you adopt. You certainly do not have to be rich; however, it is important that you are able to support your home and your new child. Our OKC adoption attorneys can assist you in gathering your financial information to present to the social worker completing you home study, as well as the birth parents and/or adoption agency.
Consult Your Fierce Advocates® for Adoption in Oklahoma
Our OKC family law attorneys routinely assist families in understanding and completing the Oklahoma adoption process. There are many wonderful reasons families decide to forever change the life of a child by adoption and we stand ready to assist you throughout the process of adoption in Oklahoma. The adoption process has many variables that can cause frustration and stress on your road to adoption in Oklahoma, which is why our Fierce Advocates® at Cannon and Associates would be glad to sit down with you for a comprehensive adoption planning session to look at your specific circumstances. Having Fierce Advocates® and experienced Oklahoma adoption attorneys on your side is very important in the process of adoption.
CONTACT CANNON & ASSOCIATES TODAY!
Your Fierce Advocates® at Cannon & Associates are dedicated to answering your questions and preparing you for the road to adoption in Oklahoma. We take pride in the responsibility of serving families seeking to adopt and would be glad to meet with you for a free adoption planning session.
CALL NOW 405-591-3935 for your free confidential adoption planning sessions to help you understand your circumstances and answer your questions about adoption in Oklahoma.
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