Adoption In Oklahoma

What Is Adoption?

Adoption is a legal process that permanently places a child with a family that has legally and emotionally accepted the child as their own. The adoptive parents have the same rights, duties, and responsibilities to the child as if they are the birth parents. In Oklahoma, single or married people over the age of 21 can adopt a child. An adoption terminates the parental rights of one or both biological parents and creates a new family relationship with the adoptive parents. 

In most cases, the consent of both biological parents is needed before an adoption. However, there are some instances when the court does not need the consent of both parents. This may be when a biological parent’s rights have already been terminated. In addition the child must give consent if they are 12 years old or older. The child’s birth certificate is changed to list the adoptive parents as the parents at birth. The original birth and adoption records are sealed, needing a court order to view.

Types Of Adoption in Oklahoma

When at least one of the adoptive parents is related by blood or marriage to the child. This is the most common type of adoption and includes stepparent adoption.

When the child is adopted by unrelated parents. This type of adoption usually takes place through a lawyer or an adoption agency. Individuals can sometimes complete the process on their own.

When an adult is adopted. An adult person can be adopted by any other adult, only if the adopted person agrees.

Adoption Facts

  • Every attempt must be made to get the consent of the biological parents. Consent is not necessary if the biological parents are deceased or their parental rights were terminated.
  • An adoption case can be started in the county where the adopting parents or child lives, Tulsa County, Oklahoma County, or the county where the biological parents’ rights were terminated. 
  • If the adopting parents are married, both of them must join in the adoption - even if one is the birth-parent of the child.
  • A favorable home study completed before the adoption can take place. 
  • The home study can be waived in a stepparent adoption when the biological parent and the step-parent have been married for at least one year. The adopted child must live with them for at least one year before the adoption.
  • There is a six month waiting period before an adoption can be finalized. Many adoption cases take much longer. 
  • This waiting period can be waived if it is a relative or stepparent adoption.

Legal Effects of Adoption

  1. Adoptions terminate all relations and rights between the biological parents and child. One of the parents keeps their parental rights in a stepparent adoption. 
  2. Biological parents do not keep the right to contact the child or have information about them after an adoption. 
  3. The adopted child is legally seen as the biological child of the adoptive parents.
  4. Adopting parents must provide a permanent home and commit to their adopted child for life.
  5. Adopting parents must look after the child’s emotional, mental, physical, social, and cultural needs.
  6. The adopted child may inherit property from the adopted parents and their biological parents. The adoptive parents can also inherit from the child.  
  7. If the biological grandparents have a visitation order it may continue after the adoption is finalized.
Last Review and Update: Oct 30, 2023
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