Common Aspects of Adoption in Oklahoma
The following aspects of adoption in Oklahoma are common regardless of the type of adoption:
- Adoption creates a legal parent-child relationship and makes the adoptee an heir of the adopting parent.
- The legal name of the adoptee may be changed during the adoption process, at the discretion of the parties involved.
- At the time of adoption, written non-identifying medical and social information about the adoptee and the birth parents is made available to the adoptive parent.
- Identifying information is generally not shared by the agency or attorney unless the adoptive parent and the birth parent mutually agree in writing to the exchange of that information or release that information directly to each other.
- Any agreement between the birth parent and adoptive parent regarding the amount of "openness" or ongoing postplacement contact is not enforceable by law. The child-placing agency or attorney providing placement services often agrees to receive and forward any communication between parties.
- All fees connected with an adoption must be approved by the court, including any financial assistance provided to the birth mother for counseling, etc. Amounts paid by the adoptive parent for home study, agency services and legal counsel must be provided to the court prior to the Final Decree of Adoption.
- Placement of a child for adoption can only be done by a birth parent, a child-placing agency, the Department of Human Services, an Indian Nation department of child welfare services, or a court that has the legal and physical custody of the adoptee.
- An adoptive parent who is an Oklahoma resident may deduct up to $10,000 per year on his or her Oklahoma income tax return for certain specific documented adoption expenses which were paid during the tax year in connection with the adoption of a minor or a proposed but failed adoption of a minor.