Adoption By City

How to Adopt in Oklahoma

Whether you are looking to adopt, looking to place your child for adoption, or searching for information about home studies and where to begin the process, the following information will be your guide to all things adoption in Oklahoma.

What you need to know about adopting a baby in Oklahoma

To get started on your adoption journey, it is important to understand some of the fundamental aspects and frequently asked question about the process. Here are a few things to know when considering adoption in Oklahoma.

What are the laws and requirements for adopting a baby in Oklahoma?

To become an Adoptive Parent in Oklahoma, you must be at least 21 years old. A person looking to adopt may be single, married, divorced, or widowed.

How much does it cost to adopt a baby in Oklahoma?

Expenses related to adoption in Oklahoma range widely depending on the type of adoption you decide to pursue. Are you looking to adopt internationally or domestically? Through a private agency or the foster care system? Depending on what you decide, Adoptive Parents may be asked to cover adoption-related expenses such as:

  • Attorney fees and court costs
  • Medical expenses for the Birth Mom and child
  • Reasonable travel and transportation costs
  • Counseling services for the Birth Parents up to 6 months after the child is born
  • A one-time gift to the Birth Mother valued up to $100
  • Reasonable living expenses such as:
    • Housing and utilities
    • Food for the Birth Mom and child
    • Child care for any minor child of the Birth Mother associated with pregnancy-related medical care

How do you become a Foster Parent in Oklahoma?

To become a Foster Parent in Oklahoma, you must meet the following the requirements

  • Be at least 21 years old
  • Be able to support the child financially
  • Provide sufficient beds and space for the children
  • Have reasonably good mental and physical health
  • You may be single, married, divorced or widowed
  • Complete 27 hours of preservice training
  • Complete a home study assessment to include:
    • A home safety assessment
    • Criminal background checks
    • References
    • Completion of OK DHS forms and applications
    • A report of medical examinations
    • Interviews with the family
    • Verification of income, vaccination of pets, and automobile insurance if applicable

If married, the partner or spouse must be a part of the required training and home study assessment.

What you need to know about adopting a baby in Oklahoma

If you are considering placing your child for adoption, understanding how the adoption process works as well as knowing your rights may relieve some of your worry. Here are a few things to know when considering adoption for your child in Oklahoma.

Oklahoma is home to many people seeking adoption opportunities and resources to begin their journey, click here to see some potential Adoptive Families.

Who must consent to an adoption in Oklahoma?

Consent to adoption in Oklahoma must be given by the following:

  • Both the Birth Mother and Birth Father
  • One parent if the other:
    • Has passed away
    • Has had his or her parental rights taken away
    • Is not required to give consent
  • The child’s legal guardian if both parents are deceased or have had their parental rights revoked
  • An agency having custody of the child
  • Any legal guardian of the child
  • The adoptee if they are at least 12 years old

When is consent not necessary for adoption in Oklahoma?

In Oklahoma, consent to adoption will not be required from a parent who:

  • Has a mental illness that makes them incapable of performing parental responsibilities
  • Has had their parental rights to a minor terminated
  • Has abandoned the child
  • Waives his or her after receiving notice of adoption proceedings
  • For 1 year immediately before the filing of an adoption petition, willfully failed, refused, or neglected to contribute to the such child's support or maintain a substantial relationship with the child
  • Has been convicted of physically or sexually abusing the child or a sibling or failed to protect the minor or a sibling from physical or sexual abuse that resulted in severe harm or injury
  • Has been convicted of having caused the death of a sibling of the minor as a result of the physical or sexual abuse or chronic neglect
  • Has been sentenced to incarceration for 10 or more years
  • Has voluntarily placed the child with licensed child-placing agency for 18 months or more and has willfully failed to substantially comply for 1 year immediately before the filing of the adoption petition with a reasonable written plan of care

How and when can Birth Parents consent to adoption in Oklahoma?

For the Birth Mom, consent may be given after the birth of the child, and it must be signed before a judge in the state of her residence or the residence of the Adoptive Parents.

The Birth Father, if married to the Birth Mom may give his consent to adoption after the birth of the child. If he is not of Native American descent, he may execute an extrajudicial consent in front of a notary public that waives any legal interest he has of the child and consents to the adoption.

The Birth Father of a child born out of wedlock may consent to an adoption proceeding after the child is born.

A Putative Father may give his consent any time before or after the child’s birth. If he is at least 16 years old and not of Native American descent, he may execute an extrajudicial consent in front of a notary public that waives any legal interest he has of the child and consents to the adoption.

Consent of a minor under the age of 16 must be accompanied by written consent from his or her legal guardian.

Can a Birth Parent revoke their consent to adoption in Oklahoma?

In Oklahoma, consent to adoption that has not yet been legally authorized is revocable up to 5 days after it is given. Once it is finalized, consent becomes irrevocable unless it is in the best interest of the child and:

  • An adoption petition was not filed within 9 months after the child was placed for adoption
  • Before a decree of adoption is issued or within 3 months of the discovery of the fraud, whichever is later, that the consent was obtained by fraud or duress
  • Another consent to relinquishment was not executed or that a court decided not to terminate another individual's parental rights to the child

What rights do Birth Fathers have in the adoption process in Oklahoma?

An ‘Acknowledged Father’ is a man who has established a father-child relationship by signing an acknowledgment of paternity under Article 3 of the Uniform Parentage Act.

An ‘Adjudicated Father’ is a man who has been adjudicated by a court jurisdiction to be the father of a child.

An ‘Alleged Father’ is a man who alleges himself to be, or is alleged to be, the Genetic Father or a Possible Genetic Father of a child, but whose paternity has not been determined. The term may also be referred to as the ‘Putative Father,’ and does not include a Presumed Father.

A ‘Presumed Father’ is a man who is recognized as the father of a child until that status is rebutted or confirmed in a judicial proceeding.

Oklahoma has established a Putative Father Registry to:

  • Protect the parental rights of a Putative Father who may wish to assume responsibility for children he may have fathered
  • Expedite adoptions of children whose Biological Fathers are unwilling to assume responsibility for their children

An unmarried Birth Father has the right to file:

  • A notice of desire to receive notification of an adoption proceeding concerning the child
  • A notice of intent to claim paternity of the child
  • An acknowledgement of paternity of the child
  • A waiver of interest of the child
  • Any other claim for acknowledging or denial of paternity authorized by law

Home study and Post Placement Requirements in Oklahoma

Prospective Adoptive Parents in Oklahoma are required to complete a home study before beginning the adoption process and a postplacement assessment after the adoption takes place. Both will assess your ability to provide a safe and stable environment for the child you wish to adopt.

What is a home study and what happens during the process?

The home study is a critical component to the adoption process. While it is to ensure your home will provide a child with stability, safety, and support, it is also a resource for Prospective Adoptive Parents to ask questions and prepare for the adoption. A home study is ultimately a recommendation as to the fitness of the applicants to become Adoptive Parents.

In Oklahoma, the home study assessment will include:

  • At least one individual interview with each person living in the home
  • At least one joint interview
  • At least one in-home visit
  • Three written references
  • Verification that the home is a safe and healthy environment
  • Verification of marital status, employment, income, access to medical care, and physical health and history
  • A review of a criminal background check and a child abuse and neglect information system check to include:
    • A national fingerprint-based criminal background check, a search of the Department of Corrections’ sex offender’s registry, and a search of the child abuse and neglect information system
    • A child abuse registry check from every other State in which the Prospective Adoptive Parents or other person over 18 living in the home has resided during the previous 5-year period

Who oversees a home study in Oklahoma and who is included in it?

In Oklahoma, a home study investigation will include the Prospective Adoptive Parents and everyone living in the home who is at least 18 years old.

A home study will be conducted by one of the following:

  • An agency having custody of the child
  • The Department of Human Services
  • A licensed child-placing agency
  • A person designated by the court who meets one of the following qualifications:
    • A master’s degree in social work and 1 year of experience in children’s services
    • A member of the Academy of Certified Social Workers and 1 year of experience in children’s services
    • A master’s degree in a behavioral or social science and 2 years’ experience in children’s services
    • A doctorate in a behavioral or social science and 1 year of experience in children’s services
    • A member of the clergy with 2 years of experience in family counseling
  • A person who is supervised by a person described above who meets one of the following qualifications:
    • A bachelor’s degree in social work
    • A bachelor’s degree in behavioral or social science and 1 year of experience in children’s or family services

Why would my home study not be approved in Oklahoma?

A home study in Oklahoma will not be approved if a Prospective Adoptive Parent or anyone living in their home has been convicted of one of the following felonies:

  • Child abuse or neglect
  • A crime against a child, including pornography
  • A crime of violence, including rape, sexual assault and homicide

Other reasons a home study will be denied approval include:

  • A lack of sufficient income to care for the child
  • The home does not meet safety standards
  • References have reservations regarding the Prospective Parents
  • The applicant does not complete the required training within 1 year of the application
  • The age or health of the applicant would affect their ability to care for the child

Under no circumstances shall a child be placed with an individual subject to the Oklahoma Sex Offenders Registration Act or an individual who is married to or living with an individual subject to the Oklahoma Sex Offenders Registration Act.

Is a home study different for stepparent or relative adoptions in Oklahoma?

In Oklahoma, a home study is not required if a parent or guardian places the child directly with a relative of the child for purposes of adoption, or if the child has been residing with a Birth Parent’s spouse for at least 1 year when the petition for adoption is filed; but a home study of the relative or stepparent is required while adoption proceedings are pending. The court may waive the home study requirement of a stepparent adoption if:

  • It is in the best interest of the child to be adopted by the stepparent
  • The stepparent has been married to the child’s parent and living together for at least 1 year
  • The stepparent has no record of conviction of a felony for child abuse or neglect or domestic violence, and there is no record of a protective order or orders issued against the stepparent

What are the home study requirements for adopting a baby from another state?

Any out-of-home placement of a child outside the State is subject to the provisions of the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children.

What is a post placement requirement and what happens during the process?

Before the adoption has been finalized, a post placement assessment will take place to ensure the transition into adoption is going well and that the Adoptive Family's circumstances have not changed to no longer fit the child's best interest.

In Oklahoma, an investigator will make supervised visits to the home and create a report of any conditions that may influence the court in granting the final adoption decree.

What are the requirements for a Foster to Adopt placement in Oklahoma?

In Oklahoma, a Foster Parent may adopt a child that resided in their care for at least 1 year if it is found to be in the child’s best interest and the child does not have a more significant emotional bond to a relative.

Oklahoma Adoption Professionals

Oklahoma is home to some amazing adoption professionals who are ready to get your journey started. Whether you are interested in adopting a child or seeking resources to place your child for adoption, these professionals will guide you through the legal pathways and offer you support throughout your journey:

Deaconess Pregnancy and Adoption Services

405-397-3140

Adoption Choices of Oklahoma

800-898-6028

Nightlight Christian Adoptions

502-423-5780

Lilyfield

405-216-5240

Adoption Services-Oklahoma

877-242-9700

Things to do in Oklahoma

If your adoption journey brings you to Oklahoma, visit some of the State’s most popular sites:

National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City

Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum

Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa

Museum of Osteolog in Oklahoma City

Woolaroc Museum and Wildlife Preserve in Bartlesville

A note from Adoption Network Law Center

No matter your decision, we appreciate the time you have taken to read about how to adopt in Oklahoma. Adoption Network Law Center wishes you the best of luck and is available to answer any further questions you may have about the adoption process. Call 1-866-602-9541 to speak with one of our amazing team members or visit https://adoptionnetwork.com/ to read more about our services. Whether you’re a soon-to-be Birth Parent or Prospective Adoptive Parent, ANLC wishes you the best on your adoption journey.