Adoption: Making Love Happen
People adopt for various reasons; most of those reasons are bound in love. When parents adopt, they extend their family unit, extend the breadth of their love, and create bonds with a child that continue to extend for their collective lifetimes. Oklahoma law provides a legal framework for adoption. A Tahlequah adoption attorney can help.
Adoption Laws Protect Everyone Involved
Adoption laws protect the children, adoptive parents, and the parents giving their children up for adoption. A Tahlequah adoption attorney’s services can help families navigate these laws and settle into the task of building the relationships that promote a steady and loving future for everyone involved.
The process of adoption can seem daunting to adoptive parents. Adoption involves both emotional and legal elements. Having a Tahlequah adoption attorney work through the legal elements with you means that you have more time to focus on the emotional elements involved in adopting a child. That can make the transition easier for everyone involved.
Adoption Situations Vary: Understanding Oklahoma Adoptions
Adoptions can be voluntary, independent, private, open, closed, state-sponsored, or international. The adoptee can be a baby, a child, or even an adult. Adoption circumstances and types vary. Once you have determined what type is best for you, you will need to determine the legalities involved.
For example, in some circumstances, both parents of a child and the adoptive parents consent to the adoption. There can be a role for the birth parents in the lives of the new nuclear family or not, depending on the desires of all involved.
There are also foster children who may be adopted once parents terminate their rights to the child. These adoptions can occur through the Oklahoma Department of Human Services or through private adoption agencies. Adoptive parents can include relatives of the child such as aunts, uncles, and grandparents.
Whatever route is taken, Oklahoma adoption laws must be followed. Adoptive parents must show they are able to care for an adoptive child. Caring for a child requires more than just financial support. It also includes providing emotional support and a home in which a child can thrive.
An adoptive parent must be at least 21 years of age. Sometimes, adoptive parents are a two-parent household, sometimes a one-parent household, and sometimes adoptive parents are of the same sex. A stepparent may adopt a spouse’s children. Adoptive parents come in all types.
The match between adoptive parents and adoptive child occurs in varying ways depending on the circumstances. In independent adoptions, the birth parents may be involved in selecting the adoptive parents. When a child is a ward of the state or a public agency, that match may occur when the agency or the court selects the adoptive parents. This can happen when a relative seeks to adopt a child within their extended family.
Adoptive parents can get supportive services to help in the transition and in the financial burden. Agencies are often particularly helpful in connecting adoptive parents with support services.
In addition, adoptive parents have the right to see all of a child’s medical and social records. This includes school records and any social services the child has received.
The adoptive parents are also often entitled to the birth mother’s medical records that may have an impact on the child. This might be the case when the mother has a history of drug use while pregnant with the child.
How a Tahlequah Adoption Attorney Can Help
An adoption attorney can help represent the parties in any court hearing that need to take place for the adoption to be completed. This representation often includes drawing up contracts between the adoptive parents and birth parents in a private adoption. When costs are involved, an adoption attorney can make sure that costs and fees are legal, and that all parties understand the contractual terms governing those costs and fees.
The issue of consent to the adoption is a big one and the law must be adhered to. A mother can’t formally consent to an adoption until the child is born. That consent may be revoked legally for some time during an adoption proceeding. It is important that adoptive parents are made aware of this risk. Finally, a Tahlequah attorney can assist birth mothers in the process of completing a Notice of Plan for Adoption or any other legal notice required to the father regarding the impending adoption.
Other Issues To Consider
As your child grows, the child may want to discover the names of their biological parents. Oklahoma allows a child to do this unless a biological parent specifies otherwise during the adoption.
The adoptive parents legally become the parents of an adoptive child. That means the adoptive parent has the right to prevent biological parents from visiting the child unless there is a formal visitation schedule set up by the court as part of the adoption.
Safe Haven Laws Help Everyone
Oklahoma law allows any mother to surrender a baby to a medical provider or child rescuer within seven days of birth. This law allows a mother who is unable to care for a child to take steps to protect the child’s health and safety without incurring any punitive action. This makes it possible to walk away while still doing the right thing.
Adoption is a complex process with many layers. Contact a Tahlequah adoption attorney to get help.
Free Consultation: Tahlequah Adoption Attorney
For a free consultation with a Tahlequah attorney, call Wirth Law Office – Tahlequah at 918-458-2677 or toll free at 1-888-447-7262.
Or, if you prefer e-mail, you may enter a legal question in the form at the top right of this page and we’ll contact you by e-mail as soon as possible.