Family Law is one of the most emotionally difficult and confusing areas of the law in which you may find yourself. The Persaud Law Office has practiced family law for many years, and we can sympathize with your plight. If you need a family attorney, a custody lawyer, a guardianship attorney, or a divorce lawyer in Bartlesville, we can help.
Adoption Attorney in Bartlesville, OK
One of the most joyous types of law is adoption law. Adoption is when someone other than a biological parent initiates a court proceeding involving a child, and the court declares that the adopting parent has all the legal rights of the natural parent. The child also then has all of the legal rights of the natural child of the parent – including the right to inherit property.
The Persaud Law Office has handled many adoption cases. We are eager to help you if you would like to take this important step in a child’s life. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Adoption Law Services
As a full-service adoption and family lawyer, we provide the following adoption law services:
We will file your adoption petition in court.
We will represent you at all court hearings. If your case is contested and goes to trial, we will represent you at trial. If your case is appealed, we will represent you on appeal.
We will assist you in obtaining all necessary home studies and criminal background checks.
We will assist you in filling out all the necessary forms and completing all paperwork.
We will assist you with anything else that may be necessary in your case.
Who Can Adopt?
In Oklahoma, the following persons may adopt a child:
A husband and wife jointly, if both spouses are at least 21
Either the husband or wife, if the other spouse if the child’s parent or relative
An unmarried person at least 21
A married person at least 21, who is legally separated from the other spouse.
You may not adopt a child in Oklahoma if:
You have been convicted of child abuse or neglect;
You have been convicted of a crime against a child, including child pornography;
You are subject to the Oklahoma Sex Offenders Registration Act, or you are married to or living with someone subject to the Oklahoma Sex Offenders Registration Act;
You have been convicted of a drug-related offense, within the five years before the filing of the petition; or
You have been convicted of a crime involving violence (however, you may adopt a child if you were convicted of physical assault, domestic abuse, or battery, and you were convicted at least five years before the filing of the petition)
How does the adoption process work in Oklahoma?
The first step is to file a petition for adoption with the Court Clerk. If either parent is still alive and no court has terminated the parent’s parental rights, you must notify both parents of the adoption. You will usually need the consent of both parents before you can adopt the child. In general, the only cases when you may adopt a child without a parent’s consent, are
If a parent has failed to support the child for 12 consecutive months out of the last fourteen months before you file the petition;
If a parent has not had a “substantial and positive relationship” with the child for twelve consecutive months out of the last fourteen months before you file the petition;
A parent has been convicted of certain crimes, or is mentally incompetent, or has been sentenced to more than ten years in prison.
Click here to read the law that tells the circumstances when you may adopt a child without a parent’s consent.
If you try to adopt a child without a parent’s consent, and the parent objects, you will have to go to trial. At trial, your adoption lawyer will present evidence that the parent has engaged in the behavior that would allow a court to grant the adoption without the parent’s consent. If the birth parent has retained an adoption attorney, the birth parent’s adoption attorney will then argue that the parent has not engaged in the behavior that would allow an adoption without consent. Both parties – or their adoption lawyers – may call and cross-examine witnesses. After adoption lawyers on both sides have presented evidence, a judge will then decide if the parent falls into one of the categories that would allow adoption without consent.
In most adoptions, you will need a home study performed by a professional who possesses certain qualifications. You will also need to undergo a criminal background check.
You will also need to file, in court, a medical and social history report on the child. With this report, you will also need to file the child’s medical and school records.
Because all of these steps are quite complex, you would do well to retain an experienced adoption attorney to walk you through the process.
If the Court approves your petition for adoption, the Court will hold a final hearing. At the final hearing, the judge will sign a final decree of adoption. At the moment the judge signs this final decree, you will have all of the rights of the child’s parent, and the child will have all of the legal rights as your child.
I have attended many final adoption hearings with my clients, and I can say, from personal experience as a child adoption lawyer, that a final adoption hearing can be one of the happiest occasions in a person’s life. If you would like me to represent you in your adoption case, contact me today.
Contact an Adoption Lawyer Today for a Free Consultation
If you would like to contact Persaud Law Office, your first meeting with us will be free. If you want to schedule a free consultation, call or e-mail us here.
Who is Kyle Persaud?
Kyle Persaud has practiced family law in Oklahoma since 2009. He strives to ensure that children receive adequate financial support. He also endeavors to see that courts, and DHS Child Support Enforcement, provide fair and just treatment to parents ordered to pay child support.
Adoption Frequently Asked Questions
How much does it cost to adopt a child in Oklahoma?
Because every adoption case is different, the cost of any particular adoption may vary greatly. I, therefore, cannot quote any client any set price. For a more detailed explanation of why I cannot quote any specific price to a client, click on my blog post here. This post explains why costs vary in immigration cases, but the information there applies to adoption lawyers as well.
Adoption lawyers typically bill by the hour – meaning the more work that is required on your case, the more you have to pay your adoption attorney. Other costs of an adoption include court clerk filing fees, fees for a professional to perform a home study, and fees for the copies of medical and school records that need to be filed with the court.
In general, if an adoption is uncontested (that is, the natural parent does not challenge it), and there are no special complications, the total cost will likely be in the low four-figure range. If the case is contested, costs can be much higher.
Can an adoption be reversed in Oklahoma?
An adoption decree may not be set aside more than three months after the judge signs it. The only exception to this rule is if a parent’s consent to adoption was obtained by fraud or duress. In this case, a court may set aside the decree within three months after the discovery of the fraud.
After an adoption, the adoptive parent becomes vested with all the legal rights of the parent. The only way these rights may be taken away, is if a court terminates the adoptive parents’ parental rights.
In Oklahoma, there are only two ways to terminate parental rights:
If the state files an action alleging that a child is deprived; or
If someone else adopts the child
Is Oklahoma an open adoption state?
An “open adoption” is an adoption where the court enters an order allowing the birth parent to have continued contact with the child after the adoption is finalized. Some states have laws allowing for open adoptions (for examples click here, here, and here). However, Oklahoma has no law allowing open adoptions. In an Oklahoma adoption, all of the birth parent’s rights are irrevocably terminated, and a court may not enter any order allowing a birth parent to have continued contact with a child after the adoption is final.
If a child has resided with a birth relative before being adopted, the court can order that the birth relative have visitation or contact with the child while the adoption is pending. A court can only enter such an order is the prospective adoptive parents and the birth relative agree to the order. A court may not order that any birth relative have continued contact with a child after the adoption is finalized.
Will an adopted child be allowed to know who his birth parents are?
After an adopted child turns 18, the child will be able to see his original birth certificate, with his birth parents’ names, by contacting the State Registrar of Vital Statistics. The only way a birth parent can prevent a child from seeing the birth parent’s name, is if the birth parent signs an affidavit of nondisclosure. An adopted child will not be able to see the name of a birth parent who has signed an affidavit of nondisclosure. If only one birth parent, but not the other birth parent, has signed an affidavit of nondisclosure, the Registrar may only allow the child to see the name of the parent who has not signed the affidavit.