If you’re thinking about adopting a child, you are likely to be excited with anticipation and worried about the consequences if something goes wrong. At Butler & Flynn, PLLC, our family law attorneys understand that the adoption process is often an emotional rollercoaster for prospective parents. We answer all your questions patiently and thoroughly. We’ve answered some of the most frequently asked questions we receive about the adoption process to help you at the initial stages of your journey:
We take our role as adoption attorneys very seriously and are ready to provide detailed answers to your specific questions when you contact us.
Butler & Flynn, PLLC represents Oklahomans who are interested in adopting a child through various processes. For comprehensive and compassionate assistance, call 405-416-2711 or contact us online to arrange a free adoption consultation at our Oklahoma City office.
Oklahoma law requires that an adoptive parent be 21 years of age or older and be able to pass a home study. Married couples, including those in same-sex marriages, can adopt jointly. A child 12 years of age or older must consent to the adoption. Living parents must surrender their parental rights or a court must terminate them. If the child comes from a foreign country, the process must follow the laws of the child’s home country and U.S. immigration laws.
Adoptions may be privately arranged or handled through an agency, including a public entity. Examples of private adoptions are those by a stepparent, grandparent or other relative of the child. Children in foster care may be adopted through the supervisory government department. There are open adoptions, where the parents get to know the birthmother and may even allow her some contact with the child, versus closed adoptions where neither party knows anything about the other.
Adoption expenses can run very high. For example, if you are adopting from a private agency, fees can run from $15,000 to $30,000. If you are planning an open adoption, you are permitted to pay for the birthmother’s prenatal and delivery care, as well as other expenses. Adopting a child from foster care is much less expensive, and state subsidies are available if you adopt a child with special needs.
In an open adoption, birth parents can receive updates about the child’s life and anonymous visitation under the guise of being a family friend. Often, when the child is mature enough, the adoptive parents can introduce the birthparent(s). These rights are available only if itemized in a contract between the birth parents and adoptive parents. As for reclaiming a child, Oklahoma has a one-year statute of limitations within which a birth parent can challenge an adoption. Otherwise, they have no further rights.
By failed adoption, we mean a process that is substantially complete when one party pulls out. A struggling birthmother might decide she has the means to raise her child. A prospective parent may develop suspicions about the health of a child. It has been estimated that the failure rate is about 20 percent for domestic adoptions, which means there is a risk of getting your hopes dashed. However, the flip side is an 80 percent success rate.