Adoption is commonly regarded as one of the most sincere and beneficial legal processes in all of family law. While many states are applauded for making the adoption process simple and quick, allowing the placement of children in loving homes to be simple, Oklahoma has a bit of a negative reputation. Stacks of paperwork and legalese tend to confuse or discourage potential adopters from beginning the legal procedure. Knowing what to expect before you begin the adoption process can help you avoid frustrations and delays.
The typical adoption process in Oklahoma includes the following steps:
- Initial inquiry: Before you can get too far ahead, the Department of Human Services will need to know your intentions. Filing an initial inquiry with them will be the first step.
- Preservice training: After your initial inquiry is accepted, you will be directed towards a preservice training class in your area. Ranging from one to several hours, you will need to attend weekly preservice training courses until you have accrued more than 27 hours of class time. The topics discussed in these classes will include the remaining adoption process, what you should expect when raising an adopted child, parenting tips, and more.
- Home study: A thorough and arguably invasive home study will be conducted by a Department of Human Services agent. While visiting and inspecting your home, the agent will ask questions about the household, your family, and reasons for wanting to adopt. You should also be prepared to ask hypothetical questions about raising a child or emergency situations.
- Background check: During or after your home study, you will need to supply your fingerprints for state records and complete a background check. Although there are no maximum age requirements for adopting a child in Oklahoma, you must meet certain health standards, i.e. not have any health condition that is completely debilitating. A medical checkup may be requested and required.
- Matching: When you are approved for adoption, you will need to tell your case worker if you have any adoption preferences. For most people, any child will do but some understandably want a daughter or son, a child of a certain age, or so on. The more specific your request, the longer it could take to be matched.
- Placement: Once you are matched with a child, you will be given a visitation schedule. Several times a week for a few weeks, you will go to their foster home or orphanage to meet with the child. If it appears that you and your family would be a “good fit” for the child, your adoption case will be moved to court for a final hearing and approval.
If you live in Oklahoma and want to adopt a child, our Oklahoma City adoption lawyers from Mazaheri Law Firm can help you sort the matter out. Working closely with you each step along the way, we can help you and your family start and finalize an adoption with as little delay as possible and minimized stress. Contact us today to learn more from our team.