September 12, 2023
You might find yourself concerned if your child is placed in foster care or if you adopt a child out of foster care. Whether you’re the birth-parents or adoptive parents, you want to know your rights. Most likely, you also want to know the rights of the other parents. If you’re in Oklahoma and you’re uncertain of your entitlements as the birth or adoptive parents, then continue reading to learn more about adoption laws.
Is your child in foster care, but your parental rights haven’t been terminated? If so, then you’re entitled to rights, including the right to:
There are many lawful reasons why the state might terminate your parental rights as birth parents. It doesn’t matter that you might have voluntarily placed your child in foster care until you improved yourself. If certain conditions aren’t met or don’t occur, you might lose your parental rights.
Suppose you voluntarily placed your child in foster care. In that case, your rights can be terminated if you fail to comply with the terms of the placement agreement and you fail to demonstrate a sincere, consistent commitment to regaining physical custody of your child or making some other permanent arrangement for your child. For example, an agreement might state that you must attend weekly AA meetings for a period of time, attend scheduled child visitation dates, and secure a suitable place to live. If you miss these AA meetings often, or you can’t show proof of actively searching for a home (and a job to pay for it), then you’re at risk of having your rights terminated.
A judge might terminate your rights by ruling that you’ve abandoned your child, or if the state convicts you of certain child-endangerment crimes, such as:
In Oklahoma, you are entitled to a trial by a Jury if the State is seeking to terminate your rights.
Once your rights are terminated, you lose the right to custody, visitation, your child’s earnings, the right to dictate how your child is raised and educated, inherit from your child, and become her or his guardian.
As the adoptive parents, you understand that your child had a family before you. Regardless of the circumstances that led your beautiful child into foster care and later into your arms, you should know that many birth parents will always wonder what became of their child. Like you, most of them want the best for their birth child, and they hope that a loving family takes the child in. That doesn’t mean that the birth parents retain the same rights that they had before, though.
As the adoptive parents, you’re now the lawful parents of the child. You have every right to make decisions for your child as any birth parent would. For example, the choices you can make for your child include the rights to:
Also, the birth parents no longer have rights to visitation or to any of your child’s earnings (if, for example, your child dies from a work-related accident). If you find yourself hassled by the birth parents or contacted by them in any fashion that makes you uncomfortable, don’t hesitate to contact an Oklahoma adoption attorney.
Your rights matter. Your child matters. Most of all, your relationship with your child matters, so don’t sleep on your rights. Whether you’re the birth parents or the adoptive parents, it’s in your best interest to consult experienced Oklahoma adoption attorneys today. Inner Vision Legal’s skilled family law lawyer handles all types of family law matters, including child custody, adoption, spousal support, child support, and divorce. Consult with us at Inner Vision Legal by calling (405) 724-2525 or contacting us online today.