For a variety of reasons, there are numerous people and couples throughout Oklahoma who strongly consider and have the urge to adopt. The Tulsa family law firm of Fry & Elder realizes this and wishes to answer some of the more common questions often associated with adoptions in Oklahoma in the realm of family law.
If I Wish to Adopt my spouses birth children, how difficult and timely is the process of adopting stepchildren?
It is not as lengthy as some other adoptions, but there generally will be a waiting period involved and multiple steps that will need to be a taken and made throughout the process. Some of these might include home visits and adoption hearings as ordered by the court. Usually the most difficult challenge that comes with someone wanting to adopt stepchildren is getting consent from the other birth parent.
Is it absolutely mandatory that for me to adopt my stepchild I must obtain consent from the other birth parent?
Contrary to what many believe, adoptions in Oklahoma of stepchildren can be made even if the other birth parent objects to this. Certain conditions must be met, which include the adopting couple being married for at least one year. Also, the court’s decision will be heavily weighed on whether the other biological parent has paid child support within the last year or not. There also are ways to terminate the other birth parent’s parental rights. These usually stem from the parent being judged unfit or having abandoned the child.
How is abandonment defined?
Typically, abandonment is defined by the court when a biological parent has not communicated or provided financial support to the child. If a biological parent has abandoned the child for an extensive amount of time or repeatedly has failed to provide child support then his or her parental rights could be terminated.
Experience the Fry & Elder Difference
Should you have any additional questions in regards to the legal process of adoptions in Oklahoma, please do not hesitate to contact the Tulsa family law firm of Fry & Elder. The firm was named to the esteemed list of Best Law Firms of 2015 by the U.S. News & World Report. Highly acclaimed Tulsa divorce lawyer Robert G “Hap” Fry Jr. also was named Lawyer of Year for Family Law in Tulsa by Best Lawyers®, while firm trial lawyers M. Shane Henry, Aaron D. Bundy and T. Luke Barteaux were each selected as SuperLawyers® Rising Stars™.