Completing Intercountry Adoptions Not Finalized Abroad - Oklahoma

Date: May 2019

Requirements for Completing the Adoption

Citation: Ann. Stat. Tit. 10, § 7502-1.4

A minor born outside of the United States without a decree, judgment, or final adoption order issued by a court or other governmental authority with appropriate jurisdiction in a foreign country may be adopted in Oklahoma if one or both of the petitioners for adoption are citizens of Oklahoma and the minor is residing in Oklahoma at the time the petition for adoption is filed.

A proceeding to adopt a minor born outside of the United States shall proceed pursuant to the Oklahoma Adoption Code, with the following provisions:

  • The court may grant a decree of adoption without requiring notice to the birth parent and without requiring the consent of the birth parent, if the petitioner files with the petition for adoption a copy of the termination of parental rights granted by a judicial, administrative, or executive body of the country of origin or a document or documents from such a governmental body stating one of the following:
    • The birth parent has consented to the adoption.
    • The parental rights of the birth parent of the minor have been terminated.
    • The minor to be adopted has been relinquished by the birth parent.
    • The minor has been abandoned.
  • If a minor born outside of the United States is in the legal custody of a child-placing agency at the time that the petition for adoption is filed, notice of the proceedings shall be given to the child-placing agency prior to the hearing on the petition, and the consent of the child-placing agency to the adoption shall be obtained prior to the granting of the decree of adoption.
  • The court may waive the issuance of an interlocutory decree of adoption and the waiting period of 6 months provided in §§ 7505-6.1 and 7505-6.3 and grant a final decree of adoption, if both of the following apply:
    • The minor has been in the home of petitioner for at least 6 months prior to the filing of the petition for adoption.
    • A postplacement report has been submitted to the court.

Any document in a foreign language shall be translated into English by the Department of State or by a translator who shall certify the accuracy of the translation. A copy of the translation and certification shall be filed with the court along with a copy of the original documents.

Required Evidence/Documentation

Citation: Ann. Stat. Tit. 10, §§ 7505-6.2; 7504-1.2(D)

Before the final hearing on the petition for adoption, the following must be filed in the proceeding, when available:

  • A certified copy of the birth certificate or other record of the date and place of birth of the minor
  • Any consent, extra judicial consent, or permanent relinquishment with respect to the minor that has been executed
  • A certified copy of any court order terminating the parental rights of the minor's parents or guardian
  • A certified copy of any existing court order or the petition in any pending proceeding concerning custody of or visitation with the minor
  • A copy of any home study performed on the petitioners
  • The name and address, if known, of any person who is entitled to receive notice of the proceeding for adoption
  • The affidavit of expenditures
  • A copy of the medical and social history report
  • Affidavits of nondisclosure, if any, signed by a birth parent
  • Copies of the results of State and national criminal background checks and searches of the sex offender registry and child abuse and neglect files
  • Any such other document or information required by the court

If an item required by this section is not available, the person responsible for furnishing the item shall file an affidavit explaining its absence.

A petition for adoption may not be granted until a copy of the medical and social history report is filed with the court. If the court finds that information or records required by § 7505-1.1 cannot be obtained by the reasonable efforts of the Department of Human Services or child-placing agency placing the minor, or by the attorney for the adoptive parent in a direct-placement adoption, or by the person who placed the minor for adoption in a direct-placement adoption in which the adopted parent is unrepresented, the court may accept the report and proceed with the adoption.

Background Studies

Citation: Ann. Stat. Tit. 10, § 7505-5.3

A home study must include, at a minimum, the following:

  • An appropriate inquiry to determine whether the proposed home is a suitable one for the minor and any other circumstances and conditions that may have a bearing on the adoption and of which the court should have knowledge
  • Documentation of at least one individual interview with each parent, each school-aged child, and any other household member; one joint interview; a home visit; and three written references
  • Verification that the home is a healthy, safe environment in which to raise a minor, as well as verification of marital status, employment, income, access to medical care, physical health and history
  • A review of a criminal background check and a child abuse and neglect information system check

A preplacement home study or update that is being used solely for the purposes of international adoption shall not require a national fingerprint-based criminal background search in addition to the one required by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service.*

An international home study shall contain a review of a State criminal background check, a search of the Department of Corrections' files maintained pursuant to the Sex Offenders Registration Act, and a search of the child abuse and neglect information system maintained for review by authorized entities by the Department of Human Services.

An international home study or home study update must include a statement that the home study recommendation is for international adoption purposes only and may not be used as the basis for a domestic adoption without the addition of a review of the results of a national fingerprint-based criminal background search if such would be required by this section.

The report of the home study or home study update shall become a part of the files in the case and shall contain a definite recommendation for or against the proposed adoption and the reasons therefor.

*As of March 1, 2003, the responsibility for providing immigration-related services was transferred from the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, a bureau of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The statutes do not yet reflect this change.

Placement Supervision and Reporting

Citation: Ann. Stat. Tit. 10, § 7505-5.3(F)

Following issuance of an interlocutory decree of adoption, or if the interlocutory decree is waived, prior to issuance of a final decree, the investigator conducting the home study or another qualified investigator shall observe the minor in the proposed adoptive home and report in writing to the court on any circumstances or conditions that may have a bearing on the granting of a final adoption decree. If the interlocutory decree was not waived, the investigator must certify that the final examination described in this subsection has been made since the granting of the interlocutory order. This supplemental report shall include a determination as to the legal availability or status of the minor for adoption and shall be filed prior to the final decree of adoption.

Effect of Adoption Decree on Parental Rights

Citation: Ann. Stat. Tit. 10, § 7505-6.5

After the final decree of adoption is entered, the relation of parent and child and all the rights, duties, and other legal consequences of the natural relation of child and parent shall thereafter exist between the adopted child and the adoptive parents of the child and the kindred of the adoptive parents.

After a final decree of adoption is entered, the birth parents of the adopted child, unless they are the adoptive parents or the spouse of an adoptive parent, shall be relieved of all parental responsibilities for the child and shall have no rights over the adopted child or to the property of the child by descent and distribution.

Obtaining a U.S. Birth Certificate

Citation: Ann. Stat. Tit. 10, § 7505-6.6

For each adoption, the attorney or child-placing agency handling the adoption shall prepare and the clerk of the court shall certify, within 30 days after the decree becomes final, a certificate of such decree on a form furnished by the State Registrar of Vital Statistics.

The State registrar, upon receipt of a certificate of a decree of adoption, shall prepare a supplementary birth certificate in the new name of the adopted person with the names of the adoptive parents listed as the parents. The city and county of the place of birth, the hospital, and the name of the physician shall not be changed from the information provided on the original certificate of birth. If the adopted person was born in a foreign country, the State registrar shall prepare a certificate of foreign birth.

The State registrar shall seal and file the original certificate of birth, if any, with the certificate of decree of adoption and the affidavit of nondisclosure, if any, attached. Upon receipt of a certificate of a court order of annulment of adoption, the State registrar shall restore the original certificate to its original place in the files.