Consent to Adoption - Oklahoma

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Who Must Consent to an Adoption

Citation: Ann. Stat. Tit. 10, § 7503-2.1

Written consent to adoption or a permanent relinquishment for adoption must be executed by the following:

  • Both parents
  • One parent alone if any of the following apply:
    • The other parent is dead.
    • The parental rights of the other parent have been terminated.
    • The consent of the other parent is otherwise not required pursuant to § 7505-4.2.
  • The legal guardian or the guardian ad litem of the minor if both parents are dead or if the rights of the parents have been terminated by judicial proceedings
  • The executive head of a licensed child-placing agency if the minor has been permanently relinquished to such agency or the rights of both parents have been judicially terminated and custody of the minor has been legally vested in such agency
  • Any person having legal custody of a minor by court order

A parent of a minor born in wedlock or a parent who is age 16 or older shall be deemed capable of giving consent to the adoption of a minor.

Consent of Child Being Adopted

Citation: Ann. Stat. Tit. 10, § 7503-2.1

If a minor to be adopted is age 12 or older, he or she must consent before a decree of adoption may be granted unless the court makes a finding that it is not in the best interests of the minor to require the minor's consent. The consent of the minor must be given before the court in such form as the court shall direct.

When Parental Consent is not Needed

Citation: Ann. Stat. Tit. 10, § 7505-4.2

Consent to adoption is not required from a putative father who fails to prove he is the father of the child, or, for a child placed for adoption within 14 months of birth, the father fails to show he has exercised parental rights or duties toward the child.

Consent to adoption is not required from a parent to whom any of the following applies:

  • For 12 months out of the last 14 months immediately before the filing of an adoption petition, willfully failed, refused, or neglected to contribute to the child's support or maintain a substantial and positive relationship with the child
  • Waives in writing the right to notice of the hearing
  • Fails to appear at the hearing if all notice requirements have been met
  • Is entitled to custody of a minor and has abandoned the minor
  • Has been convicted of physically or sexually abusing the minor or a sibling or failed to protect the minor or a sibling from physical or sexual abuse that resulted in severe harm or injury
  • Has been convicted of having caused the death of a sibling of the minor due to physical or sexual abuse or chronic neglect
  • Has been sentenced to a term of incarceration of no less than 10 years and the continuation of parental rights would result in harm to the minor
  • Has a mental illness or deficiency that renders the parent incapable of appropriately exercising parental rights, duties, and responsibilities
  • Has permanently relinquished parental rights and responsibilities to the minor
  • Has had his or her parental rights to a minor legally terminated or legally determined not to exist
  • Has voluntarily placed a child in the care of a child care institution or child-placing agency if the minor has remained in out-of-home care for 18 months or more and has failed to substantially comply for 12 consecutive months out of the 14 months immediately before the filing of the adoption petition with a reasonable written plan of care

When Consent Can Be Executed

Citation: Ann. Stat. Tit. 10, §§ 7503-2.2; 7503-2.3

Consent may be given as follows:

  • The mother of a minor shall not execute a valid consent to the adoption of the minor or a permanent relinquishment of the minor prior to the birth of the minor.
  • The father of a minor born in wedlock shall not execute a valid consent to the adoption of the minor or a permanent relinquishment of the minor prior to the birth of the minor.
  • A putative father of a minor may execute a consent to the adoption of the minor, a permanent relinquishment of the minor, or an extrajudicial consent to the adoption of the minor before or after the birth of the minor.
  • A guardian, guardian ad litem, or legal custodian of a child may execute a consent to the adoption of a minor or a permanent relinquishment at any time after being authorized by a court to do so.
  • A child-placing agency that places a child for adoption may execute its consent at any time at or before the hearing on the petition for adoption.
  • A minor age 12 or older whose consent is required may execute a consent to adoption at any time at or before the hearing on the petition for adoption.

How Consent Must Be Executed

Citation: Ann. Stat. Tit. 10, §§ 7503-2.4; 7503-2.6; 7503-2.1

A consent must state that the following is true of the person executing the consent:

  • Is voluntarily consenting to the adoption
  • Understands that after the consent is executed, it is final and, except for fraud or duress, may not be revoked for any reason except as otherwise authorized by law
  • Is represented by counsel or has waived any right to counsel
  • Retains the duty to support the mother or the minor until the adoption is completed
  • Has not received or been promised any money or anything of value for the consent except for payments authorized by law
  • Indicates whether he or she is a member of an Indian Tribe and whether the minor is eligible for membership or is a member of an Indian Tribe
  • Believes the adoption of the minor is in the minor's best interests

A consent may be signed before any judge of a court having adoption jurisdiction in this State or in the State of residence of the person executing the consent.

A putative father of at least age 16 of a minor born out of wedlock who is not an Indian child may execute an extrajudicial consent before a notary public in which the putative father waives any legal interest in the minor and consents to the adoption of the minor. An extrajudicial consent may be executed by a putative father before or after the birth of the minor.

A man who is the legal husband of the mother of a minor who is not an Indian child may execute an extrajudicial consent before a notary public in which he waives any legal interest in the minor and consents to the adoption of the minor. An extrajudicial consent may be executed by the father only after the birth of the minor.

Consent of a minor parent under age 16 is deemed sufficient when given by a minor parent before a judge and accompanied by the written consent of the legal guardian or parents of the minor parent.

Revocation of Consent

Citation: Ann. Stat. Tit. 10, §§ 7503-2.7; 7503-2.6

Except as otherwise provided below, a consent to adoption shall be irrevocable.

The court shall set aside a consent to adoption or vacate an order terminating parental rights based upon the execution of a permanent relinquishment only if it would be in the best interests of the minor and if the individual who executed the permanent relinquishment or consent establishes any of the following:

  • By a preponderance of the evidence, that without good cause shown, a petition to adopt was not filed within 9 months after the minor was placed for adoption
  • By a preponderance of the evidence, that another consent or permanent relinquishment was not executed or that a court decided not to terminate another individual's parental relationship to the minor
  • By clear and convincing evidence, before a decree of adoption is issued or within 3 months of the discovery of the fraud, whichever is later, that the consent was obtained by fraud or duress

An extrajudicial consent shall be revocable for any reason for 15 calendar days after the execution of the consent before the notary public.