Regulation of Private Domestic Adoption Expenses - Oklahoma

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Birth Parent Expenses Allowed

Citation: Ann. Stat. Tit. 10, § 7505-3.2(B)

The following adoption-related costs and expenses are allowed in connection with an adoption:

  • Reasonable attorney fees and court costs
  • Reasonable medical expenses for the birth mother and minor to be adopted
  • Reasonable adoption counseling expenses for birth parents before and after the child's birth, not to exceed 6 months after the child's placement
  • Reasonable living expenses for housing, utilities, and other necessities of the birth mother
  • Reasonable costs for travel or transportation of the birth mother or minor as needed for medical or adoption placement needs
  • A one-time gift to the birth mother from the prospective adoptive parents of no greater value than $100

Living expenses also may include the following:

  • Food for the birth mother and any minor child of the birth mother residing in the home
  • Costs of transportation to support the pregnancy, such as gasoline, bus fares, or providing for the temporary use of a vehicle during the pregnancy
  • Child care or foster care for any minor child of the birth mother associated with pregnancy-related medical care

All expenses approved by the court should be commensurate with other customary fees for similar services by persons of equivalent experience and training. Any services provided outside the State shall be allowed in an amount as if the services had been performed within the State of Oklahoma.

The provisions of this subsection shall apply to living and transportation expenses incurred after the birth mother of the minor contacts the child-placing agency or attorney for adoption services.

Any person, attorney, or licensed child-placing agency desiring to pay living and transportation expenses on behalf of a birth mother is authorized to expend an initial amount up to $1,000 plus deposits for housing and utilities without first obtaining court approval.

Birth Parent Expenses Not Allowed

Citation: Ann. Stat. Tit. 10, § 7505-3.2(B)

The following payments are not allowed:

  • Living expenses for the birth mother beyond 2 months after placement of the child
  • Counseling for the birth parents beyond 6 months after placement of the child
  • Payments deemed unreasonable by the court

Living expenses that are not considered reasonable and necessary include the following:

  • Any expenses met by existing resources of the birth mother
  • Any expenses used for the support of family members who are not minor children of the mother
  • Any expenses for recreational or leisure activities
  • The purchase or gift of an automobile

The provisions of this subsection shall not prohibit a court from extending any time period or including any additional costs and expenses in connection with an adoption other than those specified in this subsection based on unusual circumstances or need.

Allowable Payments for Arranging Adoption

Citation: Ann. Stat. Tit. 21, § 866

It is unlawful for any person or organization to accept or solicit any compensation, in money, property, or other thing of value, for services performed, rendered, or purported to be performed to facilitate or assist in the adoption of a minor child except by the Department of Human Services, a licensed child-placing agency, or an attorney authorized to practice law in Oklahoma. The provisions of this paragraph shall not prohibit an attorney licensed to practice law in another State or an out-of-State licensed child-placing agency from receiving compensation when working with an attorney licensed in this State who is working with a child-placing agency licensed in this State in providing adoption services or other services necessary for placing a child for adoption.

Allowable Payments for Relinquishing Child

Citation: Ann. Stat. Tit. 21, § 866

It is unlawful for any person to accept, solicit, offer, pay, or transfer any compensation, in money, property, or other thing of value, at any time, in connection with the acquisition or transfer of the legal or physical custody or adoption of a minor child except as ordered by the court or except as otherwise provided by Tit. 10, § 7505-3.2.

It is unlawful for a birth parent to solicit or receive any money or any other thing of value for expenses related to the placement of a child for adoption when they, at the time of the solicitation or receipt, had no intent to consent to eventual adoption.

It is unlawful for a woman to solicit or receive any money or any other thing of value for expenses related to the placement of a child for adoption when they know they are not pregnant but who hold themself out to be pregnant and offers to place a child upon birth for adoption.

Allowable Fees Charged by Department/Agency

Citation: Ann. Stat. Tit. 10, § 7505-3.2(B)

The following adoption-related costs and expenses are permitted:

  • Reasonable fees of a licensed agency, including the following:
    • Casework services
    • Adoptive child and family studies
    • Placement services
    • Certification of agency facilities
    • Admission assessments
    • Service planning
  • Reasonable expenses for a home study
  • Reasonable expenses related to the adoption legally required by any governmental entity

Accounting of Expenses Required by Court

Citation: Ann. Stat. Tit. 10, § 7505-3.2(A)

An affidavit shall be attached to the petition or filed later, but prior to the final decree, which discloses to the court all costs expended or expected to be expended by the adoptive family.

No final decree of adoption shall be entered until the court is satisfied that all costs and expenses have been disclosed, are reasonable, and that the costs and expenses do not violate the provisions of the law. Upon its review of the affidavit of expenses, the court shall in writing disapprove any expenditure that the court deems unreasonable or in violation of the law and, to the extent necessary to comply with State law, shall order reimbursement of any unlawful payment made. Court approval of the affidavit of expenses shall not exempt a person, attorney, or licensed child-placing agency from prosecution if the information provided to the court is fraudulent or false.

In addition to the adoptive family affidavit required above, a disclosure statement of adoption-related costs and expenditures shall be prepared in writing by the person, attorney, or child-placing agency in a direct-placement adoption. The disclosure statement shall include a declaration of all fees, expenses, and costs charged or expected to be charged for the adoption including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Retainer fees, the hourly rate, and the number of hours billed for the adoption
  • Any fee charged for preplacement or other home studies of any prospective birth parents, regardless of whether the home study was performed by an outside agency
  • Any costs, fees, expenses, or any other thing of value paid to or on behalf of the birth parents related to the adoption of a minor by any party other than the adoptive parents
  • Any other fees and expenses related to the adoption not otherwise specifically listed in this section