Tulsa Attorney BlogCan You Relinquish Custody of a Biological Child in Oklahoma?

You Could Give the Other Parent Custody by Signing Over Custody


Video Transcribed: Can you relinquish custody of your child or biological child in Oklahoma to another person? I’m Tulsa Attorney James Wirth, I’m answering frequently asked questions, and that’s the question is can you relinquish custody to another person in Oklahoma?

So first off there’s two different types of things we could be looking at here. If we’re talking about relinquishing custody, then certainly that is something that you could do. You could give the other parent custody just by signing over custody, and then maybe you could request visitation rights, or maybe you don’t even request visitation rights. And then that person would have custody, but it does not terminate your parental rights.

Same thing with a third party. If the other parent is not available to step in or the other parent is unfit and you’re wanting to relinquish, then you could give up guardianship to a third party and say right now it’s in the best interest of my child for somebody else to care for that person.

Get a guardianship in place, and guardianship’s are temporary by nature. So they’re indefinite and they stay in effect until they’re terminated, but you could file at any time to terminate that and get your custody back. So that deals with relinquishing or giving up custody.

But most of the time when we talk about relinquishment we’re not dealing with just custody, we’re dealing with parental rights, and that’s different.

Because if you relinquish your parental rights you cannot get them back, it is not temporary, it is permanent, and it does not result in the other person just having custody, it generally results the other person adopting the child. Okay? So under those circumstances, more complicated, more difficult.

So where we normally see that is two different places. One a step-parent option and two in deprived child actions. So if your ex has remarried and that person is wanting to adopt, you could relinquish your parental rights and not object to that adoption, and then from that point your parental rights are terminated and gone. And from the point that the adoption goes through, any obligation you have financially for child support going forward is also undone, you don’t have to worry about that going forward.

So that’s only available though through step parent adoption. If the other parent is not married or they’re married and the parent doesn’t want to adopt, you can’t just relinquish to the parent because Oklahoma Public Policy essentially says you’re better off having two parents than one parent that’s not active, so they’re not going to allow that relinquishment. So step parent adoption that’s one way.

The other way is deprived child action. Generally you want to stay completely away from deprived child actions because that would be that the state is accusing the parents of depriving the child and that the state is taking custody, and in a deprived child case it’s all about permanency.

So the permanency plan is either to get the child back with the parents after treatment, or it is adoption, in which case parental rights would be terminated and the child would be adopted out. So that’s another place where you see parental rights terminated.

Outside of those you don’t really see it in Oklahoma because it’s for the most part against public policy, Oklahoma wants kids to have two parents. So if that answers your question, great, if not and you have a specific scenario, get with a lawyer about your specific circumstances and get that specific advice for your scenario. If you want to talk to a Tulsa Criminal Attorney in my office you go to makelaweasy.com.

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