Adoption Depends on Different Factors
Video Transcribed: Can I adopt my spouse’s child in Oklahoma? I’m Tulsa attorney James Wirth and that’s the question that we have.
In order to fully answer that we need a lot more background information so I can provide some general information for you. As far as whether can you adopt your spouse’s child, well obviously step-parent adoption is a thing, it is recognized in the state of Oklahoma. Now whether you can do that in your specific circumstances is going to depend on a lot of factors, okay.
So is the other parent willing to consent to the adoption, to relinquish their parental rights, or something along those lines? If so it can be a much easier process. The other thing is, is the child already residing with you? If you’ve been married for a year, and the child’s already residing with you, then that can lessen the requirements in order to complete the adoption, it can make it simpler, easier, and faster. So if that’s the case that’s great.
If the other parent is not willing to consent to the adoption then it becomes a little bit more complicated, you have to prove certain things to the court. You always have to prove it’s in the best interest of the child, but additionally, if you’re going to try to do it without the consent of the other parent you have to prove that the other parent has failed to pay child support pursuant to a court order or their ability for 12 consecutive months out of the last 14 months, or failed to establish or maintain a significant relationship with the child for 12 consecutive months out of the last 14 months. That’s for a child of a certain age.
If we’re talking about a baby the rules are a little bit different. If we’re doing the adoption shortly after birth then those rules are a little bit different but if it’s beyond that we’re looking at 12 consecutive months out of the last 14 months to see if the court will approve the adoption over the objection of the other parent.
If you meet that first standard then it goes to the subsequent standard which is the best interest hearing to determine that the adoption is in the best interest of the child. So can you do the adoption of your spouse’s child under the right circumstances in Oklahoma? You can, but you’re going to need more than this general information.
You’re going to want to talk to an attorney specifically about your circumstances to get legal advice applicable to you. To get that scheduled with an Oklahoma adoption lawyer at my office you go online to makelaweasy.com.