Adoption Update

The most up-to-date adoption news

Oklahoma Makes Some Changes

I came across this posting on an adoption forum and wanted to pass it along. It comes from Oklahoma where some changes are taking place in their legal system to help protect adoptive parents, adopted children, biological parents, attorneys and judges from being taken advantage of. Please read below:

“HB 2174 requires public reporting of adoption expenses to allow judges and the public to see the actual costs attorneys charge in adoptions. It also requires that only one prospective adoptive family at a time be billed for a birth mother’s expenses and that all adoptions must be conducted in one of four locations – the home county of the birth mother; the home county of the adoptive parents; or in Oklahoma or Tulsa counties.

It takes effect Nov. 1.

The bill is designed to stop attorneys from shopping for judges who don’t ask too many questions about the fees attorneys charge for adoptions and to prevent attorneys from having families bid against each other to adopt a child, said Rep. Jason Nelson, the author of the measure.

“For too long, Oklahoma has been known as a state that does not protect adoptive parents, adoptive children or birth mothers,” Nelson, R-Oklahoma City, said when the bill cleared the Legislature and was sent to the governor.

Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater has said it is difficult to file charges against attorneys who charge excessive fees. Adoptive parents and those who seek to adopt a child are embarrassed to file complaints or don’t want to hurt their chance of adopting another child, he said.

The Department of Human Services has a code that adoption agencies must follow, but there has been no oversight of attorneys involved in adoptions.

A May 2006 multicounty grand jury report found that some adoptive parents have been forced to pay for vehicles, car parts, traffic tickets, television sets and other items which were masked as adoption costs.

The haphazard regulation of adoption expenses has created an atmosphere in which some women and their attorneys effectively sold children, the report states.”

Midwest Regional Director

May 3, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , ,

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