By Sarah Stewart Legal Group

I am often asked by couples looking to adopt what options are available to them within the State of Oklahoma.  Generally speaking, there are 3 ways couples can adopt.  I will speak briefly about these options, and the pros and cons of each, today.

(1) Adoption through the Department of Human Services

In Oklahoma, families can adopt through the Department of Human Services.  Though the Department will usually help pay for the adoption and offers post adoption services, the process can be a little challenging for families.  Families will have to go through classes, home studies, and other processes in order to adopt.  Additionally, depending on the family’s preference, there could be long waiting periods for a child to be placed.  There may also be emotional and physical disabilities with children adopted through DHS. However, the costs of DHS adoption are generally lowest for the family.

(2) Private Adoption (via an agency or personal acquaintance)

Private adoptions are more likely to take place among family members or private adoption agencies.  In these situations, families are generally more aware of the history of the children and the situations they come from.  However, there is a greater likelihood of the birth family changing their minds and the adoption falling through than with DHS adoptions.  Also, the costs are generally higher with adoption agencies, as there are placement fees.  Waiting periods can also be long, depending on the availability of birth families and their preferences of adoptive families.

(3) International Adoption

International adoption is the most complex and costly of all adoptions.  The adopting family generally works through and pays an agency for placement of an adoptive child.  These fees are usually higher than local adoption agencies.  The family must then complete adoption procedures overseas and readopt within the State of Oklahoma.  Adopting families will also need to look into citizenship procedures for their adoptive babies.

If you have more questions about adoption, please contact an attorney or adoption agency.