2014 Oklahoma Statutes
Title 10. Children
§10-7505-3.2. Costs, funds or monies expended by adoptive family – Disclosure statement.

10 OK Stat § 10-7505-3.2 (2014) What's This?

A. 1. An affidavit shall be attached to the petition for adoption, or may be filed after the filing of the petition for adoption, but prior to the final decree of adoption, which discloses to the court all of the costs, funds, or monies expended by the adoptive family or expected to be expended in connection with the adoption of a minor.

2. 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 subsection B of this section. Upon its review of the affidavit of monies expended, the court shall in writing disapprove any expenditure that the court deems unreasonable or in violation of Sections 865 through 869 of Title 21 of the Oklahoma Statutes and, to the extent necessary to comply with Oklahoma law, shall order reimbursement of any consideration given in violation of Sections 865 through 869 of Title 21 of the Oklahoma Statutes. Payments made pursuant to this section shall not be a violation of Sections 865 through 869 of Title 21 of the Oklahoma Statutes.

B. 1. Except as otherwise specifically provided by law, the following list of adoption-related costs and expenses specified in this paragraph may be deemed proper items for a person to pay in connection with an adoption:

a.reasonable attorney fees and court costs,

b.reasonable medical expenses for birth mother and minor to be adopted,

c.reasonable adoption counseling expenses for birth parents before and after the birth of the minor, not to exceed six (6) months from placement of the minor,

d.reasonable fees of a licensed child-placement agency, including social service fees,

e.(1)reasonable and necessary living expenses of the birth mother that are incurred during the adoption planning process or during the pregnancy, not to exceed two (2) months after the birth of the minor or after the consent or relinquishment of the birth mother. Reasonable and necessary living expenses include but are not limited to:

(a)housing expenses,

(b)utilities, such as electric, gas, water, or telephone bills,

(c)food for the birth mother and any minor child of the birth mother residing in the home of the birth mother,

(d)travel expenses for transportation to support the pregnancy, such as gasoline, bus fares, or providing for the temporary use of a vehicle during the pregnancy, and

(e)child care or foster care for any minor child of the birth mother associated with pregnancy-related medical care.

(2)Reasonable and necessary living expenses shall not include:

(a)any expenses met by existing resources of the birth mother,

(b)any expenses used for the support of family members who are not minor children of the mother,

(c)any expenses for recreational or leisure activities, and

(d)the purchase or gift of an automobile,

f.reasonable expenses for a home study,

g.reasonable and necessary costs associated with an international adoption,

h.reasonable expenses legally required by any governmental entity related to the adoption of a minor, and

i.a one-time gift to the birth mother from the prospective adoptive parents of no greater value than One Hundred Dollars ($100.00).

2. In addition, all expenses approved by the court should be commensurate with other customary fees for similar services by persons of equivalent experience and training where the services are performed. Any services provided outside this state shall be allowed in an amount as if the services had been performed within the State of Oklahoma.

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

4. 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.

5. Except as otherwise ordered by the court except for good cause shown, all payments made pursuant to this section shall be paid directly to the third-party provider of services or goods. Any living expense paid on behalf of a birth mother in a domestic adoption which is not supported by an itemized receipt shall not be allowed for payment. If gift cards are issued to pay expenses, an itemized receipt verifying purchases shall be required for approval by the court. The accounting shall include vouchers for all monies expended, copies of all checks written and receipts for all cash payments attesting to the accuracy of the accounting.

C. Any person, attorney, or licensed child-placement agency desiring to pay living and transportation expenses on behalf of a birth mother is authorized to expend an initial amount not to exceed One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) plus deposits for housing and utilities for such costs and expenses without first obtaining court approval as required by paragraph 1 of subsection D of this section. Any such costs and expenses shall be disclosed as is otherwise required by the Oklahoma Adoption Code.

D. 1. Except for the amount authorized by subsection C of this section, the payment of any living or transportation expenses for benefit of the birth mother as authorized in subparagraph e of paragraph 1 of subsection B of this section shall be approved in advance by the court.

2. The person, attorney, or licensed child-placing agency desiring to pay living or transportation expenses on behalf of a birth mother which exceed the amount in subsection C of this section shall file a petition for an order approving payment of adoption-related expenses.

3. The petition for an order approving payment of adoption-related expenses shall be filed in the district court where the adoption petition is to be filed, as provided in Section 7502-1.2 of this title.

4. The petition shall be captioned: “In the matter of Baby (name).” The petition shall include a listing of all anticipated living or transportation expenses to be paid on behalf of the birth mother for which court approval is being sought. If additional expenditures not previously authorized by the court are needed on behalf of the birth mother, an amended petition may be filed with the court.

5. The petition shall be heard by the court within ten (10) days of filing. The court clerk shall charge the same cost for a petition for payment of expenses as is charged for the filing of an adoption petition. In the event an adoption petition is later filed in the same county, the adoption petition shall be filed as an amended petition within the same case in which payment for expenses was approved and no additional court costs shall be required. In the event a petition for preadoption termination of parental rights is later filed in the same county, the court clerk shall not assess an additional filing fee and may use the same case number as for the petition for adoption.

6. Any order authorizing payment shall be attached to a petition for adoption. If no adoption petition is filed, the court shall retain jurisdiction to enter any orders deemed appropriate regarding the reimbursement of costs and expenses paid. If the child is placed for adoption outside the State of Oklahoma, any such order shall be submitted to the Interstate Compact of the Placement of Children and to the court in the other state where the petition for adoption is to be filed.

E. 1. In addition to the adoptive family affidavit requirement of subsection A of this section, 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 of Adoption-related Costs and Expenditures 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:

a.retainer fees, the hourly rate, and the number of hours billed for the adoption,

b.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,

c.any costs, fees or 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, and

d.any other fees and expenses related to the adoption not otherwise specifically listed in this section.

2. The Disclosure Statement of Adoption-related Costs and Expenditures containing true and accurate information shall be filed before or when the final decree of adoption is ordered in each adoption of a minor in this state. The statement shall be a public record; provided, that any information identifying the person, attorney or child-placing agency in the direct adoption shall not be made public. In addition, the identity of the child, the adoptive parents, and the birth parents shall not be made public.

Added by Laws 1997, c. 366, § 25, eff. Nov. 1, 1997. Amended by Laws 1999, c. 396, § 17, emerg. eff. June 10, 1999; Laws 2005, c. 57, § 2, eff. Nov. 1, 2005; Laws 2009, c. 107, § 3, eff. Nov. 1, 2009; Laws 2009, c. 288, § 2, eff. Nov. 1, 2009; Laws 2011, c. 371, § 5, eff. Nov. 1, 2011.

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