2014 Oklahoma Statutes
Title 10. Children
§10-7505-5.3. Contents of home study.
A. A home study satisfying Section 7505-5.1 or 7505-5.2 of this title must include at a minimum the following:
1. An appropriate inquiry to determine whether the proposed home is a suitable one for the minor; and any other circumstances and conditions which may have a bearing on the adoption and of which the court should have knowledge; and in this entire matter of investigation, the court is specifically authorized to exercise judicial knowledge and discretion;
2. Documentation of at least one individual interview with each parent, each school-age child and any other household member, one joint interview, a home visit, and three written references;
3. Verification that the home is a healthy, safe environment in which to raise a minor, as well as verification of marital status, employment, income, access to medical care, physical health and history; and
4. A review of a criminal background check and a child abuse and neglect information system check.
a.A background check shall be required for adoptive parents and all other household members eighteen (18) years of age and older, consisting of a review of a national fingerprint-based criminal background check, a search of the Department of Corrections' files maintained pursuant to the Sex Offenders Registration Act, and a search of the child abuse and neglect information system maintained for review by authorized entities by the Department of Human Services.
b.A Department of Public Safety Motor Vehicle Report shall be required for adoptive parents and all other adult household members when the child to be adopted is in the legal custody of the Department of Human Services.
c.For each adoptive parent or other household member eighteen (18) years of age or older who has not maintained continuous residency in the state for five (5) years prior to the home study or home study update, a child abuse registry check shall be required from every other state in which the prospective adoptive parent or other adult household member has resided during such five-year period.
d.Each prospective adoptive parent or other household member eighteen (18) years of age or older shall be required to cooperate with the requirements of the Department of Human Services and the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation with regard to the criminal background check and child abuse check, including but not limited to signing a release of information allowing the release of the results of any search to the agency or person conducting the home study or home study update.
e.Upon completion of the criminal record checks and child abuse and neglect checks, the Department of Human Services and the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation shall forward all information obtained to the agency or other person authorized in Section 7505-5.4 of this title to conduct home study investigations who has requested the background searches.
B. A home study which is being updated or brought current in accordance with subsection A of Section 7505-5.1 of this title shall document appropriate inquiry into changes in the family situation since the last home study, a home visit, at least one joint interview, information on any children added to the family, experiences, if any, of the adoptive parents as parents since the last study, verification of current physical health, and three current letters of reference.
C. An updated home study as described in subsection B of this section shall include a review of criminal background checks and child abuse and neglect checks as described in subsection A of this section. However, when a national fingerprint background check has been done within the five (5) years previous to the completion of the updated home study and the results are available for review by the home study investigator, then a name-based search of the records of the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation on the adoptive parents and other household residents over the age of eighteen (18) for whom the fingerprint background check has been performed shall satisfy the requirements for a criminal background check for purposes of a home study update.
D. 1. A preplacement home study or update which is being used solely for purposes of international adoption shall not require a national fingerprint-based criminal background search in addition to the one required by the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service.
2. Such an international home study shall contain a review of a state criminal background check, a search of the Department of Corrections' files maintained pursuant to the Sex Offenders Registration Act, and a search of the child abuse and neglect information system maintained for review by authorized entities by the Department of Human Services.
3. An international home study or home study update as described in this section must include a statement that the home study recommendation is for international adoption purposes only and may not be used as the basis for a domestic adoption without the addition of a review of the results of a national fingerprint-based criminal background search if such would be required by subparagraph c of paragraph 4 of subsection A of this section.
E. The report of such home study or home study update shall become a part of the files in the case and shall contain a definite recommendation for or against the proposed adoption and the reasons therefor.
F. Following issuance of an interlocutory decree of adoption, or if the interlocutory decree is waived, prior to issuance of a final decree, the investigator conducting the home study or another investigator who meets the qualifications specified in Section 7505-5.4 of this title, shall observe the minor in the proposed adoptive home and report in writing to the court on any circumstances or conditions which may have a bearing on the granting of a final adoption decree. If the interlocutory decree was not waived, the investigator must certify that the final examination described in this subsection has been made since the granting of the interlocutory order. This supplemental report shall include a determination as to the legal availability or status of the minor for adoption and shall be filed prior to the final decree of adoption.
Added by Laws 1997, c. 366, § 31, eff. Nov. 1, 1997. Amended by Laws 1998, c. 415, § 24, emerg. eff. June 11, 1998; Laws 1999, c. 396, § 18, emerg. eff. June 10, 1999; Laws 2007, c. 196, § 5, eff. July 1, 2007; Laws 2012, c. 242, § 1.
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