340:75-15-132. Mutual Consent Voluntary Registry
Section 7508-1.2 of Title 10 of the Oklahoma Statutes (10 O.S. § 7508-1.2) requires the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS) to administer, directly or through a contractor, a Mutual-Consent Voluntary Registry where the eligible person, who was separated from birth family members through adoption or termination of parental rights, may indicate a willingness to have his or her identity and whereabouts disclosed to birth family members, per 10 O.S. §§ 7508-1.1 through 7508-1.3. • 1
(1) Persons eligible to register. The following persons may register with the Oklahoma Mutual-Consent Voluntary Registry:
(A) an adult adopted person;
(B) an adult person whose biological parents' parental rights were terminated;
(C) the adoptive parent or guardian of an adopted person, who is under 18 years of age or who was declared mentally incompetent;
(D) when adopted person is deceased, the legal parent or guardian of any minor child or mentally-incompetent minor of the adopted person;
(E) when the adopted person is deceased, any adult descendant of the adopted person;
(F) the legal parent or guardian of a minor or a person who was declared mentally incompetent whose biological parent's parental rights were terminated;
(G) the legal parent or guardian of any minor or mentally-incompetent child of a deceased person whose biological parent's parental rights were terminated;
(H) the adult descendant of a deceased person whose biological parent's parental rights were terminated;
(I) a parent whose parental rights were voluntarily terminated by court order subsequent to the parent's consent or relinquishment, or involuntarily terminated by court order in an adoption, juvenile, guardianship, or domestic relations proceeding; or
(J) an adult biological relative of an adopted person.
(2) Persons ineligible to register. Persons ineligible to register are:
(A) an adult adopted person who has a minor biological sibling in the same adoptive family or in an adoptive or foster family or other placement whose location is known to the adult adopted person;
(B) an adult whose biological parent's parental rights were terminated and who has a biological sibling in the same family or in an adoptive or foster family or other placement whose location is known to that adult; or
(C) a person whose adoption or termination of parental rights proceedings did not occur in Oklahoma.
(3) Registration. An eligible person may register by submitting a notarized affidavit completed on DHS Form 04CI002E, Oklahoma Mutual Consent Voluntary Registry.
(4) Nondisclosure affidavit. When a biological relative, other than a biological parent registers, a DHS Mutual-Consent Voluntary Registry administrator ascertains from the State Registrar of Vital Statistics if an affidavit of nondisclosure by a biological parent is on file. When an affidavit of nondisclosure is on file with the State Registrar of Vital Statistics and has not been revoked, the DHS Mutual-Consent Registry administrator does not process a match with any biological relative of the parent who filed the affidavit of nondisclosure.
(5) Matching registrant with eligible persons.
(A) A DHS Mutual-Consent Voluntary Registry administrator processes each eligible person's affidavit on completed Form 04CI002E to attempt to match the registrant with other registered eligible persons who consented to have their identifying information released to the registrant. The processing may include, but is not limited to:
(i) research from DHS records, when available; and
(ii) from court records to determine conclusively if registrants match, when agency records are not available.
(B) When a match occurs, the Mutual-Consent Voluntary Registry administrator:
(i) notifies each registrant, by the registrant's designated method only; and
(ii) obtains the registrant's consent to an exchange of identifying information before any identifying information is released.
(C) DHS is not allowed to solicit consent for the release of identifying information from someone who has not registered. A confidential intermediary may invite an unregistered person to register when a registered person has expressed an interest in contacting the unregistered person.
(6) Record retention. Any affidavits filed and other information collected is retained for 22 years following the registration date.
INSTRUCTIONS TO STAFF 340:75-15-132
1. (a) Matching registrant with eligible persons. The registrant's consent to an exchange of identifying information is obtained on Form 04CI004E, Consent to Disclosure, before any identifying information is released. No state or local governmental department, agency or institution, or contractor, or any employee thereof, may solicit consent for the release of identifying information from someone who has not registered with the registry.
(b) Reunion counseling. Pre-consent counseling is provided by a Post-Adoption Services registry administrator to ensure the person has an understanding of the implications of disclosure. All available non-identifying updated information is obtained in relation to each party and given to each party after one or more interviews with each party. Issues discussed with a birth relative or adopted person during counseling and prior to release of identifying information includes, but is not limited to, (1) - (4).
(1) Motivation. What is the most important issue to the birth relative or adopted person? Is it a sense of identity, roots, or medical information? Is the birth relative or adopted person seeking a parental relationship?
(2) Expectation. What kind of relationship does the birth relative or adopted person expect or hope will develop? Are the expectations realistic? Has the birth relative or adopted person considered potential problems if the expectations are not met?
(3) Other family members. How will the reunion affect other members of the birth relative or adopted person's immediate and extended family? What are the adoptive parents' attitudes and what are the issues related to the attitudes?
(4) Initial contact. How would the birth relative or adopted person like to proceed with a reunion? An exchange of letters and photographs may precede the meeting.
(c) Consent to disclosure. Once counseling has been provided and the birth relative or adopted person is ready to proceed, identifying information may be shared between parties. Identifying information can only be shared with the parties involved in the reunion.
(d) Reunion. A joint decision about how to proceed with the reunion is reached during the reunion counseling. The birth relative and adopted person may choose to telephone each other, write letters, send pictures, or have a meeting. The registry administrator is not expected to participate in the reunion meeting. Post-reunion counseling requests are referred to appropriate resources in the birth relative or adopted person's community.