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Library: Policy

340:75-15-7. Definitions

Revised 9-15-20

The following words and terms, when used in this Subchapter, have the following meaning, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"Adoptee" means a person who is adopted or is to be adopted.

"Adoption" means a way of meeting the child's best interests by providing him or her with a permanent family through a legal transfer of the parental responsibilities for that child from the parent or legal guardian to the adoptive parent, per the Oklahoma Adoption Code, Section 7501-1.1 et seq. of Title 10 of the Oklahoma Statutes (10 O.S. §§ 7501-1.1et seq.).The adoption process creates a new kinship network that links the birth family and the adoptive family through the child.

"Adoption assistance" means medical assistance, monthly monetary payment, or both, and limited reimbursement of attorney's fees and other non-recurring expenses related to the adoption's finalization, provided to the adoptive parent based on the child's needs.

"Adoption assistance agreement" means a binding, contractual agreement negotiated between an adoptive parent and the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS) that specifies the:

(A) duration of the agreement;

(B) nature and amount of any payment, service, or assistance provided;

(C) agreement remains in effect regardless of the adoptive parent's state of residence;

(D) child's interests are protected in cases where the adoptive parent and the child move to another state;

(E) adoptive parent's requirements to continue receiving assistance;

(F) adoptive parent chooses to defer the receipt of medical assistance, monthly monetary payment, or both and elects to maintain the option in the future; and

(G) child is not immediately eligible for adoption assistance benefits; however, he or she is at risk of developing a special need making him or her eligible for adoption assistance after the adoption finalization.

"Adoption disruption" means the interruption of a potential adoption after the child's placement and before the adoption finalization.

"Adoption dissolution" means the act of ending an adoption by a court order terminating the legal relationship between the child and the adoptive parent.This term applies only after finalization of the adoption.

"Adoption event" means a planned occasion to introduce children in DHS custody with a permanency plan of adoption to potential adoptive families.

"Agency decline" means a DHS decision not to proceed with a child's placement in an authorized adoptive home.

"Alleged father" means a man who alleges himself to be, or is alleged to be, the genetic father or a possible genetic father of a child, but whose paternity has not been determined, per 10 O.S. § 7700-102. The term does not include a presumed father.

"Applicant" means a person who makes a formal application to become a resource parent but has not completed the approval process.

"Application" means a completed Form 04AF001E, Resource Family Assessment Application.Form 04AF001E requires documents and actions completed by the applicant.

"Approved adoptive family" means a family who completed the required assessment process for adoption approval, per Oklahoma Administrative Code (OAC) 340:75-15-88.

"Attachment" means a psychologically-rooted tie between two persons that permits them to have powerful emotional significance for each other.

"Authorized adoptive placement" means the DHS Resource Unit authorized an approved adoptive family to take placement of an adoption-eligible child.

"Child profile" means the full-disclosure report prepared when the child's permanency plan is adoption, including information regarding the child's biological-family background and the child's social, educational, and medical history.When the child's permanency plan is adoption, the child profile is prepared and provided to the adoptive parent after the adoption authorization is completed, prior to the child's placement in the adoptive home.  1

"Child with special needs" means a child, per Public Law 96-272, who may be difficult to place for adoption due to:

(A) a serious physical or mental disability;

(B) emotional disturbance;

(C) a high risk to develop a physical or mental disability;

(D) his or her age;

(E) a sibling relationship;

(F) racial or cultural factors; or

(G) a combination of these conditions.

"Concurrent planning" means the provision of reunification services to the child in DHS custody and the child's parent or legal guardian while simultaneously developing an alternative plan in the event reunification efforts fail or are no longer feasible.

"Directive" means a document signed by the DHS Director or his or her designee authorizing a DHS employee to sign consent to the adoption of a child who is in DHS custody.

"Disclosure" means a process in which DHS provides medical, psychological, educational, and social history including the child's profile to the adoptive parent.

"Family decline" means a decision made by the family not to pursue placement of the child for whom they were authorized.

"Finalized adoption" means the legal consummation of an adoption.

"Indian Child Welfare Act" means federal and state laws that govern the removal and out-of-home placement of Indian children, per Section 1901 et seq. of Title 25 of the United States Code, and 10 O.S. §§ 40 et seq.

"Interlocutory decree" means a temporary court order, after the filing of the adoption petition that gives the petitioner temporary care and custody of the child until the final decree of adoption is entered by the court.

"Licensed child-placing agency" means a private agency licensed by DHS that arranges for or places a child who is legally available for adoption, in an adoptive home.

"Life Book" means a compilation of photographs, documents, mementos, illustrations, and narrative accounts of important events in a child's and family's lives.The child's Life Book is compiled with or for the child who is in DHS custody in an effort to prepare the child for placement.The adoptive family's Life Book is completed by the family as part of the assessment process.

"Master adoptive parent" means an experienced adoptive parent who serves as a support person to adoptive families.

"Notice of Plan for Adoption" means written notification provided to the alleged or presumed father that the birth mother is considering adoptive placement for the child.Notice of Plan for Adoption may be given by DHS, a licensed child-placing agency, or an attorney representing the child's potential adoptive parent, before or after the child's birth.

"Presumed father" means a man who, by operation of law, per 10 O.S. § 7700-204, is recognized as the child's father until that status is rebutted or confirmed in a judicial proceeding under the Uniform Parentage Act.A man is presumed the child's father, when:

(A) he and the child's mother are married to each other and the child is born during the marriage;

(B) he and the child's mother were married to each other and the child is born within 300-calendar days after the marriage is terminated by death, annulment, declaration of invalidity, dissolution of marriage, or after decree of separation;

(C) before the child's birth, he and the child's mother married each other in apparent compliance with law, even when the attempted marriage is or could be declared invalid, and the child is born during the invalid marriage or within 300-calendar days after the invalid marriage is terminated by death, annulment, declaration of invalidity, dissolution of marriage, or after decree of separation;

(D) after the child's birth, he and the child's mother married each other in apparent compliance with law, even when the marriage is or could be declared invalid, and he voluntarily asserted his paternity of the child; and:

(i) the assertion is in a record with the Oklahoma State Department of Health, Division of Vital Records or DHS;

(ii) he agreed to be and is named as the child's father on the child's birth certificate; or

(iii) he promised in a record to support the child as his own; or

(E) for the first two years of the child's life, he resided in the same household with the child and openly held the child out as his own.

"Resource" means all foster care families, including traditional, coordinated, kinship, therapeutic, intensive treatment family care, and adoptive families.

"Resource family assessment (RFA)" means a joint process between Child Welfare Services and the family that consists of an evaluation of the family's ability to foster and/or adopt and includes, but is not limited to:

(A) consideration of each family member's criminal and child welfare histories;

(B) the safety and physical space available in the home to integrate a new family member;

(C) the number and ages of children residing in the home;

(D) references;

(E) military histories;

(F) household income; and

(G) health histories.

"Statewide adoption staffing" means a monthly meeting between permanency planning and adoption staff to share information about children available for adoption.

"Termination of parental rights" means a court order ending all custody and control by the child's parent.

"Trial adoption (TA)" means the period of time when a child is placed with an adoptive family until the adoption is legally finalized.

INSTRUCTIONS TO STAFF 340:75-15-7

Revised 9-17-18

 

1.Child Profile.A portion of the child profile contains information obtained from an Oklahoma Health Care Authority contract vendor. The endor provides the Oklahoma Department of Human Services with achild-specific print out that lists:

(1) identifying information;

(2) visits charged by medical providers;

(3) provider addresses; and

(4) any diagnosis or medical procedures the child received.

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