340:75-6-40.8. Reinstatement of parental rights
(a) Per Section 1-4-909 of Title 10A of the Oklahoma Statutes (10A O.S. § 1-4-909), a child 14 years of age or older may, by an application signed by the child and the child's attorney, request the court reinstate the child's parent's previously terminated parental rights when the:
(1) child was previously found to be a deprived child;
(2) parent's rights were terminated in a deprived proceeding under Title 10 or 10A of the Oklahoma Statutes; and
(3) at least three years have passed since the final termination of parental rights (TPR) order; and
(A) the child has not achieved his or her permanency plan;
(B) a permanency plan of adoption failed; or
(C) a permanency plan of guardianship failed.
(b) When after a preliminary hearing to consider the parent's apparent fitness and interest in reinstatement of parental rights, the court finds by a preponderance of the evidence that the best interests of the child may be served by reinstatement of parental rights, the court orders a hearing on the application's merits. ■ 1 The court provides notice of the hearing to the child, the child's attorney, and Oklahoma Human Services (OKDHS) and orders OKDHS or the child's attorney to give notice to the:
(1) former parent of the child whose parental rights are the subject of the application;
(2) current foster parent or the child's relative guardian;
(3) child's guardian ad litem, if any; and
(4) child's tribe, when applicable.
(c) In determining whether the child has or has not achieved his or her permanency plan, OKDHS provides information related to any efforts to achieve the permanency plan, including efforts to achieve adoption or a permanent guardianship, to the court for review.
(d) When the court conditionally grants the application for reinstatement of parental rights, the case remains open for six months and a temporary order of reinstatement of parental rights is entered. During this period, the child is placed in the parent's custody. OKDHS develops a permanency plan for the child reflecting the plan for reunification and provides transition services to the family as appropriate. ■ 2
(e) After the child is placed with the parent for six months, a hearing is held. When the placement with the parent is successful, the court issues a final order of reinstatement of parental rights, which restores all rights, powers, privileges, immunities, duties, and obligations of the parent to the child, including those relating to custody, control, and support of the child. The deprived action is closed and the court clerk's office provides a certified copy of the final order of reinstatement of parental rights to the parent at no cost.
(f) A proceeding to reinstate parental rights is a separate action from the TPR proceeding and does not vacate the original TPR. An order granted through this proceeding reinstates the parental rights to the child and acknowledges the conditions of the parent and child changed since the TPR and reunification is now appropriate.
(g) Per 10A O.S. § 1-4-909, a child's application for reinstatement of parental rights applies to:
(1) any child who is under the district court's jurisdiction as a deprived child at the time of the hearing to reinstate parental rights regardless of the date when the parental rights were terminated;
(2) the sibling group of a child when, at the discretion of the court, parental rights to one child of the sibling group were reinstated; and
(3) the child of a failed adoption or guardianship permanency plan when parental rights of the child's parents were terminated for three or more years at the time of the child's application to reinstate parental rights.
INSTRUCTIONS TO STAFF 340:75-6-40.8
1. Reinstatement of parental rights. Prior to the child welfare (CW) specialist contacting the child's attorney, the CW supervisor consults with the district director to obtain approval to proceed when the:
(1) child meets each requirement stated in the statute;
(2) child states that he or she wants his or her parent's parental rights reinstated;
(3) CW specialist conducted a home visit with the parent and the parent expressed a desire to have parental rights reinstated; and
(4) CW specialist has completed:
(A) a child abuse and neglect information system search to determine any recent child abuse and neglect history;
(B) an Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation name-based background check to determine any recent criminal activity;
(C) contact with three personal references of the parent to determine the parent's current functioning; and
(D) Form 04KI030E, Assessment of Child Safety, to assess the parent's current functioning.
2. Documenting reinstatement of parental rights in KIDS. No later than five-business days after a parent's parental rights are reinstated, the CW specialist contacts the KIDS Helpdesk for directions to update KIDS.