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Library: Policy

340:75-15-41.1. Adoption placement considerations

Revised 9-17-18

(a) Sibling placement. Every reasonable attempt is made to place siblings together who were removed together whether in temporary or permanent placement. When separated, siblings are provided frequent contact or visitation, when appropriate. Each child's best interests determine if joint placement, contact, or visitation is allowed. When the child is a part of a sibling group, placement of the entire sibling group in the same placement is in the child's and siblings' best interests. Guidance on when siblings may be separated is found in Oklahoma Administrative Code (OAC) 340:75-6-85.  1

(b) Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) and placement. The federal ICWA, Section 1915 of Title 25 of the United States Code, Oklahoma (ICWA), Section 40.6 of Title 10 of the Oklahoma Statutes (10 O.S. § 40.6), and OAC 340:75-19-14define placement preferences for Indian children, unless the child's tribe established a different preference order by tribal resolution.

(c) Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA) of 1994. The Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS) follows the MEPAprovisions and the Interethnic Provisions of 1996, per OAC 340:75-1-9, unless the court finds that ICWA applies to the child.

(d) Potential adoptive parent age. When a potential adoptive parent meets the minimum age required, per OAC 340:75-7-12, DHS may not use the age of an otherwise eligible individual as a reason for denial of placement, per 10A O.S. § 1-4-705.2

(e) Child's placement preference. In determining placement of a deprived child in foster care, DHS is governed by the child's long-term best interests. The child may express a preference as to placement and the preference may be given with or without the parents, foster parents, guardians, or any other parties being present. DHS determines if the child's best interests are served by his or her preference. DHS is not bound by the child's preference and may consider other facts in determining the placement, per 10A O.S. § 1-7-110.

(f) Bars to placement.

(1) Per Section 1356.30 of Title 45 of the Code of Federal Regulations, does not approve potential adoptive parents as resource parents when the applicant, or any person residing in the potential applicant's home, has a criminal conviction record for any of the felony offenses listed in (A) through (E). The felony offenses are:

(A) physical assault, battery, or a drug-related offense within the five-year period preceding the date of the petition; 3

(B) child abuse or neglect;

(C) domestic abuse;

(D) a crime against a child including, but not limited to, child pornography; or

(E) a crime involving violence including, but not limited to, rape, sexual assault, or homicide, but excluding those crimes specified in paragraph (A) of this Subsection. Per Section 16 of Title 18 of the United States Code, a crime involving violence means an offense that:

(i) has as an element the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against the person or property of another; or

(ii) by its nature, involves a substantial risk that physical force against the person or property of another may be used in the course of committing the offense.

(2) Per 10 O.S. § 7505-6.3, the court may choose to accept an individual as a potential adoptive parent for placement who has a felony conviction listed in (1)(A) and (C) of this subsection, when an evaluation of the individual considers the:

(A) crime's nature and seriousness in relation to the adoption;

(B) time elapsed since the crime's commission;

(C) circumstances under which the crime was committed;

(D) degree of rehabilitation;

(E) number of crimes committed; and

(F) showing by clear and convincing evidence that the child will not be at risk by such placement.

(3) DHS denies the application to become a resource parent, when, the applicant:

(A) or any person residing in the applicant's home has a conviction for any crime, felony or misdemeanor, specified in 57 O.S. § 582, whether the conviction occurred upon a:

(i) verdict;

(ii) plea of guilty; or

(iii) plea of nolo contendere; or

(B) is subject to, living with, or married to a person who is subject to the Oklahoma Sex Offender Registration Act.

(g) Eligibility of foster parent to adopt the child. Per 10A O.S. § 1-4-812, during any permanency hearing, when the court determines the child is to be placed for adoption, the court considers the foster parent eligible to adopt, when the foster parent meets established eligibility requirements. When the child has resided with the foster parent for at least one year, the court gives great weight to the foster parent in the adoption consideration unless there is an existing, loving, emotional bond with a relative of the child, by blood or marriage, who is willing, able, and eligible to adopt the child.   • 4


 Revised 1-31-18

1.Siblings.Siblings are placed together, when possible, unless a joint placement is contrary to the safety or well-being of any of the siblings.A resource parent who wants to adopt a child in his or her care is advised that Oklahoma Statutes and Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS) rules supporting sibling relationships extend to adoption, when the child is part of a sibling group.Siblings are separated in adoptive placement only in certain circumstances per Oklahoma Administrative (OAC) 340:75-6-85.

2.Applicant's Potential adoptive parent's age.When the age difference between thePotential adoptive parent and child is more than 55 years, the district director and field manager are consulted.

3.Drug-related offenses.An alcohol-related felony conviction is a drug-related offense and bars a person from approval as an adoptive parent, when the conviction occurred within five years preceding the date of the petition.

4.Application to adopt by a resource parent or relative.

(1) Resource parent or relative inquiry.When a resource parent or relative expresses interest in adopting a child in his or her care, a criteria staffing is held and Form 04AN020E, Adoption Placement Criteria Staffing Documentation, is completed, per OAC 340:75-15-41.3, to determine if an adoptive family assessment is completed.

(2) Conversion assessment or family re-assessment. The conversion assessment begins with a review of the Form 04AF003E, Resource Family Assessment, for foster care.The conversion assessment is completed per Form 04AF002E, Guidelines for Resource Family Assessment - Family Profile, or Form 04AF029E, Resource Family Re-assessment Guide, when an integrated assessment was previously completed within 60-calendar days of the referral to the resource family assessment contractor.

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