Okla. Admin. Code § 340:75-15-41






340:75-15-41. Adoptive placement criteria staffing

The adoption process is a team effort that includes the adoption specialist and supervisor, adoption transition specialist and supervisor, Child Welfare (CW) worker and supervisor, and service providers.

(1) Within 30 calendar days of the initial adoption consultation, Form DCFS-2, Adoptive Placement Criteria Staffing, is completed on any child with the goal of adoption to assist in determining the type of placement that best meets the child's needs. The assessment may identify a prospective adoptive parent(s)' ability to meet the child's needs and addresses the legal status and any legal barriers to adoption.

(2) Completion of the adoptive placement criteria staffing is not approval for adoptive placement. A child for whom there is no resource identified is referred to statewide adoption staffing. Form DCFS-2 is completed for the child on all interested, prospective caregivers. Factors considered when identifying the placement that best meets the child's needs are described in (A) through (K).

(A) Siblings. Siblings are placed together when possible. Siblings are separated in adoptive placement only in certain circumstances, in accordance with OAC 340:75-6-85.2 and 340:75-15-43.

(B) Attachment. The attachment of the child to the siblings, foster family, and significant others is assessed and utilized as an indicator of the child's ability to attach to an adoptive family.

(C) Age. Age is evaluated in relation to the applicant's ability to parent the child into adulthood.

(D) Health. The health records of the prospective adoptive applicant must indicate the applicant has the health to participate with the child in normal developmental activities and parent the child into adulthood.

(E) Culture. Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) does not rely on generalizations about the identity needs of children of a particular race or ethnicity. OKDHS does not presume from the race or ethnicity of the prospective adoptive applicant that he or she would be unable to maintain the child's ties to another racial, ethnic, or cultural community.

(F) Adoption of an Indian child. The child who meets the definition of an Indian child under the federal and state Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), Section 1901 of Title 25 of the United States Code and Section 40 et seq. of Title 10 of the Oklahoma Statutes, must be placed according to the placement preferences per OAC 340:75-19-23. Prior to placing an Indian child in a non-extended family or non-Indian family, the child's CW worker must request that the court of adjudication conduct a good cause hearing. ICWA requires that:

(i) a good cause hearing is set;

(ii) prior notice is given to all parties, including the tribe; and

(iii) the court make a finding that good cause exists to not follow the placement preferences of ICWA.

(G) Religion. The child is provided an opportunity for spiritual and moral development. If the child has made a religious commitment or the parent(s) has made a specific request, OKDHS makes a reasonable effort to find an adoptive family of like faith.

(H) Language. If the child's primary language is other than English, special consideration is given to identifying an adoptive family fluent in the same language as the child, including sign language for a child who is hearing impaired.

(I) Education. The child is given the opportunity to develop his or her potential and will not be subjected to unrealistic academic expectations.

(J) Geographic location. The child is placed in a locality where the child and adoptive family are protected from identification and from undue interference by the birth family. When foster parents or relatives are considered as an adoptive family, this criterion is of special significance. An assessment is made to determine the adoptive parent(s)' ability to parent without undue interference.

(K) Resources. The adoptive family must have adequate resources to meet the child's financial, medical, health, educational, shelter, and emotional needs. Adoption assistance is a resource for the child who meets eligibility criteria, per OAC 340:75-15-128.

[Source: Amended at 23 Ok Reg 1026, eff 5-11-06]

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