Okla. Stat. § 7505-1.5

Oklahoma Statutes

Title 10. Children

Chapter 75. Oklahoma Adoption Code

Article 5. Adoption Proceedings

Part 1. General Requirements


§ 7505-1.5. Visitation agreements between child, adoptive parents and birth relative


A. If a child has resided with a birth relative before being adopted, the adoptive parents and that birth relative may enter into an agreement pursuant to the provisions of this section regarding communication with, visitation of or contact between the child, adoptive parents and the birth relative after or during pendency of the adoption proceedings.


B. For purposes of this section, "birth relative" means a parent, stepparent, grandparent, great grandparent, brother, sister, uncle or aunt of a minor adoptee. This relationship may be by blood or marriage. For an Indian child, birth relative includes members of the extended family as defined by the laws or customs of the Indian child's tribe or, in the absence of laws or customs, shall be a person who is eighteen (18) years of age or older and who is the Indian child's great-grandparent, grandparent, aunt or uncle, brother or sister, brother-in-law or sister-in-law, niece, nephew, first or second cousins, or stepparent, as provided in the Indian Child Welfare Act, United States Code, Title 25, Section 1903.


C. 1. An agreement regarding communication with, visitation of or contact between the child, adoptive parents and a birth relative is not legally enforceable unless the terms of the agreement are contained in a written court order entered in accordance with this section.


2. An order must be sought and shall be filed in the adoption action.


3. The court shall not enter a proposed order unless the terms of the order have been approved in writing by the prospective adoptive parents, and the birth relative who desires to be a party to the agreement.


D. The court shall not enter a proposed order unless the court finds that the communication, visitation or contact between the child, the adoptive parents and the birth relative as agreed upon and contained in the proposed order would be in the child's best interests and poses no threat to the safety of the child or integrity of the adoptive placement.


E. Failure to comply with the terms of an agreed order regarding communication, visitation or contact that has been entered by the court pursuant to this section shall not be grounds for:


1. Setting aside an adoption decree;


2. Revocation of a written consent to an adoption after that consent has become irrevocable; or


3. An action for citation of indirect contempt of court.


F. 1. An agreed order entered pursuant to the provisions of this section may be enforced or modified by filing a petition or motion with the court that includes a certified copy of the order granting the communication, contact or visitation, but only if the petition or motion is accompanied by an affidavit with supporting documentation that the parties have mediated or attempted to mediate any dispute under the agreement or that the parties agree to a proposed modification.


2. The prevailing party may be awarded reasonable attorney fees and costs .


3. The court shall not modify an agreed order pursuant to this section unless it finds that the modification is necessary to serve the best interests of the child, and:


a. the modification is agreed to by the adoptive parent and the birth relative, or


b. exceptional circumstances have arisen since the agreed order was entered that justify modification of the order.


CREDIT(S)


Laws 2000, c. 385, § 11, eff. Nov. 1, 2000.

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