Oregon

Adoption Laws

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Consent to Adoption

Who Must Consent to an Adoption Citation: Ann. Stat. §§ 109.312; 109.314; 109.316

Consent in writing to the adoption of a child shall be given by:

  • The parents of the child or the survivor of them
  • The guardian of the child if the child has no living parent
  • The next of kin in this State if the child has no living parent and no guardian
  • Some suitable person appointed by the court to act in the proceeding as next friend of the child to give or withhold consent if the child has no living parent and no guardian or next of kin qualified to consent

If the legal custody of the child has been awarded in marital dissolution proceedings, the written consent of the person to whom custody of the child has been awarded may be held sufficient by the court. However, unless the noncustodial parent consents to the adoption, the petitioner shall serve on the noncustodial parent a summons and a motion and order to show cause why the proposed adoption should not be ordered without the noncustodial parent’s consent, and the objections of the noncustodial parent shall be heard if appearance is made.

The Department of Human Services or an approved child-caring agency, acting in loco parentis, may consent to the adoption of a child who has been:

  • Surrendered to it for the purpose of adoption
  • Permanently committed to it by order of a court of competent jurisdiction
  • Surrendered to it for the purpose of adoption by one parent and permanently committed to it by a court of competent jurisdiction having jurisdiction of the other parent

Consent of Child Being Adopted Citation: Ann. Stat. § 109.328

If the child is age 14 or older, the adoption shall not be made without the consent of the child.

When Parental Consent Is Not Needed Citation: Ann. Stat. §§ 109.322; 109.324; 109.326

An adoption may be granted without the consent of the parent if:

  • A parent has been adjudged mentally ill or mentally deficient and remains so at the time of the adoption proceedings.
  • A parent is imprisoned in a State or Federal prison under a sentence for a term of not less than 3 years and has actually served 3 years.
  • A parent has willfully deserted the child or neglected without just and sufficient cause to provide proper care and maintenance for the child for 1 year immediately prior to the filing of the petition for adoption.
  • The mother of a child was married at the time of the conception or birth of the child, and it has been determined that her husband at such time was not the father of the child; in this case, consent of the husband is not required.

When Consent Can Be Executed

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.

How Consent Must Be Executed Citation: Ann. Stat. §§ 109.312; 109.346; 418.270

Consent must be in writing and its validity attested to by the court or an authorized person.

A birth parent consenting to an adoption shall receive notice of the birth parent’s right to payment for three adoption-related counseling sessions prior to surrender or relinquishment of the child for adoption and three sessions of adoption-related counseling after surrender or relinquishment of the child for adoption.

Notice of the right to adoption-related counseling shall be in writing and shall be provided to the consenting birth parent by either the attorney for the birth parent, the agency representative taking the birth parent’s consent, or the attorney for the prospective adoptive parent. Before entry of a judgment of adoption, the agency or attorney providing the written notice shall submit verification to the court that the notice was given to the consenting birth parent.

A parent may execute consent or surrender to a child-placing agency for the purpose of placing the child for adoption by that agency.

Revocation of Consent Citation: Ann. Stat. § 109.312

A person who gives consent to adoption may agree concurrently or subsequently to the giving of such consent that the consent shall be or become irrevocable and may waive such person’s right to a personal appearance in court by a duly signed and attested certificate. The certificate of irrevocability and waiver shall be in effect when the following are completed:

  • The child is placed for the purpose of adoption in the physical custody of the person or persons to whom the consent is given.
  • The person or persons to whom consent for adoption is given have filed a petition to adopt the child in a court of competent jurisdiction.
  • The court has entered an order appointing the petitioner or some other suitable person as guardian of the child.
  • A home study has been filed with the court approving the petitioners as potential adoptive parents.
  • Information about the child’s social, medical, and genetic history has been provided by the person giving consent to the adoption.
  • The person signing the certificate of irrevocability and waiver has been given an explanation of the consequences of signing the certificate.

Upon the fulfillment of the conditions above, the consent for adoption may not be revoked unless fraud or duress is proved with respect to any material fact.

Consent to the adoption of a child subject to the Indian Child Welfare Act shall not be valid unless the requirements of the Indian Child Welfare Act (25 U.S.C. 1901 et seq.) are met. In accordance with the Indian Child Welfare Act, a certificate of irrevocability is not valid for a child who is subject to the Indian Child Welfare Act.

Criminal Background Checks for Prospective Foster and Adoptive Parents

Requirements for Foster Parents Rev. Stat. § 418.016; Admin. Rules § 413-120-0450

A criminal records check is required for a prospective foster parent or relative caregiver and other individuals age 18 or older who will be in the household of the prospective foster parent or relative caregiver.

In regulation:An individual may not be approved or certified as a relative caregiver or foster parent, and no exception may be granted, if he or she has been convicted of a felony crime that involves:

  • Violence, including rape, sexual assault, and homicide, but not including other physical assault or battery
  • Intentional starvation or torture
  • Abuse or neglect of a child
  • Spousal abuse
  • Aiding, abetting, attempting, soliciting, or conspiring to cause the death of a child
  • Sodomy or sexual abuse
  • A child as the victim, including child pornography
  • Physical assault, battery, or a drug-related offense within the preceding 5 years

A department manager is authorized to grant an exception when the applicant has been convicted of a crime other than one listed above, and it has been determined that the individual possesses the qualifications to be a relative caregiver or foster parent regardless of the criminal conviction. In determining whether to grant an exception, the person authorized to grant the exception shall consider factors such as the severity, nature, and circumstances surrounding the crime, the relationship of the criminal activity to the subject individual’s capacity to safely provide the proposed care, and any evidence of rehabilitation.

Requirements for Adoptive Parents Rev. Stat. § 418.016; Admin. Rules § 413-120-0450

A criminal records check is required for a prospective adoptive parent and other individuals age 18 or older who will be in the household of the prospective adoptive parent.

In regulation:An individual may not be approved as an adoptive parent, and no exception may be granted, if he or she has been convicted of a felony crime that involves:

  • Violence, including rape, sexual assault, and homicide, but not including other physical assault or battery
  • Intentional starvation or torture
  • Abuse or neglect of a child
  • Spousal abuse
  • Aiding, abetting, attempting, soliciting, or conspiring to cause the death of a child
  • Sodomy or sexual abuse
  • A child as the victim, including child pornography
  • Physical assault, battery, or a drug-related offense within the preceding 5 years

A department manager is authorized to grant an exception when the applicant has been convicted of a crime other than one listed above, and it has been determined that the individual possesses the qualifications to be an adoptive parent regardless of the criminal conviction. In determining whether to grant an exception, the person authorized to grant the exception shall consider factors such as the severity, nature, and circumstances surrounding the crime, the relationship of the criminal activity to the subject individual’s capacity to safely provide the proposed care, and any evidence of rehabilitation.

Grounds for Involuntary Termination of Parental Rights

Circumstances That Are Grounds for Termination of Parental Rights Rev. Stat. §§ 419B.502; 419B.504; 419B.506; 419B.508

The rights of the parent or parents may be terminated if the court finds:

  • The parent is unfit by reason of a single or recurrent incident of extreme conduct toward any child. In determining extreme conduct, the court shall consider the following:
    • Rape, sodomy, or sex abuse of any child by the parent
    • Intentional starvation or torture of any child by the parent
    • Abuse or neglect by the parent of any child resulting in death or serious physical injury
    • Conduct by the parent to aid or abet another person who, by abuse or neglect, caused the death of any child
    • Conduct by the parent to attempt, solicit, or conspire to cause the death of any child
    • Previous involuntary terminations of the parent’s rights to another child if the conditions giving rise to the previous action have not been ameliorated
    • Conduct by the parent that knowingly exposes any child of the parent to the storage or production of methamphetamines from precursors
  • The parent is unfit by reason of conduct or condition seriously detrimental to the child, and integration of the child into the home of the parent is improbable within a reasonable time due to conduct or conditions not likely to change. In determining such conduct and conditions, the court shall consider, but is not limited to, the following:
    • Emotional illness, mental illness, or mental retardation of the parent of such nature and duration as to render the parent incapable of providing proper care for the child for extended periods of time
    • Conduct toward any child of an abusive, cruel, or sexual nature
    • Addictive or habitual use of intoxicating liquors or controlled substances to the extent that parental ability has been substantially impaired
    • Physical neglect of the child
    • Lack of effort of the parent to adjust circumstances, conduct, or conditions to make it possible for the child to safely return home within a reasonable time
    • Failure of the parent to effect a lasting adjustment after reasonable efforts by available social agencies for such extended duration of time that it appears reasonable that no lasting adjustment can be effected
    • Criminal conduct that impairs the parent’s ability to provide adequate care for the child
  • The parent has failed or neglected without reasonable and lawful cause to provide for the basic physical and psychological needs of the child for 6 months. In determining such failure or neglect, the court shall disregard any incidental or minimal expressions of concern or support and shall consider, but is not limited to, one or more of the following:
    • Failure to provide care or pay a reasonable portion of substitute physical care and maintenance if custody is lodged with others
    • Failure to maintain regular visitation or other contact with the child that was designed to reunite the child with the parent
    • Failure to contact or communicate with the child or with the custodian of the child
  • The child has been abandoned or left under such circumstances that the identity of the parent was unknown and could not be ascertained, despite diligent searching, and the parent has not come forward to claim the child within 3 months following the finding of the child.

The rights of the parent may be terminated if the court finds that the child was conceived as the result of an act that led to the parent’s conviction for rape. Termination of parental rights under this section does not relieve the parent of any obligation to pay child support. Termination of parental rights under this section is an independent basis for termination of parental rights, and the court need not make any of the considerations or findings described above.

Circumstances That Are Exceptions to Termination of Parental Rights Rev. Stat. § 419B.498

The Department of Human Services shall file a petition to terminate the parental rights of a parent when the child has been in foster care for 15 of the most recent 22 months or there are grounds to terminate unless:

  • The child is being cared for by a relative, and that placement is intended to be permanent.
  • There is a compelling reason, which is documented in the case plan, for determining that filing such a petition would not be in the best interests of the child. Such compelling reasons include, but are not limited to:
    • The parent is successfully participating in services that will make it possible for the child to safely return home within a reasonable time.
    • Another permanent plan is better suited to meet the health and safety needs of the child, including the need to preserve the child’s sibling attachments and relationships.
    • The court or local citizen review board in a prior hearing or review determined that, while the case plan was to reunify the family, the department did not make reasonable efforts or, if the Indian Child Welfare Act applies, active efforts to make it possible for the child to safely return home.
  • The department has not provided to the family of the child, consistent with the time period in the case plan, such services as the department deems necessary for the child to safely return home, if reasonable efforts to make it possible for the child to safely return home are required.

No petition to terminate parental rights may be filed until the court has determined that the permanency plan for the child should be adoption after a permanency hearing pursuant to § 419B.476.

Circumstances Allowing Reinstatement of Parental Rights

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.

Home Study Requirements for Prospective Parents in Domestic Adoption

Who Must Be Studied Citation: Admin. Rules § 413-120-0450

The adoptive applicant and other persons in the household who are age 18 and older will be included in the investigation and study.

Agency or Person Conducting the Study Citation: Rev. Stat. § 109.304

The home study and placement report is completed by the Department of Human Services or a licensed adoption agency.

Qualifications for Adoptive Parents Citation: Admin. Rules §§ 413-120-0220; 413-120-0246

The adoptive applicant must be at least age 21 unless one of the following applies:

  • The child welfare program manager or a designee has approved a relative adoptive applicant between age 18 through 20
  • The child is an Indian child and the adoptive applicant is a member of the child’s extended family, another member of the Indian child’s Tribe, or another Indian family

To be approved to adopt a child in the legal custody of the department, an individual must complete all of the following:

  • Have an adoption home study recommending the applicant as a potential adoptive resource
  • Meet the department’s standards for adoptive homes by demonstrating the knowledge, skills, and ability to meet, without agency oversight, the current and lifelong needs of the child for all of the following:
    • Physical and emotional safety and well-being
    • Developing and maintaining connections to the child’s family
    • Continuity and familiarity
    • Appropriate social, educational, developmental, emotional, and physical support
    • Integration into the family
    • Stability and permanency
    • Maintaining his or her identity, cultural, religious, and spiritual heritage
  • Provide evidence of successful completion of a training program approved by the department unless the adoption program manager has approved an alternate training program

Elements of a Home Study Citation: Rev. Stat. § 109.304; Admin. Rules §§ 413-120-0220; 413-120-0460

A home study reports the results of an investigation that:

  • Provides information to a prospective adoptive parent about adoption
  • Includes investigation and study concerning a prospective parent’s suitability to adopt
  • Includes a written report concerning the prospective parent’s suitability to adopt
  • Is completed before the petition for adoption is filed

In regulation: An adoption application must include:

  • Financial information, current within 12 months of application, demonstrating the ability of the applicant to meet the needs of the family and the adopted child
  • Medical information current within 24 months of application
  • When applicable, mental health information
  • When applicable, a copy of a marriage certificate, divorce verification, or death certificate of spouse
  • Consent to a criminal offender information records check for each applicant and all household members age 18 and older
  • Consent to a child abuse and neglect background check for each adoptive applicant and all household members age 18 and older
  • Names and contact information for four references, two of whom may be relatives of the applicant, who can attest to the character and ability of the applicant to provide safe and protective care for a child

An adoption applicant and other persons in the household must consent to a criminal offender information records check once a year after the initial criminal records check is completed. Each applicant must be notified of this requirement at the time the applicant applies for an adoption approval.

Grounds for Withholding Approval Citation: Admin. Rules §§ 413-120-0225; 413-120-0450

The department may deny an application at any time when one or more of the following applies:

  • Information regarding the applicant is sufficient to determine the applicant cannot meet adoption home standards.
  • An applicant’s license or certificate to provide services to children, the elderly, or individuals with disabilities has previously been or is currently being denied, revoked, or suspended.
  • The applicant falsifies or omits information.
  • The applicant does not respond to the inquiries and requests for information within the timelines established by the department.
  • The applicant does not submit the required application information.

A conviction for any crime or a false statement about a conviction for any crime may disqualify a subject individual from being approved as an adoptive parent.

The department may not approve an adoption application, and no exception may be granted, if a subject individual has been convicted in Oregon or any other jurisdiction of a felony crime that involves:

  • Violence, including rape, sexual assault, and homicide, but not including other physical assault or battery
  • Intentional starvation or torture
  • Abuse or neglect of a child
  • Spousal abuse
  • Aiding, abetting, attempting, soliciting, or conspiring to cause the death of a child
  • Sodomy or sexual abuse
  • A child as the victim, including child pornography

The department may not approve an adoption application, and no exception may be granted, if a subject individual has been convicted in Oregon or any other jurisdiction of a felony crime within the preceding 5 years that involves physical assault or battery or a drug-related offense.

When Studies Must Be Completed Citation: Admin. Rules § 413-120-0246

The adoption home study recommending the applicant as a potential adoptive resource must have been written, amended, or updated within the 12 months prior to the adoption placement selection.

Postplacement Study Requirements Citation: Rev. Stat. § 109.304; Admin. Rules § 413-120-0860

A placement report is a written report after the petition for adoption has been filed that includes the department’s or the agency’s recommendation to the court concerning whether the court should grant the petition for adoption based upon the department’s or the agency’s evaluation of:

  • The status and adjustment of the child
  • The status and adjustment of the child’s prospective adoptive parent

In regulation: Postplacement supervision must include the following:

  • Face-to-face contact with the child
  • Assessment of the child’s safety and well-being
  • Providing services and support to assist the adoptive parent in meeting the requirements described in regulation
  • Providing support to the adoptive parent in the process of the completion and submission of the adoption assistance application, when applicable
  • Documentation from the supervising worker that includes the supervision reports and a recommendation regarding finalization of the adoption

When it becomes known to the department that there are significant changes to the adoptive parent’s situation, including changes in the family structure, the department may require an updated adoption home study prior to making a determination to proceed with finalization of the adoption.

Exceptions for Stepparent or Relative Adoptions Citation: Rev. Stat. § 109.309

The department, upon request by the petitioner, may waive the requirements for a home study and postplacement report in an adoption in which one of the child’s biological or adoptive parents retains parental rights.

Requirements for Interjurisdictional Placements Citation: Rev. Stat. § 417.200

Any out-of-home placement of a child outside the State is subject to the provisions of the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children.

The child shall not be sent into the receiving State until the appropriate public authorities in the receiving State notify the sending agency, in writing, that the proposed placement does not appear to be contrary to the interests of the child.

Foster to Adopt Placements Citation: Admin. Rules § 413-120-0541

A foster parent may request consideration as a current caregiver for a child in the legal custody of the department when the requirements of all of the following sections are met:

  • Adoption is the child’s identified permanency or concurrent permanency plan and the department determines it is in the best interests of the child to proceed with identifying potential adoptive resources.
  • The child has been in the physical custody of the foster parent for the most recent 12 consecutive months.
  • The foster parent is willing to be considered as the adoptive resource for the child’s siblings currently in substitute care who also have adoption as an identified permanency or concurrent permanency plan.
  • The caseworker and the caseworker’s supervisor have complied with the requirements of both of the following subsections:
    • Reviewed the department’s diligent efforts to identify, contact, and place a child with relatives and to place siblings together
    • Have confirmed there are no pending department actions to:
      • Identify a child’s relatives or a sibling’s current guardian, relative, current caregiver, or adoptive resource with whom the sibling is currently living
      • Assess a relative who has either expressed an interest in and needs to be or currently is being assessed as a permanency resource

Infant Safe Haven Laws

Infant’s Age Citation: Rev. Stat. § 418.017

An infant may be relinquished if he or she:

  • Is 30 days of age or younger as determined to a reasonable degree of medical certainty
  • Has no evidence of abuse

Who May Relinquish the Infant Citation: Rev. Stat. § 418.017

The infant may be relinquished by his or her parent.

Who May Receive the Infant Citation: Rev. Stat. § 418.017

The infant may be left at an authorized facility in the physical custody of an agent, employee, physician, or other medical professional working at the authorized facility. An authorized facility includes a hospital, freestanding birthing center, physician’s office, sheriff’s office, police station, or fire station.

Responsibilities of the Safe Haven Provider Citation: Rev. Stat. § 418.017

An agent, employee, physician, or other medical professional working at an authorized facility shall receive an infant brought to the authorized facility. When an infant has been left, the authorized facility shall notify the Department of Human Services no later than 24 hours after receiving the infant.

Immunity for the Provider Citation: Rev. Stat. § 418.017

If acting in good faith in receiving an infant, an authorized facility receiving an infant and any agent, employee, physician, or other medical professional working at the authorized facility are immune from any criminal or civil liability that otherwise might result from their actions relating to receiving the infant. A city, county, or other political subdivision of this State that operates a sheriff’s office, police station, or fire station that receives an infant is immune from any criminal or civil liability that otherwise might result from the actions taken by its employees or agents in receiving the infant.

Protection for Relinquishing Parent Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 418.017; 163.535(3)

A parent leaving an infant under this section is not required to provide any identifying information about the infant or the parent.

Relinquishment of the child to a safe haven is an affirmative defense to prosecution for abandonment.

Effect on Parental Rights Citation: Rev. Stat. § 418.017

The infant is considered abandoned for purposes of § 419B.100, and the department is considered to have protective custody of the infant from the moment the infant was left at the facility. The department shall comply with the applicable provisions of Revised Statutes chapter 419B with regard to the infant.

Regulation of Private Domestic Adoption Expenses

Birth Parent Expenses Allowed Citation: Rev. Stat. § 109.311(1)

The only allowable expenses are the legal, medical, living, and travel expenses that are included in the written disclosure statement.

Birth Parent Expenses Not Allowed Citation: Rev. Stat. § 109.311

No charges, except those reported in the disclosure statement, may be paid.

Allowable Payments for Arranging Adoption Citation: Rev. Stat. § 109.311(3)

A person may not charge, accept, pay, or offer to charge, accept, or pay a fee for locating a minor child for adoption or for locating another person to adopt a minor child.

Allowable Payments for Relinquishing Child

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.

Allowable Fees Charged by Department/Agency Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 109.309; 109.311; Admin. Rules R. 413-140-0035; 0040; 0045

Oregon licensed adoption agencies may charge reasonable fees for services they provide.

The Department of Human Services may charge the petitioner a fee for investigating a proposed nonagency adoption and preparing the home study and placement report. The petitioner shall report the fee amount to the court. The court granting the adoption shall determine whether the fee is necessary and reasonable. Any fee charged may not exceed reasonable costs for investigation, home study, and placement report preparation.

In regulation: Except as provided below, the home study must be conducted by a contracted adoption agency. The allowable fee for a home study for an independent adoption is established by the department. This fee is paid directly to the contracted adoption agency performing the service and may not exceed $1,500.

If the home study is completed by a licensed adoption agency that is not a contracted adoption agency, a Certificate of Approval from a contracted adoption agency is required, along with a copy of the original home study. The fee for the Certificate of Approval may not exceed $150.

The fee for a placement report for an independent adoption is $675. The petitioner must pay this fee to the department prior to the issuance of the 90-day waiting period waiver or the Notice to the Court.

A petitioner or an attorney for the petitioner shall reimburse travel expenses directly to the agency performing the service. Travel reimbursement is limited to reasonable travel expenses, including actual and necessary expenses for lodging and meals.

Contracted adoption agencies may, on a case-by-case basis, absorb some costs and accept a reduced fee, or full waiver of the home study and/or placement report fee, in consideration of the household income of the prospective adoptive parents.

Accounting of Expenses Required by Court Citation: Rev. Stat. § 109.311(1)

Each adoption petition shall be accompanied by a written disclosure statement containing an itemized accounting of all moneys paid or estimated to be paid by the petitioner for fees, costs, and expenses related to the adoption, including all legal, medical, living, and travel expenses. The form of the disclosure statement shall be prescribed by the Department of Human Services after consultation with approved Oregon licensed adoption agencies.

The Rights of Unmarried Fathers

Legal Definition of Father Rev. Stat. § 109.070

A man is rebuttably presumed to be the father of a child if:

  • He and the woman were married to each other at the time of the child’s birth, without a judgment of separation, regardless of whether the marriage is void.
  • He and the woman were married to each other, and the child is born within 300 days after the marriage is terminated.

Paternity Registry

No

Alternate Means to Establish Paternity Rev. Stat. § 109.070

The paternity of a person may be established as follows:

  • By a presumption of paternity, as defined above
  • By the marriage of the parents of a child after the birth of the child, and the parents filing with the State Registrar of the Center for Health Statistics the voluntary acknowledgment of paternity form as provided for by § 432.287
  • By filiation proceedings
  • By filing with the State Registrar of the Center for Health Statistics the voluntary acknowledgment of paternity form as provided for by § 432.287
  • By having established paternity through a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity process in another State
  • By paternity being established or declared by other provision of law

Required Information Rev. Stat. § 432.287

The Director of Human Services shall adopt by rule a form of a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity that includes the minimum requirements specified by the United States Secretary of Health and Human Services.

The voluntary acknowledgment of paternity form must contain:

  • A statement of rights and responsibilities, including any rights afforded to a minor parent
  • A statement of the alternatives to and consequences of signing the acknowledgment
  • The Social Security numbers and addresses of the parents
  • The signatures of both parents, witnessed by a third party

Revocation of Claim to Paternity Rev. Stat. § 109.070

A party to a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity may rescind the acknowledgment within the earlier of:

  • 60 days after filing the acknowledgment
  • The date of a proceeding relating to the child, including a proceeding to establish a support order, in which the party wishing to rescind the acknowledgment is also a party

To rescind the acknowledgment, the party shall sign and file with the State Registrar of the Center for Health Statistics a written document declaring the rescission.

A signed voluntary acknowledgment of paternity filed in this State may be challenged and set aside in circuit court at any time after the 60-day period on the basis of fraud, duress, or a material mistake of fact.

The challenge may be brought by:

  • A party to the acknowledgment
  • The child
  • The Department of Human Services if the child is in the care and custody of the department

The challenge shall be initiated by filing a petition with the circuit court. The party bringing the challenge has the burden of proof.

If the court finds by a preponderance of the evidence that the acknowledgment was signed because of fraud, duress, or material mistake of fact, the court shall set aside the acknowledgment unless, giving consideration to the interests of the parties and the child, the court finds that setting aside the acknowledgment would be substantially inequitable.

Access to Information Rev. Stat. § 432.287

Upon request, the State Registrar shall provide a copy of any voluntary acknowledgment of paternity form to the State agency responsible for administration of the child support enforcement program created under title IV-D of the Social Security Act.

Use of Advertising and Facilitators in Adoptive Placements

Use of Advertisement Citation: Rev. Stat. § 109.311(4)

It is unlawful for any person to advertise a child offered or wanted for adoption or to advertise that the person is able to place, locate, dispose of, or receive a child for adoption. The provisions of this section do not apply to:

  • The State Office for Services to Children and Families or a licensed Oregon adoption agency or an agent, employee, or person with whom the Office or adoption agency has a contract authorizing such actions
  • A person who has completed a home study and has received a favorable recommendation regarding the fitness of the person to be an adoptive parent or the person’s attorney or uncompensated agent

Nothing in this section prohibits an attorney licensed to practice in Oregon from advertising the attorney’s availability to provide services related to the adoption of children.

The word ‘advertise’ means to communicate by newspaper, radio, television, handbills, placards or other print, or broadcast or electronic media that originates with the State.

Use of Intermediaries/Facilitators Citation: Rev. Stat. § 109.311(3)

A person may not charge, accept, pay, or offer to pay a fee for locating a minor child for adoption or for locating another person to adopt a minor child, except that Oregon licensed adoption agencies may charge reasonable fees for services provided by them.

Who May Adopt, Be Adopted, or Place a Child for Adoption?

Who May Adopt Citation: Rev. Stat. § 109.309

Any person may petition to adopt as long as at least one party in the proceeding has resided in Oregon continuously for a period of 6 months prior to the date of the petition.

Who May Be Adopted Citation: Rev. Stat. § 109.309

The following persons may be adopted:

  • A minor child
  • An adult

Who May Place a Child for Adoption Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 109.312; 109.316

The following persons may consent to adoptive placement:

  • A parent
  • A relative or guardian of the child to be adopted
  • A licensed adoption or child-caring agency
  • The Department of Human Services

Post-Adoption Laws

Access to Adoption Records

Who May Access Information Citation: Ann. Stat. §§ 109.455; 109.500

The voluntary adoption registry may be used to obtain identifying information by the following persons:

  • A birth parent
  • An adult adopted person
  • An adult birth sibling
  • The adoptive parent of a deceased adopted person
  • The parents or adult siblings of a deceased birth parent

Nonidentifying information may be released to:

  • The adoptive parents of the child or the child’s guardian
  • The birth parent of the adopted person
  • An adult adopted person
  • If the adopted person is deceased:
    • The adopted person’s spouse if the spouse is the birth parent of the adopted person’s child or the guardian of any child of the adopted person
    • Any progeny of the adopted person who is age 18 or older

Access to Nonidentifying Information Citation: Ann. Stat. § 109.500

A genetic and social history and health history that excludes information identifying any birth parent or putative father, member of a birth parent’s or putative father’s family, the adopted person or the adoptive parents of the adopted person may be provided, if available, from an agency upon request to the persons listed above.

Mutual Access to Identifying Information Citation: Ann. Stat. §§ 109.455; 109.460

The persons listed above may use the voluntary adoption registry for obtaining identifying information about birth parents, the putative father, the adult adopted person, and adult birth siblings. An adult adopted person who has a birth sibling in the adult adopted person’s adoptive family who is under age 18 may not have access to the registry. A putative father may not have access to the registry.

The persons listed above shall work through the agency involved in the adoption, or its successor agency, or the Department of Human Services to receive information concerning the adoption.

The persons listed above and a putative father may register by submitting a signed affidavit to the registry. The affidavit shall contain the information listed in § 109.465 and a statement of the registrant’s willingness to be identified to the other relevant persons who register. The affidavit gives authority to the registry to release identifying information to the other relevant persons who register. Each registration shall be accompanied by the birth certificate of the registrant.

An adopted person, or the parent or guardian of an adopted person under age 18, may register to have specific identifying information disclosed to Indian Tribes or to governmental agencies in order to establish the adopted person’s eligibility for Tribal membership or for benefits or to a person settling an estate.

If a birth parent or an adopted person fails to file an affidavit with the registry for any reason, including death or disability, identifying information shall not be disclosed.

Access to Original Birth Certificate Citation: Ann. Stat. § 432.240

Upon receipt of a written application to the State Registrar, any adopted person age 21 and older born in the State of Oregon shall be issued a certified copy of his or her unaltered, original, and unamended certificate of birth that is in the custody of the State Registrar, with procedures, filing fees, and waiting periods identical to those imposed upon nonadopted citizens.

A birth parent may at any time request from the State Registrar of the Center for Health Statistics or from a voluntary adoption registry a Contact Preference Form that shall accompany a birth certificate issued under the section above. The Contact Preference Form shall provide the following information, to be completed at the option of the birth parent:

  • I would like to be contacted.
  • I would prefer to be contacted only through an intermediary.
  • I prefer not to be contacted at this time. If I decide later that I would like to be contacted, I will register with the voluntary adoption registry. I have completed an updated medical history and have filed it with the voluntary adoption registry.

The certificate from the voluntary adoption registry verifying receipt of an updated medical history shall be in a form prescribed by the Oregon Health Authority and shall be supplied upon request of the birth parent by the voluntary adoption registry.

When the State Registrar receives a completed Contact Preference Form from a birth parent, the State Registrar shall match the Contact Preference Form with the adopted person’s sealed file. The Contact Preference Form shall be placed in the adopted person’s sealed file when a match is made. A completed Contact Preference Form shall be confidential.

Where the Information Can Be Located

Voluntary Adoption Registry, Oregon Department of Human Services

Intestate Inheritance Rights for Adopted Persons

Birth Parents in Relation to Adopted Person Citation: Rev. Stat. § 112.175

An adopted person shall cease to be treated as the child of the person’s birth parents for all purposes of intestate succession, except:

  • If a birth parent of a person marries or remarries and the person is adopted by the stepparent, the adopted person also shall continue to be treated, for all purposes of intestate succession, as the child of the birth parent who is the spouse of the adoptive parent.
  • If a birth parent of a person dies, the other birth parent remarries and the person is adopted by the stepparent, the adopted person also shall continue to be treated, for all purposes of intestate succession by any person through the deceased birth parent, as the child of the deceased birth parent.

Adoptive Parents in Relation to Adopted Person Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 112.175; 112.185

An adopted person and the adoptive parent(s) and their relatives shall inherit by intestate succession from each other as though the adopted person were the birth child of the adoptive parent(s).

For all purposes of intestate succession, a person who has been adopted more than once shall be treated as the child of the parents who have most recently adopted the person and, except as otherwise provided in this section, shall cease to be treated as the child of the previous adoptive parent(s).

Adopted Persons Who Are Not Included in a Will Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 112.405; 112.195

A ‘pretermitted child’ means a child of a testator who is adopted after the execution of the will of the testator, who is neither provided for in the will nor in any way mentioned in the will and who survives the testator.

If a testator has one or more children living when he or she executes a will and no provision is made in the will for any such child, a pretermitted child shall not inherit a share of the estate. If a testator has one or more children living when he or she executes a will and provision is made in the will for one or more of such living children, a pretermitted child is entitled to share in the estate as follows:

  • The pretermitted child may share only in the portion of the estate bequeathed to the living children by the will.
  • The share of each pretermitted child shall be the total value of the portion of the estate given to the living children, divided by the number of pretermitted children plus the number of living children for whom provision is made in the will.

If a testator has no child living when he or she executes a will, a pretermitted child shall inherit a share of the estate as though the testator had died intestate.

All references in a will to an individual or member of a class described generically by terms such as children, issue, grandchildren, descendants, heirs, next-of-kin, grandparents, brothers, nephews, or other relatives shall include any person who would be treated as related for all purposes of intestate succession, except that an adopted person so included must have been adopted as a minor or after having been a member of the household of the adoptive parent while a minor.

Postadoption Contact Agreements Between Birth and Adoptive Families

What may be included in postadoption contact agreements? Rev. Stat. § 109.305

An adoptive parent and a birth parent may enter into a written agreement, approved by the court, to permit continuing contact between the birth relatives and the child or adoptive parents.

Who may be a party to a postadoption contact agreement? Rev. Stat. § 109.305

An adoptive parent and a birth relative may enter into a written agreement, approved by the court, to permit continuing contact between the birth relatives and the child or adoptive parents.

As used in this subsection, the term ‘birth relatives’ includes birth parents, grandparents, siblings, and other members of the child’s birth family. A birth relative that enters into an agreement under this subsection must have established emotional ties creating an ongoing personal relationship, as defined in § 109.119, with the child. If the child is under age 1, the ongoing personal relationship between the birth relative and the child must have continued for at least half of the child’s life.

If the child is age 14 or older, an agreement made under this section may not be entered into without the consent of the child.

What is the role of the court in postadoption contact agreements? Rev. Stat. § 109.305

The written agreement must be approved by the court.

The court may show approval of an agreement made under this section by incorporating the agreement by reference and indicating the court’s approval of the agreement in the adoption judgment.

Are agreements legally enforceable? Rev. Stat. § 109.305

An agreement made under the subsection above may be enforced by a civil action. However, before a court may enter an order requiring compliance with the agreement, the court must find that the party seeking enforcement participated, or attempted to participate, in good faith in mediating the dispute giving rise to the action prior to filing the civil action.

Failure to comply with the terms of an agreement made under this section is not grounds for setting aside an adoption judgment or revocation of a written consent to adoption.

How may an agreement be terminated or modified? Rev. Stat. § 109.305

The court may modify an agreement if the court finds that the modification is necessary to serve the best interests of the adopted child and that:

  • The party seeking modification participated, or attempted to participate, in good faith in mediation prior to seeking modification of the agreement.
  • The modification is agreed to by all parties to the original agreement.
  • Exceptional circumstances have arisen since the parties entered into the agreement that justify modification of the agreement.

Laws Related to Intercountry Adoption

Effect and Recognition of a Foreign Adoption Decree

Rev. Stat. § 109.385(1)

An adoption in any foreign nation under the laws of such nation of a person who is at the time of the adoption a national of such nation by adoptive parents, at least one of whom is a citizen of the United States, shall be recognized as a valid and legal adoption for all purposes in the State of Oregon if the adoption is valid and legal in the foreign nation wherein the adoption occurred.

Readoption After an Intercountry Adoption

Rev. Stat. § 109.385(2)

The certificate of a judge of a court of general jurisdiction under the seal of the judge or the seal of the court in any foreign nation with respect to the adoption of a national of such foreign nation by adoptive parents, at least one of whom is a citizen of the United States, that all pertinent laws of such foreign nation have been complied with and the adoption is in all respects legal and valid shall be prima facieevidence in any court in the State of Oregon in any proceeding that such adoption was in fact legal and valid. Such certificate shall be prima facie evidence even if under the laws of the foreign nation the adoption is an administrative procedure and is not within the jurisdiction of the court or the judge making the certificate.

Application for a U.S. Birth Certificate

Rev. Stat. § 432.230(8)

The State Registrar, upon request, shall prepare and register a certificate in this State for a person born in a foreign country who is not a citizen of the United States and who was adopted through a court of competent jurisdiction in this State. The certificate shall be established upon receipt of:

  • A report of a judgment of adoption from the court
  • Proof of the date and place of the person’s birth
  • A request from the court, the adopting parents, or the adoptee, if he or she is age 18 or older

The certificate shall be labeled ‘Certificate of Foreign Birth’ and shall show the actual country of birth. A statement shall also be included on the certificate indicating that it is not evidence of U.S. citizenship for the person for whom it is issued.

Source

Child Welfare Information Gateway. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families. [1]

References