Task force investigates procedure to obtain count of Oklahoma adoptions

Group discusses ways to keep track of the number of adoptions in Oklahoma.
BY JULIE BISBEE Modified: August 22, 2010 at 7:45 pm •  Published: August 22, 2010

Oklahoma needs a centralized way to report the number of adoptions taking place in the state, a task force examining the state's adoption laws says.

The task force met on Friday and discussed how to get an accurate count on the number of children being adopted in the state.

"You would think it's a no-brainer," said Sen. Steve Russell, co-chairman of the adoption review task force. "DHS (Department of Human Services) knows how many adoptions they're doing. The charities know how many they're doing. It's out there. The question is how to get it to vital statistics."

Members of the task force talked about having DHS compile the information from private agencies and attorneys who handle adoptions.

Mary Lee Ingram, director of pregnancy and adoption services for Catholic Charities and a member of the children's subcommittee presented the group with proposed survey that could be included in the sealed adoption record.

The questionnaire would include the child's birth date, ethnicity of the child, information about the type of adoption and the child's country of origin. It would not include the child's name or parents' names.

"We've identified that the information is being collected, but who should we be sending it to?" said Russell, R-Oklahoma City. "That's the question we've got to answer."

The task force was created to come up with recommendations on how to improve the state's laws on adoptions and adoption fee disclosures. The task force must issue a report by the end of the year.