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Oklahoma bill would require adoption consent be given in front of judge

January 28, 2014


OKLAHOMA CITY —An Oklahoma lawmaker has authored a bill in response to the custody dispute over a girl who was eventually adopted by a South Carolina couple.  

State Rep. Sean Roberts says House Bill 3011 would eliminate an extrajudicial consent as a way of obtaining assent from the father of the child and would require any consent to adoption to take place no earlier than 10 days after the child’s birth.

Under the bill, a consent to adoption would have to take place in front of a judge.

The legislation would also require paternity testing and allow an identified father to successfully contest an adoption.

“I was appalled by how Dusten Brown lost his right to make important decisions about his daughter Veronica,” said Roberts. “Dusten Brown received a document in the mail and signed it because he misunderstood its intent. I don’t believe it should be so easy to sign away your child that a man could do so mistakenly. My legislation creates some new requirements, which make it more difficult to so quickly consent to an adoption. This is similar to the Baby Desirai case where the Oklahoma father never knew his child was placed for adoption."

Roberts said the well-being of the child is his first concern.

“Although I am sympathetic with Dusten Brown, what I was most alarmed about was the well-being of the child,” Roberts said. “Although I am a strong supporter of the practice of adoption, I think that what the Veronica Brown case showed us is that improvements to the process need to be made. Essentially, this bill would slow down the process in order to avoid the type of four-year court battle we saw unfold in the Veronica Brown case. Our laws must be improved to protect parental rights and the children’s rights to remain with their able and fit God-given parents.”



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