Monday, December 21, 2009


Here are some words that you might hear during the adoption process, and what they mean. These are not "Blacks Law" or "Wikepedia" definitions. This is the layman version of the words!

Agency - Generally the word that refers to the Adoption Agency.

Alleged Father - someone a mother has alleged to be the father of a child, but no court has made a legal finding that he is the father.

AWOC - (Adoption Without Consent) - when a guardian or foster parent moves the court to terminate another parents rights and grant an adoption without the consent of the parent. Can also be a step parent adoption.

Birth Mother - The bioligical mother of the adopted child.

Cost Affidavit - The document you are required to fill out by law that states all the monies you have spent during the process of adoption.

Custodian - The person who has "legal" custody of the child until the adoption is finalized, generally this is DHS or an agency.

D.H.S. - Department of Human Services (in oklahoma referred to as OKDHS)

Domestication - When you have adopted someone in another country, you will want to have your adoption "Domesticated" in the United States.

Domestic Adoption - Adopting a child within the United States.

Finalization - After the parents rights are terminated, the court will move onto the "finalization" of the adoption. Most agencies will not allow finalization to occur until after the child has been in a home for 6 months and has shown to be safe and thriving.

Foster Care - When a child has been removed from a home by the department of human services and the parents are working on getting custody back - the child is placed in a home and this is referred to as Foster Care. (Kinship Foster Care - means a person with a prior relationship with the child - not necessarily a biological relative)

Homestudy - A Social worker comes to your home and does a series of checks on the home and the status of the child and the families bonding with the child. Items included in homestudies are: family members, income, housing information, savings, background checks, DHS history (if any), bonding with the child and the childs current information and medical history.

Lifebook - A book the prospective adoptive family makes for birthparents to review when choosing an adoptive family. This is also called a profile book.

OAC - Oklahoma Adoption Coalition

Probate - This is the court that oversee's adoptions. Generally referred to as the Probate Docket.

Public Defender - Attorney generally appointed in cases where a parent is contesting the adoption. (also known as a conflict attorney).

Transracial Adoption - Adoption by parents who are not the same race as the child/children.