If you are an Oregon resident considering adoption, either as a prospective adoptive parent or a woman facing an unplanned pregnancy, you are likely wondering: How does adoption work in my state? This guide provides all the Oregon adoption information you need, from qualifications for adoptive parents to the laws for placing a child for adoption in Portland, Salem, Eugene and beyond.
Laws, Rules and Qualifications for Adopting a Child in Oregon
Adoption laws may seem overwhelming, but if you are considering adopting a child in Oregon, it is important to understand adoption qualifications, processes and procedures in your state. The following information details the rules and regulations for adopting a child in Oregon.
What are the laws and qualifications for adopting a child in Oregon?
Any person may adopt as long as at least one party in the proceeding has resided in Oregon continuously for at least six months.
What adoption expenses can be paid by adoptive families in Oregon?
Adoptive parents may pay legal, medical, living and travel expenses if they are included in a written disclosure statement, which must accompany the adoption petition and include an itemized accounting of all fees paid in connection with the adoption.
What are the laws to become a foster parent in Oregon?
Oregon foster parents need to be at least 21 years old and be financially able to support themselves and a child.
What are the requirements to finalize an international adoption in Oregon?
A foreign adoption that is valid and legal in the nation where it occurred will be recognized as valid and legal for all purposes in the state of Oregon. Upon request of the court, the parents or the adopted person (once he or she is 18), the state registrar will prepare and register a record of foreign live birth. The record will be labeled “Record of Foreign Live Birth” and will show the actual country of birth.
Is it legal to use advertising or facilitators to adopt in Oregon?
It is unlawful for any person to advertise that a child is available or wanted for adoption. This law does not apply to the state Office for Services to Children and Families or licensed Oregon adoption agencies that have a contract authorizing such actions. People who have successfully completed the home study or their attorney or uncompensated agent may also advertise for adoption.
Laws, Rules and Qualifications for Placing a Baby for Adoption in Oregon
Every state has laws and regulations in place to protect birth parents’ rights throughout the adoption process. If you are living in Oregon and are considering placing your baby for adoption, this section will give you the information you need about executing consent, birth father rights, and more.
When and how can birth parents consent to the adoption?
Consent must be executed in writing and attested to by the court or an authorized person. A birth parent executing consent must be notified of their right to receive three prepaid adoption-related counseling sessions prior to relinquishment and three sessions after relinquishment. This notice must be given in writing and provided by the birth parent’s attorney, adoptive parents’ attorney or the agency representative taking the consent.
Who must consent to the adoption?
Consent is required of the child’s parents, the child’s guardian if there are no living parents, the next of kin if there is no living parent and no guardian, or some suitable person appointed by the court if there is no living parent, guardian or next of kin qualified to consent. If the child is age 14 or older, the child’s consent is also required.
When is consent not needed?
Consent is not necessary when:
- A parent has been adjudged mentally ill or deficient
- A parent is imprisoned and serves a sentence of at least three years
- A parent willfully deserts or neglects the child without just and sufficient cause for one year prior to filing the adoption petition
- The mother was married at the time of conception or birth, but her husband at the time was not the father of the child; in this case, his consent is not required
When does the birth parents’ consent become irrevocable?
A person giving consent may agree that the consent is irrevocable and waive their right to a personal appearance in court by a duly signed and attested certificate. In this case, the consent may not be revoked unless fraud or duress is proven.
What rights does the father of the baby have in Oregon adoptions?
A man is presumed to be the father of a child if he and the child’s mother were married at the time of the child’s birth, even if the marriage is void; or if he and the child’s mother were married and the child was born 300 days after the termination of the marriage.
Alternatively, paternity may be established as follows:
- By marriage after the birth of the child when the parents have filed a voluntary acknowledgement of paternity
- By filiation proceedings
- By filing a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity in Oregon or another state
- By paternity being declared by another provision of law
Home Study and Post-Placement Requirements in Oregon
For many adoptive parents in Oregon, the home study is one of the most stressful steps of the adoption process. The following information will help calm your fears and answer your questions about what to expect during your Oregon home study.
What is included in the Oregon home study process?
The Oregon home study includes the following elements:
- Financial information demonstrating the adoptive parents’ ability to meet the needs of the family and a child
- Medical information current within the past 24 months
- Mental health information when applicable
- Copies of important documents such as marriage certificates, divorce verification or death certificate of a spouse
- Criminal records and child abuse registry checks for each member of the household age 18 or older
- Four references
Who is included in the home study process?
All adult residents of the home are included in the home study.
Who will conduct the home study?
The home study will be completed by the Department of Human Services or a licensed adoption agency.
On what grounds will the home study not be approved in Oregon?
The home study may not be approved if:
- There is sufficient information to determine that the applicant cannot meet adoption home standards
- An applicant’s license or certificate to provide services to the children, the elderly or people with disabilities has been or currently is denied, revoked or suspended
- Information is falsified or omitted
- The applicant does not respond to requests for information within the timelines established by the department
- The applicant does not submit the required information
Criminal convictions may disqualify a subject from being an adoptive parent. The home study will not be approved if an individual has been convicted of a felony involving:
- Violence including rape, sexual sault or homicide
- Intentional starvation or torture
- Child abuse or neglect
- Spousal abuse
- Aiding, attempting or conspiring to cause the death of a child
- Sexual abuse
- Any crime that involves a child as the victim, including child pornography
The home study may not be approved if an individual has been convicted in the past five years of a felony involving physical assault, battery or a drug-related offense.
When should the home study be completed? When must the home study be renewed?
The Oregon home study must be written or updated within 12 months prior to the placement selection.
What is a post-placement study in the adoption process? What are the post-placement study requirements for Oregon?
In Oregon, post-placement supervision includes face-to-face contact with the child, assessments of the child’s safety and wellbeing, services and support to assist the adoptive parents and documentation from the supervision worker that includes a recommendation regarding finalization of the adoption.
What are the home study requirements for stepparent or relative adoptions in Oregon?
Upon request by the prospective adoptive parent, the department may waive the home study and post-placement requirements for stepparent adoptions.
What are the home study requirements to adopt a child from another state?
Any interstate placement of a child is subject to the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC).
What are the requirements to adopt a child that is currently in my care?
A foster parent may request consideration for adoption when adoption is the child’s identified permanency plan, the child has been in the foster parent’s custody for 12 consecutive months, the foster parent is willing to be considered as an adoptive resource for the child’s siblings whose goal is also adoption, and a relative placement is not available.
To start the home study process, contact one of these trusted Oregon home study providers:
- All God’s Children
All God’s Children International is licensed to perform home studies in Oregon for families adopting through any adoption agency.
- Holt International
Holt International provides home study and post-placement services for families in Oregon.
- Christian Family Adoptions
Christian Family Adoptions offers home study and post-placement services for independent adoptions, infant adoptions and state foster care adoption programs in Oregon.
Oregon Adoption Professionals
For more information about adoption in Oregon or to begin the adoption process, contact one of these local adoption professionals:
- American Adoptions
- Adoptions of Southern Oregon
- Christian Family Adoptions
- Open Adoption & Family Services
- Journeys of the Heart
- Tree of Life Adoption Center
For more information about foster care in Oregon, visit the Oregon Department of Human Services.
Things to do in Oregon
If your adoption journey leads you to meet prospective birth parents or wait for ICPC approval in the Beaver State, be sure to take advantage of all it has to offer:
- Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area (Hood River)
- Crater Lake National Park
- Haystack Rock (Cannon Beach)
- Multnomah Falls (Bridal Veil)
- Cape Perpetua Scenic Area (Yachats)
- Smith Rock State Park (Redmond)
Find more information about visiting Oregon at http://traveloregon.com/.