Selected State Statutes: Oklahoma

Statutes: Oklahoma

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§ 1-4-705. Religious preference in placement--Placement of child--Restriction on placement in home of felon or sex offender

A. In placing a child in the custody of an individual, a private agency, or institution, the court and the Department of Human Services shall, if possible, select a person, agency, or institution governed by persons of the same religious faith as that of the parents of the child, or in case of a difference in the religious faith of the parents, then of the religious faith of the child.

B. Except as otherwise provided by this section or by law, it shall be left to the discretion of the judge to place the custody of children where their total needs will best be served. If an individual meets the minimum required age for placement purposes, the age of an otherwise eligible individual shall not be a reason for denying the individual placement or custody of a child.

C. A prospective foster or adoptive parent shall not be an approved placement for a child if the prospective foster or adoptive parent or any other person residing in the home of the prospective foster or adoptive parent has been convicted of any of the following felony offenses:

1. Within the five-year period preceding the application date, a physical assault, battery, or a drug-related offense;

2. Child abuse or neglect;

3. Domestic abuse;

4. A crime against a child, including, but not limited to, child pornography; or

5. A crime involving violence, including, but not limited to, rape, sexual assault or homicide, but excluding those crimes specified in paragraph 1 of this subsection.

D. 1. Under no circumstances shall a child be placed with or in the custody of an individual subject to the Oklahoma Sex Offenders Registration Act [FN1] or an individual who is married to or living with an individual subject to the Oklahoma Sex Offenders Registration Act.

2. In addition, prior to the court placing a child in the custody of an individual, the court shall inquire as to whether the individual has been previously convicted of any felony or relevant misdemeanor or has any felony or misdemeanor charges pending.

3. Prior to the custody order being entered, the individual seeking custody shall provide an Oklahoma criminal history record obtained pursuant to Section 150.9 of Title 74 of the Oklahoma Statutes to the court.

4. For purposes of this subsection the terms:

a. “relevant misdemeanor” may include assault and battery, alcohol- or drug-related offenses, domestic violence or other offenses involving the use of physical force or violence against the person or property of another, and

b. “individual” shall not include a parent or legal guardian of the child.

E. The provisions of this section shall not apply in any paternity or domestic relations case, unless otherwise ordered by the court.