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Oklahoma State Senate
Communications Division
State Capitol
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105

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For Immediate Release: February 26, 2009

Sen. Steve Russell
Sen. Steve Russell

Full Senate Supports Bill to Require Full Disclosure of Adoption Fees

State Senator Steve Russell has won support in the Senate for a bill to create more uniformity in adoptions and ensure full disclosure of fees. Senate Bill 1029, by Sen. Steve Russell, was approved unanimously Thursday. Russell, R-Oklahoma City, is an adoptive parent, and said the measure could actually result in lower costs for private adoptions.

Russell noted that a grand jury investigation had exposed instances of financial exploitation of Oklahomans who were seeking private adoptions.

“While specific medical and attorney fees are legal and appropriate, a 2006 Grand Jury stated that it was ‘appalled at the nature and types of items allowed to be purchased on behalf of a birth mother’ which included ‘cars, television sets, and vacations,’” Russell said. “Prospective parents could be vulnerable in the language of our current law without a requirement for an itemized accounting of all fees. My bill would change that.”

SB 1029 would also ensure parents have a full disclosure of all state laws dealing with adoption as well as regulations impacting the adoption of children of Native American ancestry.

“Requiring a complete accounting of what every fee is for means there will be far less opportunity to extract money from adoptive parents for inappropriate items. They also will have a far better understanding of exactly what the law requires when it comes to either private or public adoption.”

Russell’s legislation now moves to the House of Representatives for further consideration.

For more information contact:
Sen. Russell's Office: 405-521-5618

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