OKLAHOMANS FOR OPEN RECORDS AND ADOPTION HONESTY, INC.
200 East 12th Street
Edmond, OK 73034
Position Paper: Senate Bill 960, engrossed to Oklahoma’s House of Representatives,
3/11/21 and referred to Rules Committee
We believe Senate Bill 960 unduly expands Oklahoma’s safe haven law, taking a left turn away from the statute’s original intent. The statutory seven-day grace period was enacted to allow young mothers an option to drop their baby at a shelter keeping the birth a secret from their parents and others rather than committing neonaticide. Increasing the time length to 30 days doesn’t make sense. Have you ever tried to keep a baby quiet? By the end of seven days, the secret is going to be exposed. What this legislation does is to give birth grandparents and other rescuers the opportunity to pressure young mothers into abandoning their children with no medical history or ethnic information. It’s a slick way of circumventing the protections that are embedded in the adoption law. In addition, there are other unintended consequences:
UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES OF SB 960
- Allows people other than birthmother to surrender the child
- Ignores birthfather rights
- No medical history for the child that could mitigate future illness
- Counseling not available for anonymous parents
- Disregards mandates in the federal Indian Child Welfare Act
In light of these and other concerns, we encourage all representatives to let SB 960 fail in the Rules Committee. It’s the right thing to do!