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10-7202.


10-7202.
   
   For purposes of the Oklahoma Foster Care and Out-of-Home Placement
   Act, it is the intent of the Legislature that:
   
   1. Parents have a natural, legal and moral right, as well as a duty,
   to care for and support their children, and such rights are protected
   by state and federal laws;
   
   2. The state has an interest in and a responsibility to children whose
   parents do not adequately provide proper care, supervision and
   protection for them. When circumstances within a family threaten a
   child's safety or welfare, or when such circumstances deprive a child
   of proper parental supervision, the state's interest in the child's
   welfare and in the protection of the public takes precedence over the
   natural right and authority of the parent;
   
   3. Parents have a duty and responsibility to take part in any
   treatment and service plan, or any other order of the court, which
   will enable the return of a child to the child's home or which will
   allow a child to remain in the child's own home when the parent is the
   perpetrator of abuse and neglect;
   
   4. a. When a child is placed into foster care, the child shall be
   placed, when the safety and well-being of the child can be assured,
   with relatives, or other persons having a kinship relationship with
   the child, who are determined to be suitable, capable and willing to
   serve as caretakers for the child.
   
   b. For a deprived child, a placement with suitable relatives or other
   persons having a kinship relationship with the child shall only be
   made when such placement is in the best interests of the child. For a
   delinquent child or a child in need of supervision, a placement with
   suitable relatives or other persons having a kinship relationship with
   the child shall only be made when such placement is in the best
   interests of the child and when such placement is consistent with the
   state's interest in the protection of the public.
   
   c. A kinship placement shall be made when the placement meets the
   treatment needs of the child and supports the case plan goals for that
   child and the child's family;
   
   5. Each child shall be assured the care, guidance, and supervision in
   a permanent home or foster home which will serve the best interests of
   the child's moral, emotional, mental, social, and physical well-being;
   
   6. When a child is placed in a foster home, the foster parent shall be
   allowed to integrate the child into the family setting, make the
   foster child an integral part of the family, and care for the foster
   child as the foster parent would for the foster parent's own child;
   
   7. When a child is placed in a foster home, the foster parent shall
   have a right to exercise parental substitute authority over the child.
   The ability to exercise parental substitute authority shall not be
   construed to authorize corporal punishment on the foster child by the
   foster parent;
   
   8. A foster parent has a recognizable interest in the familial
   relationship that the foster parent establishes with a foster child
   who has been in the foster parent's care and custody, and shall
   therefore be considered an essential participant with regard to
   decisions related to the care, supervision, guidance, rearing and
   other foster care services provided to such child;
   
   9. Permanent placement shall be achieved as soon as possible for every
   child in out-of-home placement pursuant to the conditions and
   restrictions of the Oklahoma Foster Care and Out-of-Home Placement
   Act;
   
   10. a. The best interests of the child shall be the standard for
   recommendations made by the Department of Human Services and the
   courts for deprived action determinations with regard to whether a
   child should be reunified with the child's family, should be
   permanently removed from the home, or should remain in the home in
   which the child has been abused or neglected.
   
   b. For delinquent children and children in need of supervision, the
   best interests of the child consistent with the state's interest in
   the protection of the public shall be the standard for recommendations
   made by the Department of Juvenile Justice and the courts for
   determinations with regard to whether a delinquent child or a child in
   need of supervision should be reunified with the child's family,
   should be permanently removed from the home, or should remain in the
   home;
   
   11. The goal of reunification of a child who has been adjudicated
   deprived with the parents or any other person responsible for the
   child's welfare shall be abandoned when, after a reasonable period of
   time, pursuant to the conditions and restrictions of the Oklahoma
   Foster Care and Out-of-Home Placement Act and the Oklahoma Children's
   Code, there is sufficient evidence that the conduct of the parents
   toward the child, or the conduct of the parents during the child's
   out-of-home placement, including, but not limited to, compliance with
   a treatment and service plan or court order, is determined not to be
   in the child's best interests, and abandonment of such goal is
   determined to be in the child's best interests. In such cases, the
   district attorney and the court shall provide for termination of
   parental rights in an expeditious manner if the grounds, situations or
   conditions exist to support termination of parental rights and the
   child is otherwise available for adoption; and
   
   12. When two or more children in foster care are siblings, every
   reasonable attempt should be made to place them in the same home. In
   making a permanent placement, such children should be placed in the
   same permanent home or, if the siblings are separated, should be
   allowed contact or visitation with other siblings; provided, however,
   the best interests of each sibling shall be the standard for
   determining whether they should be placed in the same foster placement
   or permanent placement, or allowed contact or visitation with other
   siblings.
   

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