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Three state Supreme Court justices want clearer guidelines on adoptions after a public defender warned there is a potential for adoptions to become a contest with "babies going to the highest bidder.”
At issue is how much judges should allow adopting parents to pay attorneys. Three justices want the state lawyers association to study the issue. Their request is not binding.
"This problem is not unique to Oklahoma,” the three justices wrote Tuesday.
In 2006, a state grand jury reported Oklahoma County adoption judges were so indifferent or grossly incompetent in overseeing expenses that birth mothers basically were allowed to sell children for cars, televisions and vacations.
The grand jury criticism led to stricter rules on adoption expenses in Oklahoma County. Also, Public Defender Bob Ravitz was ordered to keep an eye on expenses.
The Supreme Court got involved after Ravitz asked it to review costs and expenses in four cases. Justices ruled he didn’t have legal standing to make that request.