Petitioners, Charles A. Wade and Karen Lee Wade, husband and wife, request this court to assume jurisdiction and grant a writ of mandamus ordering respondent to issue notices and set for hearing this matter of adoption.
In the trial court petitioners filed petition for adoption of three minor natural children of Karen Lee Wade by two divorced husbands, and presented respondent a proposed order requesting a hearing for adoption without consent of the former husbands or a disposition of their parental rights. Petitioners alleged that divorced husbands wholly failed to support the minor children as provided in the decrees of divorce for more than one year preceding the filing of the petition for adoption and that their consent was not necessary under the provisions of 10 O.S.Supp. 1973 § 60.6, subsection (3). Respondent refused to set the matter for hearing for reasons shown in this opinion. Respondent requested petitioners seek mandamus from this court in order to bring uniformity to construction by district court of certain adoption statutes.
Respondent contends § 60.6, supra, does not permit combining an action to adopt with an action to terminate parental rights under 10 O.S. 1971 § 1134, as amended January 13, 1969.
Section 60.6, supra, provides in part:
Section 1134, supra, provides:
As we understand the thrust of respondent's construction and argument, § 60.6, supra, renders parental consent unnecessary under the provisions therein and is to this extent in conflict with § 1134, supra. This would necessitate ruling § 60.6 repealed § 1134 by implication. Respondent then concludes § 60.6 is unconstitutional in that natural father's parental rights would be terminated without due process of the law under 14th Amendment, Constitution of the United States, citing Stanley v. Illinois, 405 U.S. 645, 92 S.Ct. 1208, 31 L.Ed.2d 551. In the cited case the facts were that "Joan Stanley lived with Peter Stanley intermittently for 18 years, during which time they had three children. When Joan Stanley died, Peter Stanley lost not only her but also his children. Under Illinois law, the children of unwed fathers become wards of the State upon the death of
The opinion stated 405 U.S. at p. 649, 92 S.Ct. at p. 1211, 31 L.Ed.2d at p. 557:
At p. 651 of 405 U.S., at p. 1212 of 92 S.Ct., at p. 558 of 31 L.Ed.2d:
At p. 653 of 405 U.S., at p. 1215 of 92 S.Ct., at p. 562 of 31 L.Ed.2d:
At p. 654 of 405 U.S., at p. 1216 of 92 S.Ct., at pp. 562 and 563 of 31 L.Ed.2d:
Respondent urges and we agree "the law does not favor repeals by implication, and it is the duty of the courts in construing legislation to make constructions favoring compatability of apparently conflicting statutes so long as reasonably possible to do so." However, this general rule, in itself, does not contain sufficiently the principles necessary in the disposition of the matter before us. In re Guardianship of Campbell, Okl., 450 P.2d 203, at p. 205, we utilized other guidelines in statutory construction:
10 O.S. 1971 § 1130, provides for the termination of parental rights under certain prescribed situations and this section can be utilized for other purposes than an adoption. It is to be noted that no prior adjudication is required insofar as the affected parent or his rights, duties, obligations to the child are concerned. Under these circumstances [§ 1134, supra] provides "An action to adopt a child may not be combined with an action to terminate parental rights."
Section 60.6, supra, deals exclusively with an adoption and sets up a certain classification of parents who have either failed to support the child after a divorce or against whom a prior adjudication has been made which in substance determined the parent was unfit. Under this section an adoption can take place without the affected parent's consent.
Section 60.6, supra, says that under certain circumstances "it shall not be necessary to terminate parental rights under § 1130 prior to the adoption of the child." This could be construed to require a separate or additional adjudication on termination of parental rights in adoption proceeding. We hold otherwise, that a decree of adoption under § 60.6 makes unnecessary a termination of parental rights. The effect of final decree in an adoption proceeding [10 O.S. 1971 § 60.16] and the effect of final decree in a proceeding to terminate parental rights [10 O.S. 1971 § 1132] is to deprive the affected parent of all rights to such adopted child or his property. We hold §§ 60.6 and 1134 are not in conflict and construe them to give separate effective operation to each.
Respondent then reasons that under the Stanley case the denial of a separate hearing or termination of parental rights under § 60.6 is a denial of due process. Respondent fails to demonstrate that the classification of parents under the sections is unreasonable or discriminatory. The reasoning and holding in Stanley, supra, centers on the denial of Stanley of notice and the opportunity to be heard.
In the present case the divorced fathers must be notified and given an opportunity to be heard at the adoption hearing as required by 10 O.S. 1971 § 60.8. We find no violation of the due process clause or the equal protection clause of the United States Constitution.
We determine that the trial court erred in refusing to set the adoption hearing upon the basis that a separate hearing was necessary to terminate parental rights in an adoption proceeding under the provisions of § 60.6, supra.
Jurisdiction assumed, writ of mandamus granted.
WILLIAMS, V.C.J., and IRWIN, LAVENDER, BARNES, SIMMS and DOOLIN, JJ., concur.