Salt Lake City Adoption Attorney
Learn the Adoption Laws of Utah
Adoption is a big decision that changes the lives of everyone involved
forever. Whether you are bringing a new child into your life or adopting
your spouse’s child, adoption is a fulfilling experience that can
tighten existing familial bonds or create new ones. At Full Circle Family
Law in Salt Lake City, we understand how important this process is and
how essential it is that it goes smoothly. Our experienced attorney will
guide you every step of the way and provide the support and advice you need.
Take the first step toward growing your family and contact Full Circle
Family Law in Salt Lake City today at
(801) 658-9895 to set up a consultation.
The Requirements to Adopt a Child in Utah
To adopt a child in Utah, you must be over the age of 21. Every adoption
is unique, but the requirements to adopt in Utah are fairly flexible. You can:
- Be single, married, divorced, or widowed;
- Have a small or large income;
- Own or rent a home or apartment;
- Have children in your home or be childless;
- Work in or out of the home.
Even being a convicted felon will not necessarily prevent you from adopting
a child in Utah. The adoption organization you work with will evaluate
your background and decide whether you're fit to be an adoptive parent.
The Adoption Process in Utah
To ensure adoptive parents are ready to care for a child, Utah requires
prospective parents to engage in a fairly lengthy screening process before
finalizing an adoption. To adopt a child, you must:
- Take 24 hours of in-person training with adoption professionals, plus additional
online training. You can complete the training after filling out an adoption
application with Utah Foster Care, which will initiate the adoption process.
- After receiving your training and the accompanying certification, adoption
professionals will assess your home to make sure you're ready to house
and care for a child (commonly called a "home study). If the adoption
professionals verify your home is child-ready, they'll give you an adoption license.
- Once you have the license, you'll work with the Utah Division of Child
and Family Services (DCFS) to finalize the adoption. The DCFS double-checks
all your certificates and licenses, and completes any remaining work necessary
to ensure the adoption furthers the adoptee's best interests.
Once the DCFS approves the adoption, you're eligible to become a full-fledged
Do I Have to Be Married to Adopt?
In Utah, both single and married adults can adopt a minor child under the
Utah Adoption Act. If a married couple chooses to adopt, both spouses
must consent to adopting the child. If the adoptive potential parent is
single, he or she may not be in a cohabitating relationship when pursuing
an adoption. Furthermore, although both single and married adults may
adopt children, state agencies must show preference to married couples
when placing children for adoptions. If there are no married couples who
qualify, the state can choose to place a child with a single adult.
Although adopting one’s stepchild is a less complex legal process,
there are still a considerable number of obstacles to overcome. If the
child’s other birth parent will not consent to the adoption, you
must take the matter to court and prove that either the parent is unfit
or that he or she abandoned the child. If the other birth parent does
not have a close relationship with the child and wishes to be relieved
of certain parental obligations, you might be able to obtain consent more
easily. Once the other parent consents to the adoption, his or her parental
rights will be terminated. As a result, you and your spouse are not obligated
to allow him or her access to the child.
Discuss Your Adoption Case with Our Knowledgeable Attorney
If you are planning to adopt a child, contact the legal team at Full Circle
Family Law in Salt Lake City to guide you through this challenging process.
Adopting a child is one of the most rewarding experiences a family can
experience and our attorney can help you navigate it with greater ease
and efficiency. We understand how important this is for you and will minimize
any of the potential obstacles you may encounter.
Get started on your adoption case today and contact us at
(801) 658-9895 to schedule a consultation and learn more about your legal options.