Adoption Law

General Utah Adoption Law

What you need to know if you are looking to adopt a child

  • Generally, a birth mother cannot give consent to an adoption until at least 24 hours have passed since the birth of the child.
  • Unmarried biological fathers have very stringent requirements which they must meet; otherwise, they may lose out on the right to notice of an adoption proceeding and their consent may not be necessary for the adoption to occur.
  • A child who is being adopted who is at least 12 years old must consent to his or her adoption.
  • A consent or relinquishment by a birth mother or an adoptee shall be signed before a judge or a person appointed by the judge. The consent or relinquishment of a biological father may be signed before a Notary Public before or after the child is born.
  • Adopting parents must also meet certain requirements to adopt. For example, at least one of the adopting parents must be 10 years older than the child being adopted, a home study must be conducted, the adopting parents must submit to a background check and receive a report from the Department of Health containing all information regarding reports and investigations of child abuse, neglect, and dependency, with respect to each prospective adoptive parent and any other adult living in the prospective home, and offer to pay counseling costs for a birth parent before he or she signs a relinquishment document. Some of these requirements are not necessary when adopting a family member or a step-child.
  • A grandparent’s rights are directly connected to the rights enjoyed by the grandparent’s child. Therefore, if a parent relinquishes his or her rights to a child, his or her parents’ rights to the child are also terminated.