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Utah Adoption Laws

Like all states, Utah regulates adoption, including who can adopt, who can be adopted, and other requirements to legally adopt another person. Utah courts look to the “best interests of the child" in adoptions, similar to the way they do in child custody cases. In addition, Utah must follow any applicable federal laws, such as the Indian Child Welfare Act.

Utah Adoption Laws

For more information on adopting in Utah, see the following table.

Code Sections

Utah Code Title 78B, Chapter 6, Part 1: Utah Adoption Act

Who Can Be Adopted

Any child or adult can be adopted if eligible and the Utah adoption laws are followed

Consent of Child

A child who's at least 12 years old and any adults must consent to adoption if they have the mental capacity to consent.

Who Can Adopt

Any adult can adopt but must have the consent of their spouse if married. Also, a single person who is cohabitating and involved in a sexual relationship without being married may not adopt. However, adoption by same-sex couples is legal in Utah.

Home Residency Required Prior to Finalization of Adoption

The home residency requirement or amount of time a child must live in the home before the adoption is finalized is usually 6 months. However, for stepparents to adopt their spouse's children, the child must live with the stepparent for at least one year.

State Agency

In Utah, the state agency that handles foster care and adoptions of children who can't be returned to their families of origin is Child and Family Services.

State Court

The adoption petition can be filed in your local District Court or in the Juvenile Court for children who were abused or neglected or had the parental rights of the birth parent terminated in the juvenile court.

Statute of Limitations to Challenge

Adoption can't be contested after entry of the final adoption decree, even in the case of fraudulent misrepresentation connected to the adoption. However, a person can seek civil or criminal penalties for adoption fraud.

Note: State laws are updated all the time, whether by legislators, voters, or court decisions. It's best to verify these adoption laws by contacting a knowledgeable attorney or conducting your own legal research.

Whatever the individual circumstances that brought you to consider adoption, it's a good idea to speak with an experienced Utah adoption lawyer to ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible. Whether stepparent, international, or foster care adoption is the best choice for you, a lawyer who regularly works in this area of law can tell you more about your options.

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Get Legal Help With an Adoption

Adoption can be a complicated process. There are many state and federal laws that govern adoption. An attorney will help you navigate these laws. They will review your case, provide helpful legal advice, and advocate for you and your future child.

If you would like legal assistance with an adoption case, you can find an experienced Utah adoption attorney in your area to schedule a consultation.

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