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Adoption is a major, life-altering event for both parents and the adoptive child. The process to adopt a child, whether you are married or single, is complex and must be finalized with a court order.
The court order establishes you as the new legal parent while terminating existing legal relationships between the biological parents and the adoptive child.
At the law firm of Carr | Woodall, our Utah adoption lawyers will guide you through the legal procedure so you can dedicate your attention to the lifestyle changes when you welcome your new child or children.
Whether you are seeking to adopt a child or are a mother looking for help in adopting out your child, Carr | Woodall can help. Our firm provides compassionate and effective legal representation in all types of adoption cases.
The family lawyers represent stepparent, relative, foster parent, and private adoptions in South Jordan, Utah.
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Utah Laws & Qualifications for Adoption
In Utah, you may adopt either a minor child or an adult if you are:
- A married adult
- A stepparent of the adoptive child
- A single adult who is not cohabiting with another intimate partner
You also must be at least 10 years older than the person you wish to adopt. In the case of married couples, only one party must meet this requirement. However, any married individual cannot adopt without the consent of his or her spouse.
Adoption can only be finalized after the child has lived with his or her adoptive parent(s) for a minimum of 6 months.
Whose Consent Is Required for Adoption in Utah?
In the case of unmarried fathers, if the father has not legally established paternity, it is not necessary to obtain his consent.
In Utah, the adoption laws state that consent is required from several parties before any adoption can take place.
- If the child to be adopted is 12 years or older, their consent is required.
- The biological parents of the child must also give their consent, unless their parental rights have been terminated.
- If the child is in the custody of the state, consent must be obtained from the Department of Child and Family Services.
By ensuring that all parties have given their consent, Utah aims to make the adoption process fair and transparent for everyone involved. Additionally, any person whose consent is required for the adoption to take place has the right to contest the adoption in court.
We provide comprehensive help with all forms of adoption, our Utah adoption attorneys are here to facilitate the process, whether it is:
- The adoption of an adult
- A direct placement adoption (private adoption)
- A stepparent adoption
- An agency-assisted adoption
- The adoption of a foster child
- The adoption of a child that is related to you
The goal of our law firm is to help you navigate the Utah adoption process smoothly and efficiently to achieve your goal.
Adult adoptions in Utah are becoming more popular as a way to build family bonds and secure legal relationships. It may seem unusual to adopt another adult, this process allows for important benefits such as inheritance rights, legal recognition for caregiving relationships, and even the ability to make medical decisions on behalf of one another.
Utah law allows for adult adoption regardless of previous familial relationships, meaning that you can choose to adopt a close friend or loved one as a legal family member. This adult adoption process in Utah does require the consent of both parties as well as legal requirements to be met.
Direct placement, also known as “private adoption” allows the birth parents to choose the adoptive family for their child and can often be a quicker process than going through the public system. Utah has a strong network of private adoption agencies and attorneys who specialize in direct placement adoption to ensure that the adoption is legal and meets all requirements. Utah has laws in place to ensure that both birth parents and adoptive families are protected throughout the adoption process.
Utah stepparent adoption is a legal process in which a stepparent legally adopts the biological child of their spouse. This type of adoption is common in blended families and has several benefits including giving the stepparent legal rights and responsibilities over the child, such as decision-making for education, medical care and religion. As well as allowing the child to inherit from their new parent in case of their death.
Though this process may seem cumbersome, it can be a relatively smooth and straightforward process with the right guidance and a skilled adoption attorney in Utah. This type of adoption can be simpler than other types, but it still requires legal proceedings to ensure that the adoption is valid.
In the case of a stepparent adopting his or her spouse’s child, the adoption can only be finalized after the child has lived with their adoptive parent for a minimum of 1 year.
One option for those interested in adoption is agency-assisted adoption, which involves working with a licensed adoption agency to identify potential adoptive families and complete the legal process.
In an agency adoption, a licensed adoption agency takes legal custody of the child and places them with an adoptive family. The agency is responsible for ensuring that all legal requirements are met and that the adoption is in the best interest of the child.
Adopting a foster child in Utah can be a rewarding experience for both the child and the adopted family. While the adoption process can be emotional and time-consuming, the state of Utah offers support and resources to help families navigate the legal requirements. Adopting a foster child in can come with challenges, such as managing the child's trauma and previous experiences. However, with the right support system and resources, families can provide a loving and stable home for a child in need.
The process for adopting a foster child involves several steps:
- Attend an orientation session.
- Submit an application to become a licensed foster and adoptive parent.
- Attend a series of training sessions.
- Complete a home study which involves a social worker visiting your home to assess your ability to provide a safe and supportive environment for a child.
- Wait for a match (wait time can vary depending on the age and needs of the child you are hoping to adopt).
- Finalizing the adoption will involve a court hearing where you will legally become the child's parent.
In Utah, adopting a child that is related to you, such as a grandchild, niece, nephew, or sibling, is known as kinship adoption. This process allows a child to remain with relatives or close family friends, reducing trauma and disruption for them. In Utah, kinship adoption can be a more streamlined process than traditional adoption, and it can help maintain important family connections while providing a stable home environment for the child.
The adoption process in Utah involves several steps, including completing a home study, obtaining consent from the biological parents (unless they have already had their parental rights terminated), and appearing in court for a finalization hearing. The process can take several months to complete.
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