Call For A Free Consultation

801-Divorce (801-348-6723)

801-Divorcio (801-348-6724)


Brief overview of the adoption process

Hiring an adoption attorney that understand the complexity of Utah’s adoption laws is essential. Adoption cases are not handled in the same manner as other civil cases, and are generally open to the public. However, in certain circumstances a party can make a request to the court to limit who can attend the hearing.

To start the adoption process the proper documents must be completed. From there a hearing will be scheduled, where the parties involved will answer a judge’s questions and signed the required documents. After the hearing the judge will sign the adoption decree.

Adoption cases are classified as “private” records, until they can be sealed. Since they are private records, only the parties involved can view and retain copies of the documents. Six months after a decree is given, the physical records are sealed and specially classified to prevent access without a court order.

Utah Adoption Act

In accordance with the Utah Adoption Act, adoption is defined as the judicial act that:

(a) creates the relationship of parent and child where it did not previously exist; and

(b) except as provided in Subsection 78B-6-138(2) and (4), terminates the parental rights any other person with respect to the child.

For further legal definitions of relationships you can visit the Utah Adoption Act section 103 definitions. To gain a better understanding of how it pertains to your particular situation.

Stepparent Adoption

Several criteria must be met in order to adopt a stepchild, such as:

  • Adopting parent must be married to the adoptee’s custodial parent
  • Adopting parent must be at least 10 years older than the adoptee
  • Adoptee must have lived with the custodial parent and the stepparent for one year
  • Adopting parent cannot have a felony that would disqualify them from adopting

Criteria of who needs to consent to the adoption;

  • Adopting parent’s spouse
  • Adoptee (if they are 12 years or older)
  • Adoptee’s non-custodial parent
  • Adoptee’s court-appointed guardian

If someone that needs to consent does not a motion to intervene may be used, for the courts to further assess the situation.

Adoption of an Adult

There are a number of reasons for an adult to be adopted, though generally the reasons are due to the adult adoptee being unable to care for themself. In other circumstances, an adult adoption may be for the purposes of legally recognizing a surrogate or foster parent as their parent.

Regardless of the reasons the process in terms of submitting the required documentation and attending a hearing remain relatively the same.

Family Member Adoption

[placeholder for Kim, as I didn’t find anything specific to this on Utah Courts website…. also known as Kinship Adoption]

Agency Assisted Adoption

[placeholder for Kim, same as family member/kinship adoption, I couldn’t find a clear document on Utah Courts website]

Independent Adoption

This type of adoption takes place without the involvement of a public or private agency. This may also be called private adoption, and is generally facilitated by an attorney. Also listed on some attorney sites as being called Direct Placement Adoption.

[Found above information via:]

Foster Care Adoption

There are two different ways to adopt through foster care. The first is to take the foster-to-adopt approach, which entails starting as a foster parent that will work to unify families, but may end up adopting a child they are caring for. The second approach is to adopt a waiting child. This is when an potential parent works towards the adoption of a specific child that is waiting to be adopted.

International Adoption

Not sure we want to have this listed unless there is someone at the firm who can answer questions, based on reading I’ve done this is very complex. If we want to hold the expert title in services offered, we might want to hold off on this type of adoption until we have a lawyer with experience in it??

Need more information regarding adoption?

Schedule your free 30 minute consultation today to find out what your adoption case needs are. Consultation Form