Utah Adoption Guide

Everything you need to know about adoption in Utah.

Kylee Hooper March 24, 2016

Welcome, Utahns! This guide was written to provide you with a single place to find information about adoption in Utah. It will walk you through everything from laws that will impact your adoption to reviews of adoption service providers in Utah.

We’ve divided this guide into five parts: first, general information about adopting in Utah, then sections dedicated to domestic infant adoption (starting in Slide 6) foster adoption (Slide 20),  international adoption (Slide 28), and stepparent adoption (Slide 32). And don’t miss our slide filled with links to helpful adoption resources (Slide 35).

Are you interested growing your family through domestic infant adoption? Click here to connect with an adoption professional who can answer your questions.

Please note:
1. Please note:

Although care has been taken to ensure the accuracy, completeness, and reliability of the information provided in this slideshow guide, you should not rely on it to make decisions. Instead, you should rely on licensed professionals in making decisions relative to adoption. The information in this guide is subject to change without notice. Adoption.com is not responsible for the consequences of relying on this information. In no event shall Adoption.com be liable for any direct, indirect, special, or incidental damage resulting from, arising out of, or in connection with the use of this information.

Did You Know?
2. Did You Know?

Utahns are considered to be the most generous people in the United States, and the most likely to donate both money and time.

For some more cool facts about Utah, click here

Adoption in Utah at a Glance
3. Adoption in Utah at a Glance

Kids in foster care available for adoption in 2012: 1,095  
Foster adoptions completed in 2012: 528      
International adoptions completed in 2012: 133     

Can I Adopt in Utah? 
4. Can I Adopt in Utah? 

Adoption requirements in the state of Utah are as follows:

Age: Must be 18 years or older   

Marital Status: Can be married, single, widowed, or divorced; but cannot be unmarried cohabitants   

Finances: Can have either a small or large income, must be able to provide for the child  

Housing: You don't need to have your own home to adopt in Utah, you just need enough space for the child    

Work:  You can work outside the home and still adopt in Utah       
DISQUALIFYING CRIMES: There are no specific disqualifying crimes in Utah, but you must successfully pass a background check with your home study.

Developing a Support System
5. Developing a Support System

It’s essential to have a good network of family, friends, and neighbors to support you through your adoption process.

It’s also important to connect with other adoptive parents. You can begin making these connections in our adoption forums You may also want to consider joining a support group for adoptive parents.

Domestic Infant Adoption in Utah
6. Domestic Infant Adoption in Utah

Before you get started, click here to learn more about the overall process of adopting an infant in the United States. Then, because laws and processes vary from state to state, come back to get the details about adoption in Utah.

Domestic Infant Adoption: Get Professional Help
7. Domestic Infant Adoption: Get Professional Help

Adoption agencies must be licensed in the state of Utah. Make sure to check with an agency before continuing.

Some people pursuing a private adoption find it beneficial to work with a professional adoption facilitator, an individual or organization that matches birth parents with adoptive parents in exchange for a fee. Adoption facilitators are not allowed in Utah.      

You can browse and read reviews about adoption service providers in Utah here.     

For more information about picking an adoption agency, learn about the Top Fifteen Things to Look for In An Adoption Agency.

Domestic Infant Adoption: Complete a Home Study
9. Domestic Infant Adoption: Complete a Home Study

Regardless of whether you complete your adoption, you will need to complete an adoption home study.

Your home study social worker will help educate you about adoption and ensure that you (and your partner, if applicable) meet the requirements outlined on slide four.

Click here to learn more about the Home Study process.

Domestic Infant Adoption: Spread the Word
10. Domestic Infant Adoption: Spread the Word

It is prohibited in Utah for any attorney, physician or person to advertise that he/she is able to provide child-placement service.

However, one of the most important things you can do while waiting for an adoption match is to let everyone know about your hope to adopt. Many adoption connections are made through word-of-mouth referrals.

You might also consider making a profile with Parent Profiles. Many adoption connections are found this way, and it is a great way to connect with other hopeful adoptive parents.

Domestic Infant Adoption: Parent Profiles
11. Domestic Infant Adoption: Parent Profiles

If advertising is allowed in your state, creating a profile on Adoption.com Parent Profiles allows you to easily share your story with those considering placing their child for adoption. Features like videos and photos, posts, Pinterest-like favorites, and recommendations and endorsements make it easy to create a profile as unique as you are, increasing the likelihood that you will stand out and connect with that right person.

Rich communication options like video chat and instant messaging make connecting easy. A mobile-responsive design means that you will never be out of reach.
What’s more, Adoption.com receives over 650,000 monthly visits, which means your profile will receive unparalleled exposure. You can even view and monitor your progress through a detailed statistics page.

Ready to get started? Click here

Domestic Infant Adoption: Adoption Navigators
12. Domestic Infant Adoption: Adoption Navigators

Adoption Navigators provides you with quality expertise in sharing your dream of adopting. We provide unparalleled adoption marketing and one-on-one coaching to beautifully show expectant parents who you are and tell your story. With Adoption Navigators you receive premier advertising exposure on Adoption.com, assistance building your profile and creating a video, and expanded reach through social media and search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo!. Adoption.com has more than 16 years of experience helping families connect with potential birth parents.

Let us help you increase your exposure to potential birth parents and decrease your adoption wait time.

Click here to get started.

Creating a listing on Adoption.com Parent Profiles is an excellent way to connect with potential birth parents across the country. If you want to maximize your exposure to potential birth parents and receive personalized coaching and support, consider using Adoption Navigators. Coordinate these services with your adoption professional.

Domestic Infant Adoption: Relinquishment
13. Domestic Infant Adoption: Relinquishment

A father can relinquish his parental right at any time, whereas the mother can relinquish her parental right 24 hours after the birth.

Once you sign the document saying that you are relinquishing your parental rights, you cannot go back and change it.

You are generally not allowed to relinquish parental rights unless you have been considered unfit to parent, or if there is another family waiting to step in and adopt your child.

If you are voluntarily relinquishing your parental rights, you may want to hire an attorney to help you with the process.

There is a different form to fill out if the child is part of an tribe. You will have to go through a tribal court in order to relinquish parental rights.

Domestic Infant Adoption: Birth Father Rights
14. Domestic Infant Adoption: Birth Father Rights

While Utah does have a putative father registry, there have been some disputes concerning the rights of birth fathers in recent years.

Domestic Infant Adoption - Laws about Birth Parent Expenses
15. Domestic Infant Adoption - Laws about Birth Parent Expenses

Hopeful adoptive parents and/or an adoption agency may provide legal and living expenses for an expectant mother. There are, however, requirements governing such support.

In Utah, any expense that is considered unreasonable by the court does not need to be paid by adoptive parents. Therefore, only reasonable, pregnancy related expenses may be paid.

Domestic Infant Adoption - Post-Adoption Contact Agreements
16. Domestic Infant Adoption - Post-Adoption Contact Agreements

Post-adoption agreements must be agreed upon by all parties involved, including the birth parents, adoptive parents, and adopted children who are 12 years old or older.

Post adoption contact agreements are only enforceable if the placement is through the state, and the agreement is approved by the court.

Domestic Infant Adoption - Finalization
17. Domestic Infant Adoption - Finalization

Finalization of an adoption can take place six months after the child has been living with the adoptive family.

Domestic Infant Adoption – Adopting in Utah from Out-of-State
18. Domestic Infant Adoption – Adopting in Utah from Out-of-State

With private (usually domestic infant) adoptions, it is always possible to adopt a child within Utah, even if you live in a different state.

The Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children (ICPC) was adopted in the 1960s to provide for oversight and protection of children placed for foster care or adoption between states.

If you are adopting a child from another state, you will need to receive permission from the ICPC office in the state where the child is from. Your agency or attorney will send the office copies of your home study and some other paperwork. They will need to approve your packet before you can bring your child home.

Read more about the ICPC here.
     

Foster Adoption in Utah  
19. Foster Adoption in Utah  

Before you get started, click here to familiarize yourself with the overall process of adopting children through foster care. Then, because laws and processes vary from state to state, come back here to get the details about foster adoption in Utah.    

Foster Adoption - Children Available for Foster Adoption in Utah
20. Foster Adoption - Children Available for Foster Adoption in Utah

There are about 2,700 children in foster care

Utah does not currently feature children in our photolisting.

Foster Adoption - Get Professional Help
21. Foster Adoption - Get Professional Help

In order to adopt through foster care, you will need to go through a process that will qualify you to be a foster parent.

You will still need to complete a home study as part of this process.

To find adoption agencies in Utah and to read reviews, check out Adoption.com’s Reviews page for Utah.

Becoming Part of the Foster Care System
22. Becoming Part of the Foster Care System

Once you complete your foster care training, you will be eligible to have children in your home.

Many of these children will be considered legally free to be adopted (meaning their birth parents have relinquished parental rights). Other children will be known as "legal risk" placements, which means that their birth parents might not have relinquished their rights.

Finalization
23. Finalization

Children must live in your home for a minimum of six months before adoption can be finalized through foster care.

Post Adoption Contact Agreements
24. Post Adoption Contact Agreements

Utah allows for post-adoption agreements, and they are enforceable by law. These agreements are limited to adoptions involving children from foster care.

A post-adoption contact agreement is a voluntary agreement that can be entered into by adoptive and birth families. The agreement outlines details about how much contact the birth and adoptive families will have after the adoption is finalized.

In instances in which the child’s biological parents’ rights have been involuntarily terminated, the well-being of the child needs to be first and foremost in everyone’s minds if a post-adoption contact agreement is created. Caseworkers and therapists should be consulted in making decisions about contact after adoption.

Adoption Assistance
25. Adoption Assistance

Utah offers adoption assistance for parents adopting children with special needs.

International Adoption in Utah
26. International Adoption in Utah

Before you get started, click here to familiarize yourself with the overall process of international adoption. Then, because laws and processes vary from state to state, come back here to get the details about international adoption in Utah.

International Adoption - Photolisting
27. International Adoption - Photolisting

There are millions of beautiful children across the world who are hoping to find a forever family.

Click here to meet some of them through our Photolisting.

International Adoption - Get Professional Help
28. International Adoption - Get Professional Help

With international adoptions, your only choice is to complete your adoption through an agency. Because of the Universal Accreditation Act, all adoption agencies completing international adoptions are required to be credentialed according to federal standards. Make sure to check with any agency before working with them to ensure they have this accreditation in place!

In selecting an international adoption agency, there are Four Essential Criteria you should probably consider. Click here to browse through reviews of adoption agencies in Utah.

In order to be approved to adopt internationally, you will need to complete an international adoption-specific home study.

International Adoption - Post-Adoption Requirements
29. International Adoption - Post-Adoption Requirements

You can finalize your adoption abroad. However, you will need to request a U.S. birth certificate for your child so that the child live in the United States.

Read more about post-adoption requirements here. 

Stepparent Adoption in Utah
30. Stepparent Adoption in Utah

Before you get started, click here to familiarize yourself with the overall process of stepparent adoption. Then, because laws and processes vary from state to state, come back here to get the details about stepparent adoption in Utah. 

Stepparent Adoption - Terminating Parental Rights
31. Stepparent Adoption - Terminating Parental Rights

In order for you to adopt the child of your spouse, the corresponding biological parent’s rights will first need to be terminated, either voluntarily or involuntarily.

You will need to consult with an adoption attorney about your desire to adopt. He/she can help you decide if it’s likely that the biological parent would be willing to relinquish rights OR if it would be feasible to pursue involuntary termination of his/her parental rights.

Stepparent Adoption - Petitioning to Adopt
32. Stepparent Adoption - Petitioning to Adopt

Once parental rights have been terminated, you can file a petition to adopt with the courts. You and your spouse will both testify in court regarding the stability of your marital relationship, the bond you’ve developed with your stepchild, and your desire to become the legal parent of your stepchild.

You will generally not be required to complete a background check or home study as part of the stepparent adoption process.

Adoption Resources
33. Adoption Resources

Works Cited
34. Works Cited

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Kylee Hooper

Kylee Hooper is not quite a mother, but she adores babies, and hopes to be able to either foster or adopt someday. When she isn't writing, reading, or editing; she is normally playing her harp or creating an adventure.


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