October 8, 2010

Utah Minor Adoption Lawyer

Salt Lake City Child Adoptions

Adoption of a child is probably the most common type of adoption.  Children may be orphaned and under the custody of the state or they may be given up for adoption by their birth mother or parents.  Each of these situations comes with different complexities of how to go about the process.  In some cases it may be the grandparents or a sibling seeking to adopt their grandchildren or brother or sister, perhaps due to the death of the parents or other unfortunate circumstances.  In every adoption, the best interest of the child will govern the court’s determination.

A person adopting a child must be at least ten years older than the child being adopted, unless it is a couple petitioning for adoption in which case at least one spouse must be at least ten years older than the child.  Cohabitating adults who are not married are not allowed to adopt a child in Utah.  This includes same sex couples, but does not apply to a gays or lesbians who are not cohabitating.

Adoption of children from outside the United States is common and requires additional approvals from the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service.

Parental Rights and Adoption

When a child is adopted the adoptive parents for all intents and purposes inherit all the legal rights of a birth parent.  If a mother or couple gives up their child for adoption, they permanently extinguish all of their parental rights upon the completion of the adoption.  Grandparent’s rights should not automatically be assumed to have terminated with an adoption, especially when the child is older and has formed a relationship with their grandparents.  In such a case the grandparents may be considered to maintain some rights to visitation of the child.

A birth mother whether an adult or minor may not consent to the adoption or relinquishment of custody of her child until at least 24 hours after the birth of her child.  When a petition for adoption is filed with the court it requires notice be sent to and consent for the adoption from various parties.  The following are examples and may include others:  The adoptee if over 12 yrs. of age and competent, parents of the adoptee if under 18, the mother if born outside marriage, unmarried father who manifests full commitment to his paternal responsibilities.

How to Get Started

Adoption can be a very complex process and it is not recommended that you try to do it on your own.  There are many factors that need to be taken into account.  Please call and let our licensed Utah family law attorneys help you make your adoption process a special experience for you and for the adoptive child.  We will take you through the court process and help you deal with Immigration Services if needed.  We want to make this process as smooth and stress free as possible for you and especially for your new adoptive child.

If you are a parent or grandparent is trying to stop the adoption of your child or grandchild we may also be able to help you regain custody and stop the proceedings.

Call the law firm of Utah Divorce Hotline at 801.618.1331 or send us an email to schedule a time to meet with a family law lawyer.