Agency adoptions usually come with training and requirements from a counselor who can provide the greatest assurance in monitoring and oversights, along with extra comfort and support. Counselors walk adopting parents through the processes of agency adoptions. Adoption agencies may also provide protective services and family services throughout the lives of the adoptive family, adopted child, and birth family.
If you have questions about adoption laws in Utah, or need legal advice, you can schedule a free consultation with our family law attorneys here at Utah Child Custody.
Who should avail agency adoptions?
An adoptive family seeking to adopt internationally may engage the adoption service of private agencies for local adoption and foreign adoption or international adoption programs. Those seeking to adopt older children, sibling groups, children with special needs, or transracial children, may opt for a public adoption agency instead.
Who can be adoptive parents?
Any aspiring adoptive parent is able to adopt if they are at least 10 years older than the person they are seeking to adopt. An adoptive parent can be single or married but unmarried and cohabiting couples are not allowed, as well as a married couple without the consent of the other spouse. Married same-sex couples or LGBT families may also adopt albeit with some legal restrictions. Adoption requirements may vary but in order to adopt, most adoption agencies require that the adopting parent complete adoption counseling, training, assessment, and licensing processes from a licensed home study or social worker provider for the best interest of the child. And adoptive families must also be at least 21 years old at the time of adoption.
In a home study, a criminal background check will be done and a person with a criminal history may not be approved. Those who have been convicted of:
- Child abuse
- Domestic violence in the presence of a child
- Abuse and neglect of a child with a disability
- Child endangerment
- Murder or manslaughter
- Child abuse homicide
- A sex offense, including sexual exploitation f children
- Aggravated arson, burglary, or robbery
- Domestic violence
An adoptive parent may be rejected if they have committed aggravated assault, mayhem, or a drug-related offense within the past five years.
Who can be adopted?
Newborn babies, infants, minors, and adults can be adopted but according to the Utah adoption laws, their adoptive parents should be older by at least 10 years. For every child who is 12 years or older, consent to be adopted must be given, unless they do not have the mental capacity to do so.
Is Parental Consent necessary?
Yes. Consent is necessary unless the adoptee is 18 years old or above. The birth mother may only give her consent after 24 hours have passed and such consent must also be signed before a judge. The following people must consent to the adoption of the child:
- The birthmother
- The birth father or legally recognized father of the child
- A child who is at least 12 years old and below 18
What are the costs of adoption services?
Since private agencies handle domestic and international adoptions, there are adoption fees involved, hence, you might want to make sure to ask the agency you’re working with what their standard fees are and when they need to be paid.
The case is different for public adoption agencies that are funded by the state. These usually offer free adoption or charge a small amount. The government may even provide financial aid for special needs adoptive families or grant federal/state subsidies to support the medical expenses of children with special needs or medical illnesses. For other adoption options or questions related to adoption, consult with adoption attorneys.
Do you want to adopt a child in Utah?
If you have started to adopt, want to adopt, be a foster-parent, finalize or know about adoption law and are in need of assistance, our experienced family law attorneys can help you with the necessary information, paperwork, legal process, and guidelines that you might have to go through. Contact us at Utah Child Custody for more information and service adoption assistance.