Salt Lake City, Utah, Adoption Attorneys
Whether you're a step parent already helping to raise a child or a couple hoping for a new family member, the Utah adoption attorneys at Alder Law Group can help. We take the time to get to know each client and their situation personally, and will work with determination to get your adoption approved.
In Utah, adoption cases go through family court, which also handles divorces, custody issues and more. In most situations, the case begins with filing the correct documents. Then, a hearing is scheduled and a judge asks the adopting parent questions. Next, adoption documents are signed by the new parents and the judge signs an adoption decree. Finally, a new birth certificate will be issued by the Office of Vital Records and Statistics.
Experienced Utah Adoption Attorneys
Lawyers with the Alder Law Group have extensive experience helping families adopt and arrange custody agreements for all kinds of married couples, including same-sex spouses and people in traditional marriages. We can help you navigate the ins and outs of Utah's complicated adoption system, and we get to know you personally to help the process go smoothly for you and your family.
Child Adoption Options in Utah
There are numerous situations that lead couples to seek adoption in Utah, and the reasons range from wanting to share insurance benefits with the whole family to wanting to raise a child of your own when you and your partner are unable to conceive. Each kind of adoption comes with special rules and procedures, so we urge you to contact us at the beginning of the process. That way, you can avoid the missteps and confusion that can make adoption so difficult for some people. The types of adoption are:
- Step-parent adoption: In this situation, notice must be given to the noncustodial parent and he or she must consent, as must the married partner of the adopting parent and, in some cases, a legal guardian. Furthermore, the child must have been living with the adoptive parent for at least one year and must be at least 10 years younger than the adoptive parent. If the adoptee is 12 years old or older, he or she must consent to the adoption.
- Infant adoption: In these cases, the biological parents are entitled to receive counseling sessions and must be made aware of this right before adoption can occur. Often, these adoptions go through child placement agencies. The biological mother and, if he can be located, the biological father have to sign papers relinquishing parental rights.
- Out of state adoption: This is for a child 6 months old or younger, and it can occur only after the birth mother has properly notified the biological father. She must not have lived in Utah for at least 90 days.
- Foster child adoption: For either adoption or placement of a child in state custody, the new parents must be fingerprinted by the FBI and undergo a background check by the Dept. of Human Services for any history of child abuse or neglect, unless the child is being placed with a noncustodial parent or relative. For an adoption decree to go through, the court must find that adoption is in the best interest of the child.
- Immigrant adoption: Also known as alien child adoption, this is when a family wants to adopt a child aged 16 or younger who is not a naturalized citizen. The adoptive parents must have permanent residence in the United States and must provide evidence from the federal Immigration and Naturalization Service approving the process. The process for birth parents who live here but are not legal residents requires working with the FBI as well.
- International adoption: In these cases, a document from the foreign country is treated as if it were an adoption decree rendered by the Utah courts. The adoptive parents must register with the state and file for a new birth certificate.
- Adult adoption: This occurs for people who are 65 years of age or older or people aged 18 or older who have mental or physical impairments.
You can trust the attorneys at Alder Law Group with your adoption case, and we urge you to call us today, fill out the contact form on this page or come to our offices for a no-cost initial consultation. We can get started learning about your situation and preparing your paperwork right away.