Utah Adoption Laws and Policies

You have many adoption options, and this is the perfect place to begin exploring them. Below, you’ll find Utah adoption laws and policies and find adoption agencies and attorneys who work with families in Utah.

Utah Adoption Laws

Each state maintains its own adoption policies, so the process can vary considerably for families in different states. As a Utah resident, you’ll want to work with an adoption agency or adoption attorney who is very familiar with Utah adoption laws and policies. Below, you’ll find adoption agencies and adoption lawyers offering services to Utah families. Scroll past the listings to learn all about the legal guidelines for families adopting in Utah whether you’re adopting a newborn through domestic adoption, an infant or older child from U.S. foster care adoption, or a child through international adoption.


Who Can Adopt in Utah?

Single adults who are 10 years or older than the child, married couples (with one parent 10 years or older than the child), a stepparent, or a legally separated adult. Individuals that are cohabiting must be legally married in order to adopt.

Can LGBT families adopt? Same-sex couples can petition for joint adoption; however, they may face some legal restrictions.

Domestic Adoption Laws in Utah

Can adoptive parents advertise for birth parents? Yes.

Can out-of-state residents finalize an adoption? Yes if child was born in Utah, or is a Utah resident.

Can adopting parents use an adoption facilitator or another paid intermediary? Yes, but only a licensed child-placing agency may be used. An attorney, physician, or any other person may aid in placing a child for adoption, but no payment can be made unless it is to cover customary legal and/or medical fees.

What birth parent expenses may be paid, and in what time period? Reasonable adoption related expenses, including, but not limited to medical, legal, living, transportation, and counseling. No law regarding time limit, but the expenses must be limited to the pregnancy and confinement, usually six weeks after delivery. Three months is not unusual in practice.

Is there a putative father registry? Yes. If the birthfather is aware of the placement, he must file paternity action (along with a suitable affidavit), file with state registry, and pay a portion of birthmother’s pregnancy and childbirth expenses before birthmother signs or he loses all rights.

When can consent to adoption be granted? Birthmother: 24 hours after birth; birthfather: any time.

 When does consent become irrevocable? If consent is revoked, is return to birth parent automatic? Upon signing, unless fraud, duress, undue influence, or lack of capacity proven. Return not automatic, but unless parental rights are terminated, return is likely.

Are post-adoption contact agreements legally enforceable? Not addressed in state statutes, but in practice post-adoption contact agreements are not legally enforceable.

International Adoption Laws in Utah

Are adoption subsidies available? When do they start and how long do they last? Yes, subsidies are available for a special needs child, who is defined as having one of the following: 5 years or older, member of a sibling group being placed together, 18 years or younger and has a physical, emotional, or mental disability. The child must also have been in the custody of the state. Subsidies begin at adoption placement.

Where can I learn more about the process of adopting a child from foster care in Utah? http://www.utdcfsadopt.org

Adoption from Foster Care in Utah


Program Manager: Marty Shannon

Division of Child and Family Services
195 North 1950 West
Salt Lake City, Utah 84116
Phone: (803) 540-0833
Fax: (801) 538-3993
[email protected]


DISCLAIMER: The state laws and policies outlined above are offered to readers only for general information and do not constitute legal advice. Furthermore, the state laws were accurate at the time of compilation, but Adoptive Families cannot guarantee that there have been no subsequent changes or revisions to the laws. Please do not rely on the information above without first consulting an adoption attorney licensed in your state. Updated in November 2014.


Copyright © 1999-2021 Adoptive Families Magazine®. All rights reserved. For personal use only. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.

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