There are several ways to find a child and to process the adoption through the courts.
The greatest number of adoptions that we see are step-parent adoptions, where the custodial parent is remarried and the non-custodial parent relinquishes their parental rights so that a stepfather or stepmother can adopt the child/ren. A non-custodial parent need not relinquish their parental rights, as a prospective adoptive step-parent can bring a termination of parental rights action to terminate that parent’s rights in order to adopt their step-child/ren.
Other ways that children are found for adoption is through state agencies, privately through a private placement (such as a friend of the family), international adoptions and agency adoptions.
International adoptions or adoption of children across state lines must comply with the Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children. See following link for Utah’s adoption of the Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children (ICPC). See Sections 701-710.
Generally speaking, adoption agencies have their own attorneys that they use to process the adoptions through the court system.
Under Utah law, “A child may not be adopted by a person who is cohabiting in a relationship that is not a legally valid and binding marriage under the laws of this state.” Section 78B-6-117(3), Utah Code Annotated.
Under Utah law, a child and the adoptive parent must live in the same home for six months. See Section 78B-6-136.5(1), Utah Code Annotated.
However, a stepparent must be married to the birth or legal parent and have lived in the same home as the child for one year before the stepparent can adopt the child. “If the adoptive parent is the spouse of the birth parent, a final decree of adoption may not be entered until the child has lived in the home of that adoptive parent for one year, unless, based on a finding of good cause, the court orders that the final decree of adoption may be entered at an earlier time.” Section 78B-6-136.5(2), Utah Code Annotated.
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