Each state’s adoption rules vary.
Heart to Heart is a Utah adoption agency that works with women who have unplanned pregnancies. They do not utilize the traditional foster care system but focus on direct placements. They work with both open adoption and private adoption services. The latest Utah adoption laws include:
- S.B. 31 – This law states that a family that adopts a special needs child after January 13, 2013, is eligible for a tax credit up to $1,000.
- S.B. 155 – This makes any post-adoption contract, as related to children adopted from state custody, completely enforceable.
- S.B. 183 – This requires the Office of Licensing to implement ethical rules and regulations that relate to prohibiting adoption agencies and their employees from offering, stating or providing misleading or false information.
- S.B. 282 – This requires the state’s registrar to investigate creating a national putative father registry. These paternal notices would be filed to unmarried biological fathers and the court would take financial and emotional support into consideration when determining if the father is guilty of abandonment of the child. This law is designed to help eliminate potential adoption fraud, which is when the birthmother doesn’t notify the birthfather of her impending pregnancy.
- Utah permits adoption by couples that are legally married to one another, including adoption by a stepparent.
- Any single adult that is not cohabitating with a partner may also be eligible for adoption.
- Adoption is strictly prohibited in the state of Utah to anyone that is in a non-legal cohabitating relationship. Cohabitating is defined as being involved in a sexual relationship with another person, while living together.
- A person who is adopting a child must be at a minimum 10 years older than the child. If a couple is adopting a child, then at least one person must satisfy this requirement.
- If a person who is not legally separated from his/her spouse attempts to adopt a child without the express consent of the other spouse, an adoption may not be completed.
While critics say that Utah’s adoption requirements and laws are harsh, this adoption friendly state focuses solely on what is best for the child. This includes stable, two-parent families. The state of Utah offers an Adoption Exchange class, which features information about how to adopt a child, adoption agencies, the adoption process, potential birthparent and adoption-related issues, adoption-related fees and potential tax credits. Additionally, Heart to Heart adoptions offers legal guidance and counseling for both adoptive parents and birthmothers.