Utah adoption laws


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.


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.


Is a foreign adoption decree automatically recognized by the state? Yes.

Can parents readopt in this state? Is it mandatory? Yes, an adopting parent can petition to readopt a child adopted outside of the United States. Whether or not it is mandatory is not addressed in state statutes.

When will a U.S. birth certificate be issued? The State Dept. will issue a U.S. birth certificate upon receipt of a court order of adoption, proof of the adopted child’s DOB and place of birth, and proof that the foreign-born child legally resides in the U.S. for a child adopted under Utah state laws.


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


Division of Child and Family Services
195 North 1950 West
Salt Lake City, Utah 84116