intent and findings -- Best
interest of child -- Interests of each party.
(1) It is the intent and desire of the
Legislature that in every adoption the best interest of the child
should govern and be of foremost concern in the court's determination.
(2) The court shall make a
regarding the best interest of the child, taking into consideration
information provided to the court pursuant to the requirements of this
chapter relating to the health, safety, and welfare of the child and
the moral climate of the potential adoptive placement.
(3) The Legislature finds that
the rights and
interests of all parties affected by an adoption proceeding must be
considered and balanced in determining what constitutional protections
and processes are necessary and appropriate.
(4) The Legislature
specifically finds that it
is not in a child's best interest to be adopted by a person or persons
who are cohabiting in a relationship that is not a legally valid and
binding marriage under the laws of this state. Nothing in this section
limits or prohibits the court's placement of a child with a single
adult who is not cohabiting as defined in this part.
(5) The Legislature also finds
(a) the state has a compelling
providing stable and permanent homes for adoptive children in a prompt
manner, in preventing the disruption of adoptive placements, and in
holding parents accountable for meeting the needs of children;
(b) an unmarried mother, faced
responsibility of making crucial decisions about the future of a
newborn child, is entitled to privacy, and has the right to make timely
and appropriate decisions regarding her future and the future of the
child, and is entitled to assurance regarding the permanence of an
(c) adoptive children have a
permanence and stability in adoptive placements;
(d) adoptive parents have a
protected liberty and privacy interest in retaining custody of an
(e) an unmarried biological
father has an
inchoate interest that acquires constitutional protection only when he
demonstrates a timely and full commitment to the responsibilities of
parenthood, both during pregnancy and upon the child's birth; and
(f) the state has a compelling
requiring unmarried biological fathers to demonstrate commitment by
providing appropriate medical care and financial support and by
establishing legal paternity, in accordance with the requirements of
(6) (a) In enacting this
Legislature has prescribed the conditions for determining whether an
unmarried biological father's action is sufficiently prompt and
substantial to require constitutional protection.
(b) If an unmarried biological
father fails to
grasp the opportunities to establish a relationship with his child that
are available to him, his biological parental interest may be lost
entirely, or greatly diminished in constitutional significance by his
failure to timely exercise it, or by his failure to strictly comply
with the available legal steps to substantiate it.
(c) A certain degree of
finality is necessary
in order to facilitate the state's compelling interest. The Legislature
finds that the interests of the state, the mother, the child, and the
adoptive parents described in this section outweigh the interest of an
unmarried biological father who does not timely grasp the opportunity
to establish and demonstrate a relationship with his child in
accordance with the requirements of this chapter.
(d) The Legislature finds no
practical way to
remove all risk of fraud or
in adoption proceedings, and has provided a method for absolute
protection of an unmarried biological father's rights by compliance
with the provisions of this chapter. In balancing the rights and
interests of the state, and of all parties affected by fraud,
specifically the child, the adoptive parents, and the unmarried
biological father, the Legislature has determined that the unmarried
biological father is in the best position to prevent or ameliorate the
effects of fraud and that, therefore, the burden of fraud shall be
borne by him.
and Amended by Chapter 3, 2008 General Session
(e) An unmarried biological
father has the
primary responsibility to protect his rights.
(f) An unmarried biological
father is presumed
to know that the child may be adopted without his consent unless he
strictly complies with the provisions of this chapter, manifests a
prompt and full commitment to his parental responsibilities, and
(7) The Legislature finds that
mother has a right of privacy with regard to her pregnancy and adoption
plan, and therefore has no legal obligation to disclose the identity of
an unmarried biological father prior to or during an adoption
proceeding, and has no obligation to volunteer information to the court
with respect to the father.
As used in this part:
(1) "Adoptee" means a person who has been legally adopted.
(2) "Adoption" means the judicial act that:
(a) creates the relationship of parent and child where it did not
previously exist; and
(b) except as provided in Subsection 78B-6-138(2), terminates the
parental rights of any
other person with respect to the child.
(3) "Adoption service provider" means a:
(a) child-placing agency; or
(b) licensed counselor who has at least one year of experience
providing professional social work services to:
(i) adoptive parents; or
(ii) birth parents.
(4) "Adult" means a person who is 18 years of age or older.
(5) "Adult adoptee" means an adoptee who is 18 years of age or older.
(6) "Adult sibling" means a brother or sister of the adoptee, who is 18
years of age or older and whose birth mother or father is the same as
that of the adoptee.
(7) "Birth parent" means:
(a) a biological mother;
(b) a person whose paternity of a child is established; or
(c) an alleged father who:
(i) has been identified as the father of a child by the child's birth
(ii) has not denied paternity.
(8) "Bureau" means the Bureau of Vital Statistics within the Department
of Health operating under Title 26, Chapter 2, Utah Vital Statistics
(9) "Child-placing agency" means an agency licensed to place children
for adoption under Title 62A, Chapter 4a, Part 6, Child Placing.
(10) "Cohabiting" means residing with another person and being involved
in a sexual relationship with that person.
(11) "Division" means the Division of Child and Family Services, within
the Department of Human Services, created in Section 62A-4a-103.
(12) "Extra-jurisdictional child-placing agency" means an agency
licensed to place children for adoption by a district, territory, or
state of the United States, other than Utah.
(13) "Genetic and social history" means a comprehensive report, when
obtainable, on an adoptee's birth parents, aunts, uncles, and
grandparents, which contains the following information:
(a) medical history;
(b) health status;
(c) cause of and age at death;
(d) height, weight, and eye and hair color;
(e) ethnic origins;
(f) where appropriate, levels of education and professional
(g) religion, if any.
(14) "Health history" means a comprehensive report of the adoptee's
health status at the time of placement for adoption, and medical
history, including neonatal, psychological,
and medical care history.
(15) "Identifying information"
means the name
and address of a pre-existing parent or adult adoptee, or other
specific information which by itself or in reasonable conjunction with
other information may be used to identify that person.
(16) "Licensed counselor"
means a person who
is licensed by the state, or another state, district, or territory of
the United States as a:
(a) certified social worker;
(b) clinical social worker;
(d) marriage and family
(e) professional counselor; or
(f) an equivalent licensed
another state, district, or territory of the United States.
(17) "Parent," for purposes of
means any person described in Subsections 78B-6-120(1)(b)
through (f) from whom consent for adoption or relinquishment for
adoption is required under Sections 78B-6-120
(18) "Pre-existing parent"
(a) a birth parent; or
(b) a person who, before an
adoption decree is
entered, is, due to an earlier adoption decree, legally the parent of
the child being adopted.
(19) "Unmarried biological
father" means a
(a) is the biological father
of a child; and
(b) was not married to the
of the child described in Subsection (19)(a) at the time of the child's:
(i) conception; or
Chapter 237, 2010 General Session
(1) Sections 78B-6-143 through 78B-6-145 do not apply to
adoptions by a stepparent
whose spouse is the adoptee's parent.
(2) Sections 78B-6-143 through 78B-6-145 apply only to adoptions
of adoptees born
in this state.
and Amended by Chapter 3, 2008 General Session
registry -- Procedures -- Fees.
(1) The bureau shall establish
mutual-consent, voluntary adoption registry.
(a) Adult adoptees and birth
parents of adult
adoptees, upon presentation of positive identification, may request
identifying information from the bureau, in the form established by the
bureau. A court of competent jurisdiction or a child-placing agency may
accept that request from the adult adoptee or birth parent, in the form
provided by the bureau, and transfer that request to the bureau. The
adult adoptee or birth parent is responsible for notifying the bureau
of any change in information contained in the request.
(b) The bureau may only
information to an adult adoptee or birth parent when it receives
requests from both the adoptee and his birth parent.
(c) After matching the request
of an adult
adoptee with that of at least one of his birth parents, the bureau
shall notify both the adoptee and the birth parent that the requests
have been matched, and disclose the identifying information to those
parties. However, if that adult adoptee has a sibling of the same birth
parent who is under the age of 18 years, and who was raised in the same
family setting as the adult adoptee, the bureau shall not disclose the
requested identifying information to that adult adoptee or his birth
(2) (a) Adult adoptees and
adult siblings of
adult adoptees, upon presentation of positive identification, may
request identifying information from the bureau, in the form
established by the bureau. A court of competent jurisdiction or a
child-placing agency may accept that request from the adult adoptee or
adult sibling, in the form provided by the bureau, and transfer that
request to the bureau. The adult adoptee or adult sibling is
responsible for notifying the bureau of any change in information
contained in the request.
(b) The bureau may only
information to an adult adoptee or adult sibling when it receives
requests from both the adoptee and his adult sibling.
(c) After matching the request
of an adult
adoptee with that of his adult sibling, if the bureau has been provided
with sufficient information to make that match, the bureau shall notify
both the adoptee and the adult sibling that the requests have been
matched, and disclose the identifying information to those parties.
(3) Information registered
with the bureau
under this section is available only to a registered adult adoptee and
his registered birth parent or registered adult sibling, under the
terms of this section.
(4) Information regarding a
birth parent who
has not registered a request with the bureau may not be disclosed.
(5) The bureau may charge a
fee for services
provided under this section, limited to the cost of providing those