Non- Traditional Adoptions in Ogden Utah
Adoptions are typically a heavily regulated matter. Every state has clear conditions that adoptive parents must meet to protect the best interests of the child. Some states allow non-traditional families to adopt a child, while others frown on this kind of arrangement. In Utah, non- traditional families are eligible for the process, whether it is a private affair or one organized by state agencies
Who Can Adopt?
Utah laws seek to ensure that a child is brought up in a stable home under a healthy environment. Therefore, the law gives legally married couples preference when it comes to adoptions of a child. The requirement of marriage applies to both heterosexual and same-sex couples. That means that even non-traditional families can and do adopt in Utah.
However, two cohabiting but unmarried persons, regardless of their sexual orientation, cannot adopt a child. A single person who is not cohabiting with another person is, however, eligible to adopt. To some, the prohibition of unmarried people from adopting may seem harsh, but the best interests of a child are the top priority in all such matters
What Requirements Must You Meet to Be Allowed to Adopt?
The first requirement that you must meet before you can adopt is that of age. According to Utah law, you must be at least ten years older than the child you wish to take in. In the case of a married couple, only one spouse needs to meet this requirement. You must also be above 21 to espouse a child. There is no upper limit on the age of an adoptive parent.
Besides the age requirement, background checks are conducted to assess your suitability to the role. If you have a criminal record, especially if you have been convicted of a felony, it may impact your application negatively. Nevertheless, you will not be automatically disqualified because of a criminal conviction. The court and state agencies consider the unique circumstances of each case before deciding on your application. If they find that the child will have a healthy home environment in which to grow, they may overlook your past offenses and grant your request to adopt.
Adoptive parents must also show the authorities that they are physically and mentally fit to bring up a child. Bringing up a child is not an easy task and taking in a child brings its own set of challenges both for the child and the parents. You must satisfy the agencies that you are up to the challenge and that the child will be loved and well taken care of in your home.
What Else Do You Need to Know?
There are three main ways through which you can adopt a child; through the Department of Human Services, through private adoption and via a federal program. If you opt to use the Department of Human Services, you will need first to establish contact with them, fulfill all the requirements above, and then wait for them to pair you up with a child.
Private Adoptions tend to be a tad more complicated. First, you must identify birth parents who want to give up a child. By law, pairing up of children with hopeful adoptive parents can only be done through a licensed child-placing agency. Professionals, such as doctors and lawyers, cannot be legally paid to pair up parents with a child.
Once you have reached an agreement with the birth parents of a child bestowing parental rights over the child on you, then you must reduce it to writing. For this, you will require to work with a family attorney. Typically, an unwed mother can relinquish all their parental rights over the child without consulting with the putative father of the child. This is particularly true if the whereabouts of the father are unknown and if he did not contribute in any way to the pregnancy expenses.
Adoptive parents can meet related costs if they so wish. It is important to note that they are only expected to meet reasonable expenses, such as legal costs, maternity clothes, and traveling costs.
If you are a non- traditional family, you are eligible to adopt in Utah. You will, however, be subject to the same requirements as married heterosexual couples. This means that if you live together with your partner, you must be legally married, be at least 21 years old, and ten years older than the child you wish to adopt and be mentally and physically fit to bring up a child. As long as you meet these requirements, then you are eligible to apply. You will need an attorney for a successful application. Reach out to us today so you can start your journey to parenthood.
Ogden Utah Adoption Attorneys
In the event that you choose to use an attorney, as opposed to an adoption agency, it is better to be represented by Kaufman, Nichols & Kaufman, who are experienced in this specific type of law. There are many adoptions questions you may have: will the birth parents have a relationship with your adopted child? and what if the birth parents change their mind(s)? It is crucial to have an experienced attorney deal with your case in matters of adoptions and family law.
Kaufman, Nichols & Kaufman believes in building strong and healthy families. If you are in need of legal assistance when it comes to adoptions, contact one of our family law adoptions attorneys.