Adoption Attorneys in St. George
Helping You & Your Family Navigate the Adoption Process
The decision to grow your family or obtain custody of a child through adoption is an exciting one for many families. The adoption process in Utah can be lengthy and complex, and it is wise to have an experienced attorney on your side who can help you navigate the system and avoid any unnecessary delays or complications.
At Park Law Firm, our St. George adoption attorneys have successfully handled adoption cases for clients throughout Southern Utah. We can help you with all aspects of the adoption process. With offices in St. George and Cedar City, our professional and caring staff is prepared to assist you and your family.
Adoption in Utah
In the State of Utah, certain laws regulate adoption. These laws outline who is eligible to adopt, as well as who may be adopted.
In order to eligible to adopt in Utah, you must meet the following criteria:
- You are either single and living alone or legally married
- You have the consent of your spouse to adopt (if married)
- You and/or your spouse (if applicable) are at least 10 years older than the adoptee
- You have the consent of the adoptee if he or she is at least 12 years old and able to consent
- You have not been convicted of or pleaded guilty/no contest to certain criminal charges
This list is not complete; there are other criteria you must meet in order to be eligible to adopt a child or adult in the State of Utah. Additionally, Utah’s adoption laws are written in a way that prevent single individuals who are engaged in a sexual relationship and/or cohabitating with another person but are not married from adopting a child. The law also denotes that the “most beneficial family structure” for a potential adoptee is a married man and woman. These laws were likely put in place to prevent same-sex couples from adopting. However, with the legalization of same-sex marriage in the United States, including Utah, same-sex spouses may adopt. Additionally, individuals who identify as gay or lesbian may also adopt and, for non-married same-sex couples, as well as non-married straight couples, there are certain exceptions to the law that may allow for adoption.
Home Residency Prior to Adoption
In Utah, you are required to have a potential adoptee live with you for a period of at least six months before the adoption can be legalized. This is known as the “home residency requirement” and is mandatory for all individuals and married couples who wish to adopt a child in Utah. In the case of stepparents wishing to formally adopt a stepchild, the child must live with the stepparent for a period of at least one year.
Assisting You with All Aspects of the Adoption Process
The process of adopting a child in Utah begins with the filing of a petition to adopt with the local district court or juvenile court in cases where the child is a victim of abuse or neglect or when the birth parent had his or her rights terminated by the court. Adoptions in Utah typically go through Child and Family Services. Additionally, adoptions can be contested even after the adoption has been finalized if a party believes that the adoption occurred through fraud or misrepresentation.
If you need assistance adopting in Utah, contact Park Law Firm. Our St. George adoption attorneys can assist you with straightforward adoptions within the state, out-of-state and international adoptions, adoptions of incapacitated individuals, adult adoptions, stepparent adoptions, contested adoptions, and more. With over 50 years of combined legal experience, we are prepared to help you every step of the way.
Get in touch with our legal team today to request a no-cost consultation. Call (435) 222-5869 or use our online contact form.