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Adopting a Minor Step-Child in Utah

by Norris Law Group on November 13, 2014

Adopting a Minor Step-Child in UtahAccording to a 2011 report by Pew Research, one in four American families has at least one step-relative. Among the nearly 3000 adults surveyed, 42% said they have at least one step relative, approximately 30% have a step or half sibling, 18% have a living step-parent, and 13% have at least one stepchild.

When adults divorce and then remarry, they often find themselves in the position of working to bring together blended families. In some cases, new step-parents may wish to adopt their step-child(ren) as their own. This can be done, but it involves some very specific court procedures.

In order to adopt a minor step-child in Utah, one must turn first to the Utah courts. First, the adoption must be legal within the bounds of the Utah Adoption Act. Prior to adopting a step-child, the following must be established:

  • “the adopting parent must be married to the adoptee’s custodial parent;
  • the adopting parent or the adopting parent’s spouse must be at least 10 years older than the adoptee; and
  • the adoptee must have lived with the custodial parent and the stepparent for one year (can be waived by the judge).”

These people must also consent to the adoption:

  • “the adopting parent’s spouse
  • the adoptee (if he or she is 12 or older.)
  • the adoptee’s non-custodial parent
  • the adoptee’s court-appointed guardian (if the order appointing the guardian expressly gives the guardian the right to consent to the child’s adoption.)”

Anyone objecting to the adoption has 30 days to intervene through the courts. More information is available on the Utah Court’s website. An experienced Utah family law attorney can prove invaluable during the adoption process.

Attorney Graham Norris and his associates at the Norris Law Group serve the residents of Utah County, UT and throughout Utah, Wyoming and Idaho. Contact them today at 801-932-1238 or online for a free consultation.

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