A Change to Utah’s Adoption Law (Part 1 of 5)

by Norris Law Group on March 10, 2014

A father’s rights to his child are supposed to be fundamental–unless you are an unmarried father living outside the state of Utah and find out your child has been given up for adoption in Utah.21719002_s

In this five-part series, we will discuss recent changes to Utah’s adoption laws which work against single fathers whose children have been adopted in Utah without their knowledge or consent.

A father with a paternity case filed or determined outside of Utah does not have certain rights inside Utah. These rights include:

  • to consent (or refuse to consent) to the adoption of his child;
  • custody, control, or visitation of the child; or
  • even receive notice of any judicial proceeding related to the adoption of the child.

Anytime a man has sexual relations with a woman, Utah considers him to be put on notice that a child could result. If the father does not take the necessary steps to protect his rights to his child in Utah, he is most likely will lose all rights to that child. These steps include filing a paternity case in a Utah district court.

An opinion by the Utah Supreme Court changes unmarried, biological father’s duties to prevent adoption of their children. The case of In re Baby B deals with a man and woman who conceived a child in Colorado. The woman was originally from Utah and wanted to put the child up for adoption after birth. The man wanted to raise the child, even if it meant raising the child alone. The woman made repeated trips to Utah during the pregnancy, with her final visit in February 2008. During this trip she looked at doctors, midwives, hospitals, and other necessities for child birth. Prior to the trip, the woman worked with LDS Family Services trying to arrange an adoption for her unborn child.

We will further examine this case throughout this five-part series.

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

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