Adoption is a big step; introducing someone new to your family is a big responsibility. At Ruesch and Reeve Legal, we aim to answer some of the important questions related to adoption in Utah. Utah adoption requirements must be met before a hopeful adoptive parent can adopt a child.

Your adoption requirements will vary depending on which type you choose and who you work with as an adoption professional. The following questions are most commonly asked about adopting a Utah child.

Should I be married to adopt in Utah?

No. Utah allows single individuals to adopt. However, Utah does not allow cohabiting, unmarried couples to adopt.

If you are married, you will need to petition for adoption with your spouse’s consent.

Every adoption professional may have their own set of adoption qualifications about potential adoptive parents’ marital status and adoption eligibility. American Adoptions requires that couples be married at least two years before they begin the adoption process. However, exceptions can be made.

What age do I need to be in Utah to adopt? Is there a minimum age for adoption?

Adoptive parents must not be less than ten years old than the child they are being adopted. Only one spouse is required to meet this requirement if you are married. Utah does not have an upper adoption in Utah age limit.

You must be 21 years old to adopt through private adoption agencies or foster care. However, Utah adoption professionals may have other requirements. American Adoptions’ needs require that adoptive parents are between 22- 50 years of age, though some exceptions have been made.

Adoption in Utah
Adoption in Utah

What are the requirements to adopt a Utah child? How difficult is it to adopt a child in Utah?

Utah’s legal requirements for adoption are pretty straightforward. There are additional requirements for adopting at this stage of your adoption journey that you may not have considered. These requirements for adoption will include:

Health Requirements to Be Adopted in UT

You will need to provide current health statements for your home study. This is done to ensure that you are physically and mentally fit enough to adopt a child in this stage of your life.

Requirements for Financial Adoption in UT

Adoptive families must also submit current financial statements for home studies. Potential adoptive families must be financially strong enough to provide for a child’s basic needs.

Emotional requirements for adopting a child in UT

It is difficult to determine your emotional readiness for adoption in Utah, but it is essential for Utah adopting children. These dynamic requirements are often a sign that your adoption will succeed in Utah. These are the emotional requirements for adopting:

  • Before you start your adoption journey, it is essential to talk with your spouse about your expectations and goals for adoption.
  • You can deal with any lingering grief you might have from infertility.
  • Let go of the expectations associated with having a biological baby so you can embrace your adoption dream.
  • Learn how to maintain relationships with your child’s biological family.
  • Prepare emotionally for Utah adoption and raising adopted children.

Foster care adoption in Utah is also known as foster-to-adopt or public adoption. It is when a person or family adopts a child in foster care. This type of adoption involves the child as the client. Most of the services are directed at the child. The state will first look for the child’s skin before placing them in foster care. If there is no kin available, the state will search for a family willing to foster the child and return them to their birth family. The child will remain in foster care until an individual or family adopts the child.

Many children have lost their parental rights and are now legally free to adopt. They are usually over nine years old, part of a sibling or have a disability. These children have suffered trauma and abuse and were removed from their families. Adoption in Utah assistance is available for these children to help heal trauma. The aid includes a Medicaid card for children up to 18, a monthly maintenance payment and reimbursement for any adoption fees. 

This amount can be up to $2,000, but it varies from one state to the next. The amount of the monthly maintenance payment is determined by the child’s financial needs and not the family’s income. It’s intended to pay for special needs the child may have due to the abuse or neglect suffered. It also depends on the child’s current needs.

Adoption of young children is possible, but most often, they are adopted by their foster families. If you’re interested in adopting a child younger than nine years old, you will need to become a foster parent before being adopted. You would also be required to support a reunification program with the biological parents. You may need to place several children before a child becomes available for adoption.

Children can be adopted from birth up to 21 years old. Foster care adoption is available free of charge through a state-provided home study. Some classes provide training about the foster care system and the behavior and needs of children who have experienced trauma. The family is not charged for these classes.

Private Infant Adoption

An adoption agency or attorney can help you navigate private infant adoption. Birth parents use these services to place their children for adoption. Families or individuals can also use these services to adopt a child. Because adoptive parents provide the funds for adoption, they are often the agency’s main clients. Adoptive parents are responsible for financing the adoption in Utah. Finances can include but are not limited to:

  • Agent fees
  • Counseling for the birth parents costs
  • Insurance does not cover medical care
  • Completion Homestudy
  • Training costs
  • Living expenses for the birth parents

A few states have laws that limit the number of expenses an adoptive couple can pay. Utah allows the birth father to sign a relinquishment before the baby is born, but the biological mother must wait until the child is four hours old to sign.

Adoptive parents may need the training to learn how the adoption process works. This includes navigating open and closed adoptions, how to communicate with adoptees, and how to handle questions. This type of adoption allows birth parents to choose the family to adopt their child. Waiting times can vary significantly due to this. The amount of contact between birth parents and adopting family is usually arranged before the birth. This can range from little connection to full involvement in the life of the adoptive child and family.

Private infant adoptions can take children as young as newborns up to the age of four. Private adoptions of older children are not possible by private adoption in Utah agencies and attorneys. This is because they cannot afford to support the child and their family. This adoption is the most costly, around $12k to $50k.

Adoption in Utah
Adoption in Utah

International Adoption

International adoption is similar to private infant adoption but requires additional paperwork. International adoptions are usually done through agencies that work with countries’ governments. Every country has different requirements, so not all families can adopt. Some countries place only healthy infants with childless partners. Others don’t allow couples over the age of 18 or require that you be married for a specific length of time. It would be best if you researched all options available to you.

Many families who want to adopt a child through a closed adoption opt for international adoption because they can avoid their birth parents. It is important to remember that many international adoptions have allowed their children to connect with their birth families via social media and other avenues. 

Research shows that children benefit from some degree of openness. Families should be open to the possibility that their children will want to connect with their past. Some families may choose international adoption in Utah because they feel that children from other countries are not subject to abuse or neglect.

Although many children waiting for adoption have parents who loved and cared about them but died from natural or social causes due to illness or other reasons, every country has the same social problems as America. International adoption may include children from neglectful and abusive situations.

Many international children spend time in orphanages before being adopted. Families should be aware of this early care’s impact on the children after they leave the orphanage. The quality of care provided by orphanages can significantly impact the child’s life.

Internationally, children can be adopted at a range of ages from 6 months to 16. The government will not approve a visa application for a US child under 16 years old. The waiting period varies between countries and programs. Waiting times for children younger than 16 years old are usually longer. This type of adoption costs between $12k and $ 45k

In a nutshell

Probably by now, you would have understood a simple overview on adoption in Utah, and Ruesch and Reeve Legal have tried their best to make you aware of its importance. If you still have any questions or are confused about it, our experts will be happy to help you clear any doubts.