Contested Adoption Law


Adoption Attorney In Southern Utah

At Ruesch & Reeve, PLLC, our Utah adoption attorneys work with couples desiring to adopt. The law office of Ruesch & Reeve is helping couples build their families and bring their dreams to fruition through adoption. If you are considering adoption in the state of Utah, particularly a private or interstate adoption, one of the most important first steps is consulting with an experienced Utah adoption law attorney.

When adopting in Utah, the rule of consent from biological parents is legally applicable. At Ruesch & Reeve we want to help you legally follow all state guidelines.

Except for foster care adoptions, most adoptions in the state of Utah go through district court.  Consents must be obtained from the applicable birth parents, home studies and background checks that need to be completed, and other issues addressed between the parties.  All necessary documents must be filed with the Court after filing a Petition for Adoption.

We here at Ruesch & Reeve have helped many families achieve their adoption goals.  

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can the Birth Mother’s Consent Become Irrevocable?

Yes, once the birth mother of the adoptive child signs the legal adoption papers, her consent is immediately applied and becomes irrevocable.

Do I Have to be Married to Adopt in Utah?

In short answer, no. You do not have to be married, but “unmarried, cohabiting couples” may not adopt in UT. However, individual adoption agencies have different marital guidelines. 

Who Must Consent to the Adoption?

In Utah, the child’s mother must consent to the adoption. Along with a man who is legally recognized as the father of the child, A man who has been adjudicated to be the biological father of the child prior to the mother’s execution of consent to adoption, or a man who has filed a voluntary declaration of paternity prior to the mother’s execution of consent to the adoption. An unmarried biological father only if he strictly complies with requirements to develop a substantial relationship with the child, openly acknowledges his paternity, initiates paternity proceedings and provides support to the child, lasty a child who is at least 12 years old must consent unless he or she does not have the capacity to consent.

A general outline of steps we take to ensure your adoption is safe and legal:

  • A petition for adoption of the child is filed with the court
  • Attorney develops a plan to terminate the parental rights of all birth or legal parents of the child
  • Birth father signs a Consent to Adoption or Denial of Paternity according to state law where the child will be born, or a check of the birth state’s paternity registry is made
  • Child is born
  • The birth mother signs a Consent to Adoption according to Utah law or state law where the child is born (usually between 24 hours or up to three days after birth)
  • The child is placed with adoptive parents and waiting period begins (six months in Utah)
  • Paperwork is filed with a court based on birth parent consents to adoption requesting the court order official temporary custody of the child be with adoptive parents pending finalization of the adoption
  • Post-placement supervisory visits are made to the adoptive family, and subsequent reports are prepared
  • Attorney gathers or prepares all documents required by law for the finalization of the adoption
  • A hearing date is set for “finalization”
  • Adoptive parents appear in court with the child and their attorney for the official adoption day
  • Judge signs adoption order