Single Parent Adoptions


Single-Parent Adoption Attorney In Southern Utah

At Ruesch & Reeve, PLLC, our Utah adoption attorneys work with individuals desiring to adopt. Every hopeful adoptive individual must work with an adoption attorney to ensure that their adoption is completed legally and correctly according to Utah adoption laws.

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.  There are steps taken that must be followed in order to formalize and legalize any adoption. Our adoption attorneys will guide you through every step, helping you understand your rights and responsibilities.

Although adoption is an incredibly rewarding experience, it can also be confusing, frustrating, and emotional.  Our focus is to minimize your stress.  We make sure all legal issues are covered to keep the adoption moving along as smoothly as possible so you can direct your attention to preparing your “forever home.”

Utah, like all states, requires adopting parents to adhere to respective state rules and guidelines.  Through the Utah Adoption Act,  adoptions are closely regulated to include who can adopt, who can be adopted, and the legal requirements involving both situations and more.  These rules and laws are in place to ensure the best interests of the child remain the primary focus.  Whether you are in a traditional marriage, same-sex marriage, a step-parent, or a single parent who wants to adopt, we can help with the often-complicated adoption process.

Except for foster care adoptions, most adoptions in the state of Utah go through the 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.  Usually, six months after a family takes custody of the child, a finalization hearing is scheduled with the judge.  During that hearing, the new parents and judge will sign documents and a Decree of Adoption will be issued. Finally, your lawyer will then help you begin the process of obtaining a new birth certificate and social security card for your child.

Most domestic adoptions of a child under age 18 have two distinct phases.  First, the rights of the birth parents and/or legal parents must be addressed, and second, documentation required by law to allow a judge to “finalize” (or complete) an adoption must be gathered and/or prepared. Once these two phases are completed, a judge will sign an adoption order that legally creates a relationship between the child and the new parent or parents.

Below is a general outline of steps we take to make sure your adoption 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

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

FAQs About Single Parent Adoptions

Q: What are the laws and qualifications for adopting a child in Utah?

A: Adoptive parents must be at least 10 years older than the child being adopted. A child who’s at least 12 years old and any adults must consent to adoption, if they have the mental capacity to consent.

Q: Who can adopt?

A: A single person who is cohabitating and involved in a sexual relationship without being married may not adopt. 

Q: Can a felon adopt a child in Utah?

A: Having been convicted of a felony does not mean that you’ll be automatically prevented from adopting in Utah. The court and your social worker will examine your individual case and decide whether or not to approve you for an adoption based on your specific circumstances. To get to this stage, you’ll first need to apply through an adoption agency, the team at Ruesch & Reeve can help you with this.