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Family Law and Adoption: What Prospective Parents Should Know

By Robert L. Froerer on June 13, 2016

A couple discussing issues with a lawyerThere are many children out there in need of a good home. This is why so many people consider adoption as a way of building a loving family. Yet the process can be a somewhat challenging one, particularly if you have no experience or knowledge of what the adoption process entails.

The lawyers of Froerer & Miles have helped countless clients in the greater Ogden with their adoption questions. We are experts in family law, and can guide you through the adoption process. Let's briefly look at some basic concerns when it comes to adopting in the state of Utah.

Who Can Adopt a Child in the State of Utah

Any adult in Utah can, by law, adopt, though it's imperative that he or she have the consent of their spouse if they are married. In a number cases, a single person who is cohabitating and involved in a sexual relationship is typically not permitted to adopt. This law is in place to consider the "most beneficial family structure" for a child. There may be exceptions, however, depending on certain circumstances, so there is some flexibility.

Age and Adoption in the State of Utah

The person adopting the child must be at least 10 years older than the child that is going to be adopted. Even with couples adopting a child, the younger member of the couple needs to be at least 10 years older than the adoptee.

Consent in Adoptions

In addition to the spouse of the person adopting rendering consent to the adoption, it's important for the child being adopted to consent as well. Children who are at least 12 years old and have the mental capacity to consent will be required to do so.

In addition, the adoptee's non-custodial parent or court-appointed guardian may be required to give consent for the adoption.

Motion to Intervene in an Adoption

In some cases, a non-custodial parent or court-appointed guardian may file a motion to intervene in order to challenge the adoption. This can be done on the basis of various grounds, often with the perceived best interests of a child in mind.

This can pose a roadblock to some people looking to adopt, or in some cases may be a means of protecting the child from a harmful environment or situation. In such cases, the court will consider such motion and what would be the child's best interests.

Filing the Proper Documents and Adoptions Hearings

If there is consent all around and no motions to intervene in the adoption, the process continues in a relatively simple and straightforward manner. The necessary paperwork is filed. An adoption hearing is then held in which the parent will answer the judge's questions and fill out any other necessary documentation.

How Family Law Attorneys Can Help

Before attempting to adopt a child on your own, it's often best to consult with a adoption attorney or other legal experts who are well-versed in matters involving family law. That statutes in place in the state of Utah can be confusing or complex, so having a skilled lawyer on your side can help you avoid setbacks and understand the process with each step you take.

Contact the Lawyers of Froerer & Miles

To learn more about adoption laws and other matters related to family law, be sure to contact our team of attorneys today. The team at Froerer & Miles will work with you to help you in the process of starting a family.

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