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Utah Adoption Questions & Answers
3 Answers | Asked in Family Law and Adoption for Utah on
Q: Can I adopt my sisters unborn baby?

My sister recently found out she is pregnant and and feels as though she wouldn't be able to handle anymore children. She already has kids but doesn't want anymore. She has asked me and my husband to adopt. My sister is unmarried and says the father doesn't want the baby either.... Read more »

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Feb 28, 2022

The short answer is "yes." The long answer is "you need an attorney."

Even though the father "doesn't want the baby," his rights will have to be terminated. He can consent to terminating his rights, but there will need to be an action to do so filed when...
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2 Answers | Asked in Divorce, Family Law, Immigration Law and Adoption for Utah on
Q: Is there a US citizen requirement for adopting a stepchild?

I am a non-US citizen. My partner is an American biological father. His daughter is 6. Can I adopt his daughter after marrying him?

Jason F. Barnes
Jason F. Barnes answered on Sep 21, 2021

Great question. We have some answers. Give us a call 801-546-3874 and ask to speak with Attorney Jason Barnes.

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2 Answers | Asked in Native American Law, Family Law and Adoption for Utah on
Q: My son wants his stepfather to adopt him, but my son and I are Native American. Can we still file for ourselves in Utah?

My son and I are both members of a federally recognized tribe. We do not live on the reservation. I assume ICWA will apply, but as neither biological father or step father are Native American, I am sure my tribe would consent. Bio father has not contacted my son or paid child support in over 5... Read more »

Jason F. Barnes
Jason F. Barnes answered on Jul 8, 2021

Hello. ICWA is applicable and very complicated when it comes to adoption cases, and the forms on the court's website are for basic adoptions. Honestly, I am surprised that the court's website has adoption forms at all, as there are many varieties of adoption cases and overall they are... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Adoption and Family Law for Utah on
Q: Paternity Mess

I have a rather unusual problem. I live in Utah and am the disconnected part of a polyamorous triad wherein the other two partners happened to get married before they explored polyamory. They happily have a child together and we all have been happy for about five years. Now I am having a child with... Read more »

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Jun 14, 2021

You are correct that you should list yourself as the father on the birth certificate. You need to voluntarily relinquish your parental rights and allow the husband to adopt the child. You need to understand that this will forever extinguish any legal rights you would have with the child (although... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Adoption, Criminal Law and Family Law for Utah on
Q: I am on a Child Abuse Registry for a chronic offense but never criminally charged what to do to remove name?

Is there a chance to remove my name from DCFS database, and somewhere down the line to adopt my cousins in case they get put into fostercare? i'm willing to undergo any psychological testing or other proof to show i am not a danger.

Lane Wood
Lane Wood answered on Dec 7, 2020

My reading of the statute is that being on the child abuse registry alone does not prevent you from adopting a child. I don't know the process, if any, for removing oneself from the child abuse registry, but I have successfully completed an adoption for an individual who was on the registry.... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Divorce, Family Law, Adoption and Child Custody for Utah on
Q: Can my ex's sister, temporary guardian of our 16 month old daughter, legally restrict my visitation?

She has had our daughter temporarily for 7 months while we have fallen on hard times. We signed over temporary guardianship. He and I broke up and he's now at ODYSSEY house trying to get into the parent program with our daughter. Once she is there, the program will determine visitation. In the... Read more »

Lane Wood
Lane Wood answered on Feb 16, 2020

I’m sorry that you are going through these problems with your daughter. Any time you are dealing with custody issues, I suggest having an attorney. The initial decision is crucial and you want to make sure it is done right. It is always harder to change down the road.

Generally speaking,...
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1 Answer | Asked in Adoption for Utah on
Q: On a private adoption in Utah, can I accomplish this without a lawyer? I just cannot simply afford one.

Background. We met a couple back in 2012 and the woman was about 6 months pregnant. The couple was not ready to start a family. They were married (since divorced). Anyway they asked us to adopt the unborn child. We were advised by Hill Afb legal to get a written statement from the couple giving up... Read more »

Jason F. Barnes
Jason F. Barnes answered on Oct 14, 2019

You are welcome to contact our office and we can discuss this further. 801-546-3874.

1 Answer | Asked in Adoption, Child Custody and Family Law for Utah on
Q: Can I get 50/50 custody or any legal rights of my non biological son?

I got with my ex when she was pregnant, found out she cheated on me at least twice since he was born. I left two months before his third birthday in April 2017, had him every other weekend until October 2018 when I offered to pay half his daycare to get 50/50 custody and have had him every other... Read more »

Brian Craig
Brian Craig answered on Jul 5, 2019

A person other than a biological parent, such as a grandparent or a step-parent, may petition the court for custody and visitation of a child in Utah. But there must be special circumstances for the court to award custody and visitation to a person who is not a parent.

Utah Code Ann. sec....
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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Adoption for Utah on
Q: I became pregnant through sexual assault, can I have the fathers parental rights terminated? Where do I terminate?

The assault was in in Kansas, to my knowledge the father is in Montana and I live in alberta. I would like to adobt out to my sister in Utah.

Jason F. Barnes
Jason F. Barnes answered on Apr 2, 2019

What you are asking is highly complex and the correct answer is fact dependent. Please have your sister contact our office so we can discuss the same. Phone #801-546-3874.

1 Answer | Asked in Adoption for Utah on
Q: Are siblings required to be adopted together?
Jason F. Barnes
Jason F. Barnes answered on Jul 5, 2018

The quick answer is no, but if you are talking about foster care adoptions, the DCFS will give preference to those who are willing to do so, for obvious reasons. If you would like to further discuss, please call our office at 801-546-3874.

1 Answer | Asked in Adoption for Utah on
Q: I am over 18 years old and I want to now if my step dad can adopt me?
Jason F. Barnes
Jason F. Barnes answered on Apr 4, 2018


1 Answer | Asked in Adoption for Utah on
Q: Husband previously married and raised ex's daughter as his own. Can he still adopt even though married to others now?

Mother doesn't know father of child. Married my now husband when child was very young and he raised child as his own. They divorced when she was about 5 but he continues to raise her by paying non-mandated child support and has custody every weekend. None of this is legally mandated as they... Read more »

Jason F. Barnes
Jason F. Barnes answered on Mar 23, 2018

Yes, there is a chance that he could adopt her. Give us a call so we can discuss this in detail and more fully determine the answer to your question.

PH: 801-546-3874

1 Answer | Asked in Adoption for Utah on
Q: How do I go about adopting a young man who I have been guardian of for twelve of his thirteen years?

When the young man first came into my life, his mother had been caring for him. Soon after, the mother signed her parental rights over to the father. The father lives here in Utah, and has only seen him four or fives times in twelve years with no support. The mother now lives in New Mexico. She has... Read more »

Jason F. Barnes
Jason F. Barnes answered on Feb 26, 2018

Great questions, but in order to answer your questions, there are a lot of personal questions I need to ask you, which I am sure you don't want out in the open. Please call our office at 801-546-3874 and ask for myself, Jason Barnes.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Adoption for Utah on
Q: My child’s father is willing to sign his rights over. He is incarcerated what is my next step?

My husband wants to adopt him and has been in his life since he was 5 months old. I just need to know what paper work I need to file for relinquishment of rights

Paul Waldron
Paul Waldron answered on Jan 31, 2018

Normally the relinquishment of rights is part of the paperwork that goes along with proceeding with an adoption. It is best to consult with and retain the assistance of an attorney that deals with stepparent adoptions to assist you in getting all the necessary paperwork to begin and complete your... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Adoption, Child Custody and Family Law for Utah on
Q: What is the process for a step parent to adopt the child of his/her spouse?

My boyfriend and I are thinking about getting married. He wants to adopt my child, who's 4. I'm not sure of who his biological father is. I registered him as a single mother. Only me is on the birth certificate. How soon after we get married can we start the process and what is the process for that?

Jason F. Barnes
Jason F. Barnes answered on Aug 8, 2017

To answer your first question, you can start the adoption process now. However, please understand that 78B-6-136.5 states:

(2)(a) If the prospective adoptive parent is the spouse of the pre-existing parent, a final decree of adoption may not be entered until the child has lived in the home...
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1 Answer | Asked in Adoption for Utah on
Q: My wife (and her ex-husband) adopted 2 children from Vietnam in 1999. Do they need to be "re-adopted" into the U.S.?

They filled out the adoption papers and had everything signed when they left Vietnam but never officially re-adopted the kids. Now that they are 18 and wanting to apply for college they show up as "non-citizens" even though they both have birth certificates and social security numbers.

Jason F. Barnes
Jason F. Barnes answered on Jul 27, 2017

There are a lot of questions be asked, so if you want to call our office, we can direct you.

1 Answer | Asked in Adoption for Utah on
Q: adoption

I am a lawful permanent resident and my son is not my husband's biological son, I would like for my husband to adopt my son here in the US, I have the legal custody of my son is that possible, without the biological father consent ?

Jason F. Barnes
Jason F. Barnes answered on Jun 12, 2017

Your question, although seemingly simple, is very complicated and requires a lot more facts and analysis. If you would like, I would be happy to speak with you by phone if you would like to call my assistant and schedule up a phone consultation, or you can come and meet with me. The consult... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Adoption, Child Custody and Family Law for Utah on
Q: Due to health issues now i have joint custody with my parents how do I give them full? Do I have to go to court? Utah

Father of child in jail no custodial rights. In jail in another state for abuse of child and attempt murder of mother. Never married

Paul Waldron
Paul Waldron answered on Mar 5, 2017

This is a very difficult question that is very fact specific. You need to seek the advice of a lawyer to discuss the particular facts of your situation, as it may not be necessary or in you or your child's best interest for you to have your parents have "full custody" in order for... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Adoption and Family Law for Utah on
Q: Will my son have to pay back any medicaid/welfare payments owed to Utah if his son is adopted by his stepdad

The government just took his income tax return to pay back child support but he wants to know if he will still have to pay back the state of Utah for any welfare received by his sons mom for him. He is literally kept in poverty with all the child support he has to pay. He can not even afford to pay... Read more »

Tristan Kenyon Schultz
Tristan Kenyon Schultz answered on Jan 31, 2017

if your son cannot reasonably afford the support, he should seek a modification of child support (presumably in Utah). Adoption does not normally transfer liability to others, but comingling ownership of assets (this can include tax returns listed as a dependent) can be levied for support payments.

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2 Answers | Asked in Adoption and Family Law for Utah on
Q: Will it be easy to have my husband adopt my kids?

I have 3 kids from 2 different father's. My teenage daughters are from a dad who doesn't pay child support and lives in Kansas. He has not had any communication with them for 5 years since he got remarried. And my son who is 8, his father is incarcerated. Does my situation require a... Read more »

Brian K Jackson
Brian K Jackson answered on Nov 21, 2016

There are a lot of hoops you have to jump through with adoption and need the right paperwork. You first have to terminate the rights of the father and then you have to go through the procedure and requirements necessary to qualify for an adoption.

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