78B-6-102.Legislative intent and findings -- Best interest of child -- Interests of each party. (1) It is the intent and desire of the Legislature that in every adoption the best interest of the child should govern and be of foremost concern in the court's determination. (2) The court shall make a specific finding regarding the best interest of the child, taking into consideration information provided to the court pursuant to the requirements of this chapter relating to the health, safety, and welfare of the child and the moral climate of the potential adoptive placement. (3) The Legislature finds that the rights and interests of all parties affected by an adoption proceeding must be considered and balanced in determining what constitutional protections and processes are necessary and appropriate. (4) The Legislature specifically finds that it is not in a child's best interest to be adopted by a person or persons who are cohabiting in a relationship that is not a legally valid and binding marriage under the laws of this state. Nothing in this section limits or prohibits the court's placement of a child with a single adult who is not cohabiting as defined in this part. (5) The Legislature also finds that: (a) the state has a compelling interest in providing stable and permanent homes for adoptive children in a prompt manner, in preventing the disruption of adoptive placements, and in holding parents accountable for meeting the needs of children; (b) an unmarried mother, faced with the responsibility of making crucial decisions about the future of a newborn child, is entitled to privacy, and has the right to make timely and appropriate decisions regarding her future and the future of the child, and is entitled to assurance regarding the permanence of an adoptive placement; (c) adoptive children have a right to permanence and stability in adoptive placements; (d) adoptive parents have a constitutionally protected liberty and privacy interest in retaining custody of an adopted child; (e) an unmarried biological father has an inchoate interest that acquires constitutional protection only when he demonstrates a timely and full commitment to the responsibilities of parenthood, both during pregnancy and upon the child's birth; and (f) the state has a compelling interest in requiring unmarried biological fathers to demonstrate commitment by providing appropriate medical care and financial support and by establishing legal paternity, in accordance with the requirements of this chapter. (6) (a) In enacting this chapter, the Legislature has prescribed the conditions for determining whether an unmarried biological father's action is sufficiently prompt and substantial to require constitutional protection. (b) If an unmarried biological father fails to grasp the opportunities to establish a relationship with his child that are available to him, his biological parental interest may be lost entirely, or greatly diminished in constitutional significance by his failure to timely exercise it, or by his failure to strictly comply with the available legal steps to substantiate it. (c) A certain degree of finality is necessary in order to facilitate the state's compelling interest. The Legislature finds that the interests of the state, the mother, the child, and the adoptive parents described in this section outweigh the interest of an unmarried biological father who does not timely grasp the opportunity to establish and demonstrate a relationship with his child in accordance with the requirements of this chapter. (d) The Legislature finds no practical way to remove all risk of fraud ormisrepresentation in adoption proceedings, and has provided a method for absolute protection of an unmarried biological father's rights by compliance with the provisions of this chapter. In balancing the rights and interests of the state, and of all parties affected by fraud, specifically the child, the adoptive parents, and the unmarried biological father, the Legislature has determined that the unmarried biological father is in the best position to prevent or ameliorate the effects of fraud and that, therefore, the burden of fraud shall be borne by him. (e) An unmarried biological father has the primary responsibility to protect his rights. (f) An unmarried biological father is presumed to know that the child may be adopted without his consent unless he strictly complies with the provisions of this chapter, manifests a prompt and full commitment to his parental responsibilities, and establishes paternity. (7) The Legislature finds that an unmarried mother has a right of privacy with regard to her pregnancy and adoption plan, and therefore has no legal obligation to disclose the identity of an unmarried biological father prior to or during an adoption proceeding, and has no obligation to volunteer information to the court with respect to the father.
Renumbered and Amended by Chapter 3, 2008 General Session 78B-6-103.Definitions. As used in this part: (1) "Adoptee" means a person who has been legally adopted. (2) "Adoption" means the judicial act that: (a) creates the relationship of parent and child where it did not previously exist; and (b) except as provided in Subsection 78B-6-138(2), terminates the parental rights of any other person with respect to the child. (3) "Adoption service provider" means a: (a) child-placing agency; or (b) licensed counselor who has at least one year of experience providing professional social work services to: (i) adoptive parents; or (ii) birth parents. (4) "Adult" means a person who is 18 years of age or older. (5) "Adult adoptee" means an adoptee who is 18 years of age or older. (6) "Adult sibling" means a brother or sister of the adoptee, who is 18 years of age or older and whose birth mother or father is the same as that of the adoptee. (7) "Birth parent" means: (a) a biological mother; (b) a person whose paternity of a child is established; or (c) an alleged father who: (i) has been identified as the father of a child by the child's birth mother; and (ii) has not denied paternity. (8) "Bureau" means the Bureau of Vital Statistics within the Department of Health operating under Title 26, Chapter 2, Utah Vital Statistics Act. (9) "Child-placing agency" means an agency licensed to place children for adoption under Title 62A, Chapter 4a, Part 6, Child Placing. (10) "Cohabiting" means residing with another person and being involved in a sexual relationship with that person. (11) "Division" means the Division of Child and Family Services, within the Department of Human Services, created in Section 62A-4a-103. (12) "Extra-jurisdictional child-placing agency" means an agency licensed to place children for adoption by a district, territory, or state of the United States, other than Utah. (13) "Genetic and social history" means a comprehensive report, when obtainable, on an adoptee's birth parents, aunts, uncles, and grandparents, which contains the following information: (a) medical history; (b) health status; (c) cause of and age at death; (d) height, weight, and eye and hair color; (e) ethnic origins; (f) where appropriate, levels of education and professional achievement; and (g) religion, if any. (14) "Health history" means a comprehensive report of the adoptee's health status at the time of placement for adoption, and medical history, including neonatal, psychological,physiological, and medical care history. (15) "Identifying information" means the name and address of a pre-existing parent or adult adoptee, or other specific information which by itself or in reasonable conjunction with other information may be used to identify that person. (16) "Licensed counselor" means a person who is licensed by the state, or another state, district, or territory of the United States as a: (a) certified social worker; (b) clinical social worker; (c) psychologist; (d) marriage and family therapist; (e) professional counselor; or (f) an equivalent licensed professional of another state, district, or territory of the United States. (17) "Parent," for purposes of Section 78B-6-119, means any person described in Subsections 78B-6-120(1)(b) through (f) from whom consent for adoption or relinquishment for adoption is required under Sections 78B-6-120through 78B-6-122. (18) "Pre-existing parent" means: (a) a birth parent; or (b) a person who, before an adoption decree is entered, is, due to an earlier adoption decree, legally the parent of the child being adopted. (19) "Unmarried biological father" means a person who: (a) is the biological father of a child; and (b) was not married to the biological mother of the child described in Subsection (19)(a) at the time of the child's: (i) conception; or (ii) birth.
Amended by Chapter 237, 2010 General Session
78B-6-104.Limitations. (1) Sections 78B-6-143 through 78B-6-145 do not apply to adoptions by a stepparent whose spouse is the adoptee's parent. (2) Sections 78B-6-143 through 78B-6-145 apply only to adoptions of adoptees born in this state. Renumbered and Amended by Chapter 3, 2008 General Session
78B-6-144.Mutual-consent, voluntary adoption registry -- Procedures -- Fees. (1) The bureau shall establish a mutual-consent, voluntary adoption registry. (a) Adult adoptees and birth parents of adult adoptees, upon presentation of positive identification, may request identifying information from the bureau, in the form established by the bureau. A court of competent jurisdiction or a child-placing agency may accept that request from the adult adoptee or birth parent, in the form provided by the bureau, and transfer that request to the bureau. The adult adoptee or birth parent is responsible for notifying the bureau of any change in information contained in the request. (b) The bureau may only release identifying information to an adult adoptee or birth parent when it receives requests from both the adoptee and his birth parent. (c) After matching the request of an adult adoptee with that of at least one of his birth parents, the bureau shall notify both the adoptee and the birth parent that the requests have been matched, and disclose the identifying information to those parties. However, if that adult adoptee has a sibling of the same birth parent who is under the age of 18 years, and who was raised in the same family setting as the adult adoptee, the bureau shall not disclose the requested identifying information to that adult adoptee or his birth parent. (2) (a) Adult adoptees and adult siblings of adult adoptees, upon presentation of positive identification, may request identifying information from the bureau, in the form established by the bureau. A court of competent jurisdiction or a child-placing agency may accept that request from the adult adoptee or adult sibling, in the form provided by the bureau, and transfer that request to the bureau. The adult adoptee or adult sibling is responsible for notifying the bureau of any change in information contained in the request. (b) The bureau may only release identifying information to an adult adoptee or adult sibling when it receives requests from both the adoptee and his adult sibling. (c) After matching the request of an adult adoptee with that of his adult sibling, if the bureau has been provided with sufficient information to make that match, the bureau shall notify both the adoptee and the adult sibling that the requests have been matched, and disclose the identifying information to those parties. (3) Information registered with the bureau under this section is available only to a registered adult adoptee and his registered birth parent or registered adult sibling, under the terms of this section. (4) Information regarding a birth parent who has not registered a request with the bureau may not be disclosed. (5) The bureau may charge a fee for services provided under this section, limited to the cost of providing those services.