Adoption is one of many different family-building options that you can choose from. Although it’s a great option, the Utah newborn adoption process isn’t the right option for every family. Before beginning the Utah child adoption process, couples must be united in their adoption goals and expectations. If you struggled with infertility, you’ll need to first deal with any lingering grief before adopting a child in Utah and release the dream of having a biological child so that you can begin your new dream of adoption.
Which Utah Adoption Professional is Right for You?
If you’ve concluded that you’re ready to pursue adoption, you’ll next need to decide which adoption professional you want to complete you adoption in Utah. First, consider the type of Utah adoption you want to complete. The adoption requirements for each type of child adoption Utah will be different, so you may wish to take those requirements into consideration. The different types of adoption in UT include:
Domestic Infant Adoption
For those who want to adopt an infant in Utah, a domestic adoption agency like American Adoptions can help you complete the process. To receive all of the services required to adopt a child in Utah, it’s recommended that you work with a national adoption agency rather than a smaller local agency which, unlike national agencies, will usually be limited to working with birth and adoptive parents within the immediate area of Utah.
Foster Care Adoption
Some hopeful adoptive families are flexible about the age and needs of the child they intend to adopt in UT. In these cases, a foster care adoption can be a great option. There are an estimated 2,100 to 2,600 children in state custody in Utah, and 13 to 18 percent of those children will become eligible for adoption. Many of those children are part of sibling group, are older, or have additional needs.
Prospective adoptive families who are comfortable without much knowledge of a child’s background may consider an international adoption in UT. Depending on the country you adopt a child from and the agency you work with, the requirements, costs and restrictions of adopting a child internationally will vary.
Beginning the Process of Adoption in UT
Once you’ve determined which type of Utah adoption professional you want to work with, and the agency that will complete your adoption in UT, you’re ready to begin the adoption process.
Adoptive families who are working with American Adoptions will fill out their Adoption Planning Questionnaire (APQ) at this stage, along with creating an adoption profile, completing their Utah adoption home study and more. The completion of these steps will approve you to adopt in Utah with the agency as well as on a state and federal level. After this approval, your adoption profile is ready to be shown to expectant mothers who are looking to find adoptive parents in Utah and across the U.S.
Finding a UT Adoption Opportunity with Expectant Parents
Once your adoption profile becomes active, it can take a few weeks or a few months for an expectant parent to choose you for an adoption opportunity, but 75 percent of families who adopt a child with American Adoptions are placed with a child within 1 to 12 months. This adoption wait time varies for several reasons, including your openness to a wide range of adoption opportunities in your APQ and the personal preferences of each expectant mother searching for adoptive parents.
Finalizing the Adoption in Utah
Before adoption finalization can occur, the biological parents of the child must first offer their consent to the adoption. Consent may be given no sooner than 24 hours after the birth of their child, and that consent must be signed before a judge or a person from a licensed child-placing agency. In the state of Utah, consent is not revocable once signed. American Adoptions secures legal representation for both birth and adoptive families to make sure that everyone fully understands the legal steps of adoption in UT before moving forward.
If you work with a national adoption agency like American Adoptions, you may adopt a child from outside of Utah. If that is the case for you, Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC) clearances will need to be granted before you can go home to Utah with your baby. Whenever children are adopted across state borders, the ICPC process occurs to ensure that those children are going to safe homes, so this step is also required for adoptive families who live outside of UT and adopt a child from Utah. However, if you live in and adopt a child in Utah, ICPC is not needed.
After returning to Utah with your child, you’ll complete your post-placement home study requirements. Several months after you’ve completed your post-placement study, your adoption finalization hearing is scheduled to occur in your local district court, according to Utah adoption jurisdiction laws. The adoption finalization hearing is where you’ll be granted your legal parental rights as well as the final decree of adoption, which legally completes the Utah adoption process.
Adoptions in Utah are an ongoing journey for birth families, adoptive families, and adoptees.
Whenever possible, American Adoptions encourages open adoptions. Studies have shown that increased openness in adoptions is beneficial for birth and adoptive parents, but most of all, for adoptees.
With open adoptions in Utah, birth and adoptive families can stay in touch throughout their lifetimes. There’s no set way to have an open adoption, so you can have the post-adoption relationship that makes everyone feel loved, comfortable and fulfilled. Some birth parents want direct contact through phone calls, emails and in-person visits; others wish to have indirect contact with the adoptive family through a semi-open adoption. Your adoption specialist will detail a prospective birth mother’s wishes when you receive an adoption opportunity.
Raising a child is expensive: about $245,000 until age 18, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Since children obviously can’t support themselves, parents are responsible for providing clothing, shoes, food, school supplies, medical care, toys, books, transportation, music lessons, sports gear, driver’s ed, college tuition… the list goes on and on. Adoption is a joyful occasion, but if you’re thinking about adopting a child in Utah, you should be prepared to undertake some major expenses.
How Much Money is an Adoption?
Unfortunately, there isn’t a single, clear-cut answer to this question. The cost of adoption can vary widely depending on the type of adoption you’re interested in, the age of the child or infant, and other factors.
According to the Independent Adoption Center (IAC), a non-profit organization which has placed more than 4,000 infants since 1982, the price of adoption can range anywhere from free to $50,000 on average. The Adoption Exchange in Salt Lake City estimates slightly different numbers, writing that private adoptions generally range from $5,000 to $40,000.
IAC notes that county-based fostering or adoption programs are generally less expensive – usually less than $1,000 – but seldom place babies, focusing instead on older children. If you and your spouse have your hearts set on welcoming an infant into your home, these programs are probably not the ideal place to start. If you want to adopt a baby through a non-profit organization, you can typically expect costs in the range of $10,000 to $25,000, according to the IAC.
Adoptive mothers and fathers must also remember that there can be various fees associated with other components of the adoption process. For instance, Utah Adoption Specialists in Provo will charge $700 for a domestic home study and $150 (per visit) for post-placement supervision, according to their website.
That being said, adoption agencies do include various services in the adoption fee. For example, Heart to Heart Adoptions in Sandy says their adoption fee ranges from $24,000 to $36,000. This covers, among other services, the initial application, education and support, and paternity searches/notification to birth fathers. The average adoption fee at Heart and Soul Adoptions in Centerville ranges from $35,000 to $60,000, according to their website. This includes medical expenses and counseling for the birth mother (which is required by state law), but excludes home studies and post-placement services.
Adoptive parents must demonstrate that they have sufficient financial resources to take good care of a growing child. However, some agencies offer financial assistance in the form of a subsidy. When you contact an agency, ask about the rules and requirements for getting financial assistance. You will need to apply for assistance through a social worker. The application will then be reviewed by the Department of Human Services (DHS). The Utah Division of Child and Family Services (DCFS), which is part of the DHS, has numerous financial aid resources for adoptive parents.
Things You Need to Know About the Adoption Process in Utah
Child adoption in Utah can be done in different ways; it can be done by a step-parent, foster parent, relatives, single people, or a married couple. Adoption and foster care can also be done from care or through international adoptions. The most common adoptions in the United States are step-parent adoptions, where a custodial parent remarries and the non-custodial parent renounces their parental rights so a stepfather or stepmother can proceed to adopt a child.
There are different adoption options when adopting children in Utah. Adoption can usually be done through:
• state agencies, such as the Utah Department of Human Sеrviсеѕ
• a nаtiоnаl рrоgrаm
• privately through a private placement
• agency adoptions through private adoption agencies.
Full adoption of a child across state lines or international adoptions must follow adoption laws stated in the Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children (ICPC). If adoption is done through a private adoption agency, they usually have their adoption attorney who can provide adoption services to help you through the adoption process in court.
If you’re planning to start a family through a Utah adoption (especially if you’re planning to go for a private adoption), it is best to seek the legal assistance of Utah adoption lawyer to help you in processing your adoption records and paperwork. While it is relatively easy to adopt in Utah, it is still ideal to hire adoption attorneys who can help you understand the different adoption laws, and help you avoid high adoption costs.
Who is Eligible to Adopt in Utah?
If you’re looking to adopt and care for an adopted child, welcoming them into a nurturing and loving family as adoptive parents is first and foremost the most important qualification. Aside from these, you must also qualify under the following categories when adopting a child:
• Under Utah adoption law, adoptable children can’t be adopted by individuals who are cohabiting in a relationship that’s not a legally binding marriage under state laws in Utah.
• The adoptive parent and child must live under the same roof for at least six months.
• If you’re a stepparent, to adopt, you must be married to the legal parent or birth parent of the child and have lived with them for at least one year. However, if the court finds a good cause for the adoptive parent to adopt the child at an earlier time, they may issue a court order allowing for adoption.
• Married adults who are planning to adopt children must have the consent of their spouse before they can adopt.
• Single adults can also adopt in Utah. However, if they’re unmarried but cohabits with another individual, they’re not eligible to adopt.
Before a child can be placed for adoption and eligible for adoption, there should be a termination of parental rights of their biological parents. Birth parents must first give up their legal rights as parents either unwillingly or willingly. Adoptees or children for adoption who are 12 years old and above must also give their legal consent to start the adoption process.
How Utah Family Law Attorney Can Help
If you are looking into being an adoptive family, seeking help from an adoption lawyer is beneficial. The legal process of adopting a child can be overwhelming, but Utah family law attorneys can help. Every child deserves to have lifelong parents who can give them the love and care they need. Contact us today for a free consultation adoption information.
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