Step-Parent Adoptions

 

Adopting a Minor Stepchild in Hurricane, Utah

In order to adopt a stepchild:

  • the adopting parent must be married to the adoptee’s custodial parent;
  • the adopting parent or the adopting parent’s spouse must be at least 10 years older than the adoptee; and
  • the adoptee must have lived with the custodial parent and the stepparent for one year (can be waived by the judge).
  • the adopting parent cannot have a felony that would disqualify them from adopting (like a felony for child abuse) unless they meet specific criteria. For more information, see Utah Code Section 78B-6-117(5) and (6)

Procedures to adopt a stepchild, as long as everyone involved with the child consents to the adoption.

  • File the required documents.
  • Attend the hearing that is scheduled.
  • Answer the judge’s questions and sign the required documents at the hearing.
  • The judge will sign the Adoption Decree

Who Must Consent To The Adoption?

  • adopting parent’s spouse
  • the adoptee (The person being adopted, but only if they are 12 or older.)
  • the adoptee’s non-custodial parent
  • the adoptee’s court-appointed guardian (But only if the order appointing the guardian expressly gives the guardian the right to consent to the child’s adoption.)

What documents must be filed?

The forms are in the “Forms” section.

  • Civil Coversheet
  • Petition to Adopt a Minor Stepchild
  • Consent to Adoption and Waiver of Rights from everyone who must consent:
    • adopting parent’s spouse
    • the adoptee (the person being adopted, but only if they are 12 or older)
    • the adoptee’s non-custodial father, if the adoptee’s step-father is adopting
    • the adoptee’s birth mother, if the adoptee’s step-mother is adopting
    • the adoptee’s court-appointed guardian (but only if the order appointing the guardian expressly gives the guardian the right to consent to the child’s adoption)
  • Waiver of Rights from everyone who is has the right to notice and to intervene, but who does not have the right to consent:
    • the adoptee’s court-appointed guardian (if the order appointing the guardian does not expressly give the guardian the right to consent to the child’s adoption)
    • the adoptee’s custodian
    • the adoptee’s spouse
  • Proof of Service of Notice of Petition to Adopt and Notice of Rights
    • If a person who must consent does not or if a person who has the right to notice and the right to intervene does not waive those rights, they must be served with Notice of Petition to Adopt and Notice of Rights. File proof of that service with the court.
  • Report of Adoption
    • This report contains information about the adoptee and the adopting parent. The Petitioner should complete this form and give it to the judicial services representative, who will complete the certification section after the Adoption Decree is signed. The judicial services representative will send the form to the Office of Vital Records and Statistics. If the adoptee was born in Utah, the Office of Vital Records and Statistics will provide to the child’s parents information about how to obtain a new birth certificate. If the adoptee was born in a state other than Utah, the Office of Vital Records and Statistics will send the Report of Adoption to the proper registration authority in the state of birth. To obtain a new birth certificate from another state, the parents should contact that registration authority.
  • Criminal History Clearance. Choose one of these options. Either:
    • Obtain a report from the Federal Bureau of Investigation by following the link and requesting a criminal history report. When you receive the report, do not open the envelope until you take it to the court to file. This preserves the chain of custody of the reports and shows you have not tampered with the results.
      – or –
    • Obtain one report from the Utah Department of Human Services. An attorney or an adoption agency must request the report and submit it to the court for you.
  • Child Abuse History Report
  • Report of Paternity Search from the Office of Vital Records and Statistics (if you do not know the identity of the adoptee’s father)
    • If you do not know the identity of the stepchild’s father, you must obtain a Report of Paternity Search from the Office of Vital Records and Statistics and file it with the court. To get the report, the Office of Vital Records and Statistics requires that you first file the petition with the court, have a copy of the petition stamped with the filing date and certified by the judicial services representative as a true copy. Then you must personally deliver the date-stamped, certified copy of the petition and show government issued picture identification to the Adoption Specialist with the Office of Vital Records and Statistics. That office will run the paternity search and provide you with a Report of Paternity Search which you must then file with the court before the hearing. The Office of Vital Records and Statistics charges a fee for the report.
  • Certificate of Readiness
    • This form tells the court that everything is complete and ready for the hearing. If a person has to be served with Notice of Petition to Adopt and Notice of Rights, the Certificate of readiness cannot be filed until 30 days after the notice was served and the person has not filed a motion to intervene. The Petitioner must also first follow the requirements for a Default Judgment.
    • If a person intervenes, there will be a period of time for disclosure and discovery of information between the parties before the case goes to trial.

The team at Ruesch and Reeve is here to help you every step of the way in the process of Adopting a Stepchild. Give us a call today. 435-635-7737.

 

We worked with Ruesch and Reeve the entire staff was helpful and attentive to our needs. Ben really kept us grounded through a very personal and difficult adoption case. We can’t thank them enough. We also are confident they will be there for us, as this is an ever-changing situation. Thank you so much

Don L

Ruesch & Reeve have an outstanding legal practice. Their staff is professional, knowledgeable, and kind. Adoption raises lots of questions and they were always there to provide answers and insights in my adoption case. Raymond is very amicable and as a family man, he understands the hardships associated with these processes. Raymond works very hard for his clients and I was thoroughly impressed with the representation and counsel he provides. There is no question that Raymond truly cares about his clients and he goes above and beyond to provide the help we need. I would recommend his services 10/10.

Josh N

Ben and his whole team are nothing short of amazing! I can’t even put it into words how grateful I am to have had him to represent me in such a sensitive case. He and Nate Reeve took it on and helped me with everything and never let me down. I’ll forever be thankful to you! If you need an attorney to hire Benjamin Ruesch or any of his staff are outstanding and they will be the decision you can make. Thank you, Ben and team !!

Kevin S

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