Adoption provides a way for many people to create a family when other options may be limited, or for many other reasons, while also giving children a chance to grow up in a safe and loving environment. At M.A. MUNSON LAW, we can help you fulfill your goal of building a family without having to stress over the legal complexities often involved in adoption matters. To that end, we will make sure that you feel fully supported throughout the entire adoption process.
Pursuant to Utah state law, each potential adopting parent must be at least ten (10) years older than the adopted child, and if the adopted child is at least twelve (12) years old, he/she will need to consent to the adoption. Furthermore, if the child being adopted is an Indian child, different rules apply, and the case will have to proceed under The Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA).
WHICH ADOPTION IS RIGHT FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY?
There are three types of adoption:
1. Agency Adoption
An Agency adoption generally involves adopting a child through a licensed child-placing agency, like the Utah Division of Child & Family Services (DCFS), which handles foster care and adoption placements with minimal cost to adoptive parents. In most instances, agency adoption is a two-step process. The first step is the termination of the biological parents’ parental rights, thus giving the agency guardianship of the child so that the agency can then consent to the adoption by the adopting parents(s). The second step occurs when the agency consents to the adoption and the adoption becomes finalized in court by the adoptive parent(s).
2. Private Adoption
There are also several private adoption agencies in Utah that are licensed to place children for adoption. A private adoption typically involves a direct placement of the child between the birth mother and the adoptive parent(s). Fees in a private adoption vary greatly.
3. International Adoption
An international adoption is an adoption of a child that was born in a foreign country. In most international adoptions, the adoptive parent(s) file the necessary paperwork with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and then pursue an adoption in accordance with the laws of the foreign country where the child resides. Most foreign adoptions are coordinated through a private adoption agency.
WHY CONSULT AN ADOPTION ATTORNEY?
- Adoption is one of many options you have and there are many types of adoption. An adoption attorney is well versed in all your options and can assist you in making the best decision for you and the child want to adopt.
- Working with an expert in adoption law will help ensure that your adoption proceeds smoothly.
- An adoption attorney will provide an unbiased explanation of adoption methods and resources and help you develop a legally secure plan tailored to your needs.
- An adoption attorney will advocate for you throughout the adoption process.
- An adoption attorney can clarify your options for post-placement arrangements and draft or review an agreement to ensure your best interests and those of the child are served.
TIPS FOR CHOOSING AN EXPERIENCED ADOPTION ATTORNEY
- Contact an attorney as early as possible in the decision-making process.
- Choose an attorney who is experienced in the type of adoption you are considering.
- Understand the estimated total cost of the adoption, including the attorney’s fees.
- Learn about the specific types of adoptions and services the attorney provides.
- Ask lots of questions, share your concerns, and provide the attorney with all relevant documents and information that could affect your ability to adopt a child.
CONTACT US by filling out the form or CALL (435) 238-7734 to schedule a FREE CONSULTATION to discuss how M.A. MUNSON LAW can help you add to your family through the beautiful gift of adoption.
Serving Clients Throughout Central and Southern Utah
Including: Cedar City, Enoch, St. George, Beaver, Parowan, Paragonah, Panguitch, Enterprise, Brian Head, Hurricane, Washington, Richfield, Fillmore, and Kanab.