Completing Intercountry Adoptions Not Finalized Abroad - Utah

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Requirements for Completing the Adoption

Citation: Ann. Code §§ 78B-6-105; 78B-6-127; 78B-6-136; 78B-6-137

A petition for adoption is subject to the following:

  • It may be filed before the birth of a child.
  • It may be filed before or after the adoptee is placed in the home of the petitioner for the purpose of adoption.
  • It shall be filed no later than 30 days after the day on which the adoptee is placed in the home of the petitioners for adoption, unless either of the following apply:
    • The time for filing has been extended by the court.
    • The adoption is arranged by a child-placing agency, in which case the agency may extend the filing time.

Neither notice nor consent to adoption or relinquishment for adoption is required from a parent whose rights with regard to an adoptee have been terminated by a court.

Before the court enters a final decree of adoption, both of the following are required:

  • The prospective adoptive parent or parents and the child being adopted shall appear before the appropriate court.
  • The prospective adoptive parent or parents shall execute an agreement stating that the child shall be adopted and treated in all respects as the adoptive parent's or parents' own lawful child.

The court shall examine each person appearing before it in accordance with this chapter, separately, and, if satisfied that the interests of the child will be promoted by the adoption, it shall enter a final decree of adoption declaring that the child is adopted by the adoptive parent or parents and shall be regarded and treated in all respects as the child of the adoptive parent or parents.

Required Evidence/Documentation

Citation: Ann. Code § 78B-6-108

As used in this section, 'alien child' means a child younger than age 16 who is not considered a citizen or national of the United States by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service.*

Any person adopting an alien child shall file with the petition for adoption written evidence from the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service that the child was inspected and any of the following are true:

  • The child was admitted into the United States for permanent residence.
  • The child was admitted into the United States temporarily in one of the lawful nonimmigrant categories specified in 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(15).

    The child was paroled into the United States pursuant to 8 U.S.C. § 1182(d)(5).

*As of March 1, 2003, the responsibility for providing immigration-related services was transferred from the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, a bureau of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The statutes do not yet reflect this change.

Background Studies

Citation: Ann. Code § 78B-6-128

A child may not be placed in an adoptive home until a preplacement adoptive evaluation assessing the prospective adoptive parent and the prospective adoptive home has been conducted. The preplacement adoptive evaluation shall be completed or updated within the 12-month period immediately preceding the placement of a child with the prospective adoptive parent.

The preplacement adoptive evaluation shall include the following:

  • A criminal history background check regarding each prospective adoptive parent and any other adult living in the prospective home, prepared no earlier than 18 months immediately preceding placement of the child
  • A report containing all information regarding reports and investigations of child abuse, neglect, and dependency, with respect to each prospective adoptive parent and any other adult living in the prospective home, obtained no earlier than 18 months immediately preceding the day on which the child is placed in the prospective home, including reports from any State, district, or territory of the United States in which each prospective adoptive parent and any other adult living in the home resided in the immediately 5 years

The home study shall be a written document that contains the following:

  • A recommendation to the court regarding the suitability of the prospective adoptive parent for placement of a child
  • A description of in-person interviews with the prospective adoptive parent, the prospective adoptive parent's children, and other individuals living in the home
  • A description of character and suitability references from at least two individuals who are not related to the prospective adoptive parent and with at least one individual who is related to the prospective adoptive parent
  • A medical history and a doctor's report, based upon a doctor's physical examination of the prospective adoptive parent, made within 2 years before the date of the application
  • A description of an inspection of the home to determine whether sufficient space and facilities exist to meet the needs of the child and whether basic health and safety standards are maintained

Placement Supervision and Reporting

Citation: Ann. Code § 78B-6-129

A postplacement evaluation shall be conducted and submitted to the court prior to the final hearing in an adoption proceeding. The postplacement evaluation shall include the following:

  • Verification of the allegations of fact contained in the petition for adoption
  • An evaluation of the progress of the child's placement in the adoptive home
  • A recommendation regarding whether the adoption is in the best interests of the child

Effect of Adoption Decree on Parental Rights

Citation: Ann. Code §§ 78B-6-138; 78B-6-139

A preexisting parent of an adopted child is released from all parental rights and duties toward and all responsibilities for the adopted child, including residual parental rights and duties, and has no further parental rights or duties with regard to that adopted child at the time the preexisting parent's parental rights are terminated. When a final decree of adoption is entered under § 78B-6-137, a child may take the family name of the adoptive parent or parents. After that decree of adoption is entered, the adoptive parent or parents and the child shall sustain the legal relationship of parent and child and have all the rights and be subject to all the duties of that relationship.

Obtaining a U.S. Birth Certificate

Citation: Ann. Code §§ 26-2-28; 26-2-15

Upon presentation of a court order of adoption and an order establishing the fact, time, and place of birth under § 26-2-15, the Department of Health shall prepare a birth certificate for any person who was adopted under the laws of this State and who was, at the time of adoption, considered an alien child for whom the court received documentary evidence of legal residence under § 78B-6-108.

A person holding a direct, tangible, and legitimate interest, as described in § 26-2-22(2), may petition for a court order establishing the fact, time, and place of a birth that is not registered or for which a certified copy of the registered birth is not obtainable.

For purposes of this section, the birth certificate of an adopted alien child is considered to be unobtainable if the child was born in a country that is not recognized by department rule as having an established vital records registration system. If the adopted child was born in a country recognized by department rule, but a person described above is unable to obtain a certified copy of the birth certificate, the State registrar shall authorize the preparation of a birth certificate if he or she receives a written statement signed by the registrar of the child's birth country stating a certified copy of the birth certificate is not available.