Consent to Adoption - Utah

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Who Must Consent to an Adoption

Citation: Ann. Code §§ 78B-6-120; 78B-6-120.1; 78B-6-123

Consent to adoption of a child or relinquishment of a child for adoption is required from the following:

  • A man or woman who:
    • Is recognized as the father or mother of the proposed adoptee, unless the presumption is rebutted under § 78B-15-607 or the man or woman was not married to the mother of the proposed adoptee until after the mother consented to the child's adoption
    • Is the father of the adoptee by a previous legal adoption
  • The mother of the adoptee
  • A biological parent who has been adjudicated to be the child's biological father by a court of competent jurisdiction rior to the mother's execution of consent to adoption
  • A biological parent who has executed and filed a voluntary declaration of paternity with the State Registrar of Vital Statistics prior to the mother's execution of consent
  • An unmarried biological father of an adoptee whose consent is not otherwise required, but only if he fully and strictly complies with the requirements of §§ 78B-6-121 and 78B-6-122
  • The person or agency to whom an adoptee has been relinquished and that is placing the child for adoption

Consent or relinquishment may be implied by any of the following acts:

  • Abandonment
  • Leaving the child with a third party, without providing the third party with the parent's identification, for 30 consecutive days
  • Knowingly leaving the child with another person, without providing for support, communicating, or otherwise maintaining a substantial relationship with the child, for 6 consecutive months
  • Receiving notification of a pending adoption proceeding and failing to respond as required

A minor parent has the power to consent to the adoption of his or her child and relinquish his or her control or custody of the child for adoption. The consent or relinquishment is valid and has the same force and effect as a consent or relinquishment executed by an adult parent.

Consent of Child Being Adopted

Citation: Ann. Code § 78B-6-120

A child who is age 12 or older must consent to the adoption unless he or she does not have the capacity to consent.

When Parental Consent is not Needed

Citation: Ann. Code §§ 78B-6-120; 78B-6-121; 78B-6-111

The consent of a parent is not required if the adopted person is age 18 or older. The consent of a parent is not required if the person's parental rights relating to the child have been terminated.

The consent of an unmarried biological father is not required if any of the following apply:

  • The court determines that the unmarried biological father's rights should be terminated based on the petition of any interested party.
  • A declaration of paternity declaring the unmarried biological father to be the father of the child is rescinded.
  • The unmarried biological father fails to comply with requirements to initiate proceedings to establish his paternity of the child.

An unmarried biological father is not entitled to notice of an adoption proceeding, nor is the consent of an unmarried biological father required in connection with an adoption proceeding, in cases where it is shown that the child who is the subject of the proceeding was conceived as a result of conduct that would constitute any sexual offense, regardless of whether the unmarried biological father is formally charged with or convicted of a criminal offense.

When Consent Can Be Executed

Citation: Ann. Code § 78B-6-125

A birth mother may not consent to the adoption of her child or relinquish control or custody of her child until at least 24 hours after the birth of her child.

The consent or relinquishment of any other person as required by §§ 78B-6-120 and 78B-6-121 may be executed at any time, including prior to the birth of the child.

How Consent Must Be Executed

Citation: Ann. Code § 78B-6-124

A consent or relinquishment by a birth mother or an adopted person shall be signed before either of the following:

  • A judge of any court that has jurisdiction over adoption proceedings or a person appointed by that judge for the purpose of taking consents or relinquishments
  • A person who is authorized by a licensed child-placing agency to take consents or relinquishments if the consent or relinquishment grants legal custody of the child to a child-placing agency or an extra-jurisdictional child-placing agency

If the consent or relinquishment of a birth mother or adopted person is taken out of State, it shall be signed before any of the following:

  • A person who is authorized by a child-placing agency to take consents or relinquishments
  • A person authorized or appointed to take consents or relinquishments by a court of this State that has jurisdiction over adoption proceedings
  • A court that has jurisdiction over adoption proceedings in the State where the consent or relinquishment is taken
  • A person authorized, under the laws of the State where the consent or relinquishment is taken, to take consents or relinquishments of a birth mother or adopted person

The consent or relinquishment of any other person or agency as required by § 78B-6-120 may be signed before a notary public or any person authorized to take a consent or relinquishment. A signature shall be notarized or witnessed by two individuals who are not members of the birth mother's or the adoptee's immediate family.

A person authorized to take consents or relinquishments shall certify to the best of his or her information and belief that the person executing the consent or relinquishment has read and understands the consent or relinquishment and has signed it freely and voluntarily.

A person executing a consent or relinquishment is entitled to receive a copy of the consent or relinquishment.

Revocation of Consent

Citation: Ann. Code §§ 78B-6-120.1; 78B-6-123; 78B-6-126

Implied consent under § 78B-6-120.1 may not be withdrawn. A minor parent, having executed a consent or relinquishment, cannot revoke that consent upon reaching the age of majority or otherwise by becoming emancipated.

A consent or relinquishment is effective when it is signed and may not be revoked.