How Utah Family Law Attorneys Simplify the Adoption Process

Henriksen LawFamily Law

adoption mother and her adopted child in utah

Adoption is a journey filled with love and excitement. Every day, many families open their hearts to a new life. But this exciting journey can get lost in federal and state regulations, mountains of paperwork, and filing deadlines. 

Handling the legal aspect of adoption is a daunting task. And like other states, legal paperwork is a necessary part of the adoption process in Utah. The good news is you don’t have to handle this stress yourself. You can hire a skilled family law attorney in Utah who can help you every step of the way. 

Let’s find out how.  

The Adoption Process in Utah 

In FY 2023, more than 45% of the children in foster care were adopted. If you want to be one of these adoptive parents, you need to meet the required qualifications. 

According to the state law, you:

  • Must be 21 years old or older
  • Must be a US citizen or legal resident 
  • Must have stable income 
  • Can be single, married, divorced, or widowed
  • May rent or own your own home or apartment

You can also adopt regardless of whether you already have children or work outside your home (not a stay-at-home parent). However, you cannot adopt a child if you are in a live-in relationship. Your relationship status must be legally valid.

Steps Involved in the Adoption Process 

The process involves three steps:  

  1. Training: Before applying, you must complete twenty-four hours of in-person training plus additional hours of online training. Every adoption agency, public or private, offers this training. 
  1. Home Study and Licensing: Next, the State Office of Licensing conducts a home study and determines if your home meets the minimum requirements for health and safety. If it ticks all the boxes, they will provide you with a license.
  1. Approval: Finally, the Utah Division of Child and Family Services reviews your training certificate, home study, license, and application. They may approve, defer, or reject your application based on its merit.

How Can a Utah Family Law Attorney Help

A Utah family law attorney works with adoptive parents from start to finish. Their ultimate goal is to make the adoption process as smooth for you as possible. Here’s what they will do for you:

  1. Identify a Reputed Adoption Agency: Finding the right agency is the first step in adopting a child. Utah has many top-rated private agencies like the Children’s Service Society, Heart to Heart Adoptions, and A Act of Love Adoptions. However, lawyers know which agency can best fit your needs and can recommend one with an excellent track record.
  1. Review and Prepare Legal Paperwork: A family law attorney in Utah knows how to fill out, review, and file the complex legal paperwork required for adoption. This reduces errors and delays and helps your adoption process move forward smoothly.
  1. Prepare for Home Study: Home study is the most critical step in the adoption process. But instead of spending sleepless nights worrying about it, you can seek help from a Utah family law lawyer. A skilled attorney can explain what to expect and how to meet the requirements for your home study. They can help you prepare for home inspections, background checks, and interviews.
  1. Help with Your Background Check: Background checks are mandatory in the adoption process. These may include but aren’t limited to submitting your fingerprints to law enforcement agencies for a thorough criminal background check. A family law attorney in Utah can help you gather the necessary documents, fill out a background check application, and address any issues if needed.
  1. Provide the Right Legal Advice: Whether it’s public, private, or international adoption, navigating adoption laws can be tricky. However, Utah family law attorneys are well-versed in state, federal, and international regulations. They can guide you through each step, protect your rights as adoptive parents, and make the process as stress-free as possible.

Things to Consider When You Hire Family Law Lawyers in Utah

Hiring the right lawyer can make all the difference in your adoption process. But how do you know which attorney is right for you? Though every adoption is unique, there are a few common traits that define a good family law attorney in Utah.

Here are a few things you should consider: 

  1. Research: Look for reputable lawyers. Start with a Google search for the “best Utah family law attorneys near me.” It should help you find the top-notch family law lawyers in your area. If you want to dig deeper, try rating websites like AVVO, LegalMatch, or Justia. You can also ask for recommendations from family and friends.
  1. Prepare Questions: Talk to the lawyer before hiring them. Many Utah family law attorneys offer free one-time consultations. Use this opportunity to ask questions about the adoption process, the law firm, and what to expect when working with the lawyer. 
  1. Gather Information: Keep relevant information ready before you hire a family law lawyer in Utah. Collect all relevant information about your situation. That includes:
    • Your personal details and documents
    • Details of the child you want to adopt
    • A list of adoption agencies you want to approach
    • Any correspondence with adoption agencies or birth parents
  1. Understand Costs: While the official fees for adoption or background check may not be much, your lawyer will charge legal fees, typically by the hour. These rates may differ depending on the complexity of your adoption process. For instance, international adoption may cost more because they are complex and time-consuming. Be sure you know the payment structure and the services included.


The adoption process in Utah is complex, especially when it comes to the legal side of things. If you are considering adoption, it’s better to seek legal help. A competent lawyer can help you navigate the complex legal requirements, complete and file the necessary paperwork, and prepare for home study. This relieves the stress involved in welcoming a new life into your family. 

Are you thinking of adopting a child in Utah? Henriksen & Henriksen is here to help you at every step. Please use our confidential form or call (801) 521-4145 to see how we can help.