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Changes to Utah Adoption Act may limit fraudulent adoptions

Texas residents who either adopt children or put children up for adoption know how complex the laws surrounding these situations can be. Both an adoptive parent and biological parent have specific wishes and rights while certainly the best interests of the child should always be the primary concern. An adoption can be contested or uncontested, greatly changing the level of complexity in the process.

For some time, Utah has been under scrutiny for its Utah Adoption Act. This law allowed many unmarried women from other states to give their babies up for adoption in Utah without first getting consent or informing the biological fathers. Currently, there are 12 pending federal lawsuits against this act filed by biological fathers whose children were adopted out without their knowledge or approval.

The Governor of Utah recently signed a new law that requires all women from other states to first inform fathers of a wish to put a child up for adoption. Under the new law, a father would not be able to prevent an adoption but could challenge it, leaving the decision up to a judge. Mothers would suffer no penalties for breaking the law and the onus is clearly on the judges to ask the right questions in the process in order to stop and prevent fraudulent adoptions. The court could award damages to fathers even when they do not wish to be involved in their children’s lives.

Adoption issues such can occur on the side of adoptive or biological parents. The challenges that can be faced may be helped with the input and advice of an experienced lawyer. Securing a legal consultation is something worth considering in these situations.

Source: Huffington Post, “Utah Governor Signs Law Beefing Up Adoption Rules,” Annie Knox, April 2, 2014

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