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Adoption law updates

Adoption law updates

Expectant fathers in Illinois may be interested in the recent changes to adoption laws in Utah. The new law gives more consideration to birth fathers when a woman wants to put her baby up for adoption. Utah is well-known for its adoption laws that favor birth mothers, and lawmakers hope the new restrictions will prevent women from abusing the system.

The bill, called Adoption Act Amendments, places some restrictions on individuals who want to place their child up for adoption in Utah. In order for a woman to give up her baby, she must live in the state for at least 90 days or give the court information about the birth father. The mother may be ordered by a court to notify the birth father of the pending adoption. The change aims to discourage women from coming to Utah for the sole purpose of giving up their children without notifying the child's father.

Many of the elements of the original adoption laws in Utah were not changed. The fraud immunity clause remains in place and protects adoptions even when it can be proven that a birth mother was not honest on her application. Legislators tried to give birth fathers more rights by ending fraud immunity in the past, but their efforts to change that aspect of the law failed.

In order for biological fathers to have legal rights, they have to establish paternity. Unmarried birth fathers can establish paternity and exercise their parental rights through the court system. A lawyer with experience in family law may help a father navigate the complicated system and secure a DNA test, parenting time or custody.

Source: FOX News, "Utah governor signs bill giving fathers new rights in adoption cases", Faith Mangan & Alicia Acuna , April 03, 2014

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