Parental rights are some of the most protected rights in American law. It makes sense then that, in most cases, each natural parent must receive notice of an adoption petition and an opportunity to contest the adoption. However, under specific circumstances in Utah, a biological father is not entitled to receive notice of an adoption proceeding. An adoption may occur without notice to the biological father if each of the following are true:
- The biological father was not married to the biological mother within 300 days of the child’s birth.
- The biological father’s name is not listed on the birth certificate.
- The biological father has not developed a substantial relationship with the child, taken responsibility for the child’s future, and financially supported the child.
- The biological father is not living in the same household with the child and does not claim to be the child’s father.
- The biological father failed to file a paternity case in a Utah court and notice of the paternity case with the Department of Health Office of Vital Statistics prior to the mother’s execution of a consent to adopt or relinquishment of the child for adoption.
There may be facts or other circumstances that could complicate the need to provide notice and it is best to speak with an attorney before moving forward with an adoption proceeding. If you need help with an adoption, please call (801) 365-1022 or e-mail me at [email protected] to discuss your case.