Adopting a child in Provo was not possible if you were a gay man or a lesbian, and you lived with a partner. You could not get married legally in Utah even if you wanted to until December 2013. That was when the Supreme Court said the ban on same-sex marriage was illegal.
This changed many things in family law for same-sex couples. They could not only get married, they could get divorced and get custody of the kids. They had the same rights as everybody else, including the right to adopt.
Under Utah law, Buhler Thomas Law, P.C. explains, you could not adopt a child if you are single but living with another person. The exact words of the law were, “A child may not be adopted by a person who is cohabiting in a relationship that is not a legally valid and binding marriage under the laws of this state”. In other words, same-sex couples were out.
However, because same-sex marriage is now legal in Utah, married same-sex couples are free to apply for an adoption.
You can adopt even if you are single as long as you are not living with a partner, over the age of 18, and at least ten years older than the adoptee. If you are married, both you and your spouse have to be over 18, at least 10 years older than your adoptee, and both agree to the adoption. The adoptee’s consent is also required if he or she is 12 years old and older. The adoptee can refuse to be adopted by a particular person or married couple. It does not mean they will succeed, though.
The adoption process is hard for anyone. You still have to go through many more hoops before your adoption goes through even if you pass the first two. Among these are:
- Take an approved training course
- Pass a home inspection
- Get the right license
- Submit proof there is no conflict of interest
- Pass a background check
- Submit to a behavioral assessment
- Show proof of financial capability
Adoption laws in any state are demanding, because the state’s main concern is looking after the best interest of the child. If you have plans to adopt, it would be advisable to get the help of a qualified lawyer specializing in family law and adoptions in Provo.