Utah Single-Parent Adoptions in Davis County

Stephen Howard — Stone River Law

Real People. Real Solutions.

Utah Single-Parent Adoptions in Davis County

Last Updated

Utah law allows for adoption by either a married couple or by a single parent. But adoptions by single parents are treated differently under the Utah Adoption Act. If you are considering pursuing an adoption in Davis County or elsewhere in Utah, or if you have already begun the process and have questions or need assistance, having the right attorney can help ensure that the adoption process goes smoothly. Contact us now to see how we can help.

Adoption by Unmarried Persons – Cohabitation Prohibition

Utah Code 78B-6-117 establishes a prohibition on the adoption of a child by unmarried person who is “cohabiting” in a relationship that is not recognized as a valid marriage under Utah law. Under the Utah Adoption Act, “cohabiting” is defined as “residing with another person and being involved in a sexual relationship with that person.” This prohibition applies to all child adoptions, whether the child is in the custody of DCFS or whether the case involves a private adoption or agency adoption.

Adoption of Children in DCFS Custody – Preference for Married Couple

A single parent in Davis County may adopt a child who is in the custody of the Division of Child and Family Services (DCFS). But the Utah Adoption Act establishes a preference for adoptions by married couples. Before finalizing an adoption by a single parent, a court must establish that certain statutory conditions required under the Utah Adoption Act have been met. (Note that these conditions apply only to adoptions involving children in DCFS custody, not to other types of adoptions.)

When a child is in the custody of DCFS is to be placed for adoption, DCFS is required to place the child with a married couple unless either:

  • the child is placed with a relative of the child;
  • the child is placed with a person who was selected by the parent or former parent of the child;
  • the child is placed with aperson who has already developed a substantial relationship with the child;
  • there are no qualified married couples who have applied to adopt the child; or
  • it is in the best interests of the child to be placed with a single person.

As in all adoptions, the overriding concern for the court is in determining what is in the best interest of the child. While the Utah Adoption Act establishes a preference for married couples as adoptive parents, if it is determined that the interests of the child will be better served by placement with a single parent, then such a placement is appropriate.

Finding an Adoption Attorney for Davis County

Whether you are considering adopting as a married couple or as a single parent, whether you are looking at adopting through the foster care system, DCFS, or a private adoption, we are pleased to provide adoption-related legal services to clients in Davis County and throughout Utah. We also work with clients involved in step-parent adoptions and adult adoptions. Contact us now to see how we can help make the adoption process easier.