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Utah passes law to protect fathers’ adoption rights

Florida may be interested to learn that Utah has just passed a new law intended to strengthen the rights of biological fathers during the adoption process. Entitled the Adoption Acts Amendment, the legislation seeks to solve what many saw as a problem with Utah’s adoption laws. Under old rules, pregnant women could move to Utah and put their babies up for adoption without notifying the biological father.

The amendment, which was recently signed into law by Utah’s governor, will require a biological mother to live in the state of Utah for at least 90 days before putting her baby up for adoption. If the mother has lived in the state for less than that amount of time, a court can intervene and require that she inform the father of her intentions before beginning adoption proceedings.

One fathers’ rights advocate believes that the amendment is a positive move but that another Utah law dealing with fraud immunity continues to present a problem. A woman could potentially lie about the amount of time she has been in Utah, for example. Even if the father then takes legal steps, fraud immunity provides that the adoption would not be affected.

Other adoption activists worry that further changes may mean that pregnant woman will be unable to put their child up for adoption if they can’t obtain permission from the father. The situation is likely to remain controversial and have an effect on fathers’ rights. On two different occasions, legislation was proposed attempting to address the continued problems posed to the adoption statute by the fraud immunity law, but did not pass.

Source: Fox News, “Utah governor signs bill giving fathers new rights in adoption cases“, Faith Mangan and Alicia Acuna, April 03, 2014