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Private Adoptions ("My wife met this lady at the gym ...")

Updated: Feb 26

Welcome to the Utah Adoption Law Center, where our legal team handles adoptions everywhere from Salt Lake County and Utah County down to Iron County and Washington County. Today's post is about privately-arranged adoptions. Since using an adoption agency can be pricey, some adopting couples go the private-adoption route. This typically involves posting on social media about your desire to adopt. It is always interesting to hear the stories of how connections are made that led to a private adoption. "My Mom was at the gym and started talking with a lady whose 17-year-old niece's best friend is pregnant ..."

Private adoptions generally go through the following steps:

  1. Making the connection with Birth mother.

  2. Birth mother confirms she wants to place the baby for adoption.

  3. Birth father consents or absconds--shows no interest in being a dad.

  4. Adopting couple gets a home study done, including background checks.

  5. UALC attorney files the pre-birth petition for adoption, a motion for custody pending final decree, and a motion for appointment of a court representative to take the birth mother's consent shortly after the birth.

  6. The court representative meets with Birth mother to take her consent to custody pending final decree. If granted by the court, the custody order gives custody "from the time of birth" to the adopting couple so they can take the baby home from the hospital.

  7. Once the baby is at least 24 hours old, the court representative meets with Birth mother to take her relinquishment and consent to adoption.

  8. The adopting couple raises the child under the temporary custody order and has periodic home visits from the social worker.

  9. After six months, we have a hearing for the judge to finalize the adoption.

Every case is unique, but these are the basic steps. At the Utah Adoption Law Center, we love answering questions. Please call or text us at (385) 200-1972 or (435) 592-1235 and ask how we can help you grow your family.

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