One of the challenges of adoption is putting together a team of professionals who can be trusted to know and navigate Utah’s adoption laws.  A qualified adoption attorney is key to your team because creating a safe, legal and permanent adoption requires court action.

Most domestic adoptions of a child under age 18 have two distinct phases. Although the timeline and tasks will vary depending on the specific adoption situation, below is a general outline of steps we take to make your adoption safe and legal:


  • A petition for adoption of the child is filed with the court
  • Attorney develops a plan to address the rights of all biological or legal parents of the child
  • Birth father signs a Consent to Adoption or Denial of Paternity according to state law where child will be born or father lives, and a check of the birth state’s paternity registry may be made
  • Child is born (in the case of a newborn adoption)
  • Birth mother signs a Consent to Adoption according to Utah law or state law where the child is born (Utah – at least 24 hours after birth and there is no revocation period. Other states – may have longer periods before birth mother may sign, and may have a revocation period)
  • Child is placed with adoptive parents
  • Paperwork is filed with a court based on birth parent consents to adoption requesting the court order temporary custody of the child with adoptive parents pending finalization of the adoption
  • Begin six-month waiting period until adoption can be finalized


  • Post-placement supervisory visits are made by social worker to adoptive family, and reports are prepared
  • Attorney gathers or prepares all documents required by law for the finalization of the adoption
  • A hearing date is set for “finalization” of the adoption
  • Adoptive parents appear in court with the child and their attorney for the official adoption finalization hearing
  • Assuming all requirements of Utah law are met, judge signs Decree of Adoption and adoption is approved
  • Following finalization hearing, additional paperwork is filed to obtain amended birth certificates and social security cards

I can help you reach your goals through personal attention and direct contact.

  • I offer a free, 30-minute consultation about your situation
  • You’ll have my cell phone number to text and call me directly
  • I am normally accessible evenings and weekends to address any urgent or unplanned matters
Derek Williams, Partner

Derek Williams, Partner
About Derek

Let’s talk about your situation and create a plan that fits your individual circumstances and the option that best fits your family.