Pending Adoption Legislation In Utah

This is just a quick note to link to this article.   Given all the discussion we’ve had about Utah’s adoption laws it’s important to remember that the legislature can, if it chooses, change the law.  The bill discussed here would do that in a variety of ways, as you can see.

Among other important points, it would make it harder for a woman who didn’t live in Utah to go there to give birth in order to take advantage of Utah’s adoption laws.    It would also somewhat more broadly enhance the rights of unmarried fathers.  But as far as I can tell, it does nothing to change the basic preference for married heterosexual families, which is something I object to.   Thus, it might change the outcome in some cases, but it’s hard to tell how many.

It looks like the proposed legislation is in part inspired by the case we’ve been discussing, which shows a different set of linkages between law-making in the courts and law making in the legislature.   Certainly sometimes law changes because of reaction to a high-profile individual case.  In these instances the legislature may suddenly be confronted by the specific instead of simply focussing on the general.

Of course, I have no idea if this bill has a chance of passing, but I’ll try to keep an eye on it.


4 responses to “Pending Adoption Legislation In Utah

  1. Julie – there is also an alternative bill that simply reinvents the current law with a few minor tid-bits thown in. I believe it is to counter this much better bill that would address the out of state fathers. I don’t have a link but it was reported by the Salt Lake Tribune – same reporter as the other articles.

  2. I cannot find that one, but according to the reporter’s facebook page there are two bills, one of which only requires written notice to out-of-state men while the other requires written notice to in-state men as well. (I have not read the bills, though she links to them.) Both bills then give the man 30 days to act.

    • One of the bills (not the one in the article you linked, but the other bill) is supported by Larry Jenkins, which makes me quite suspicious that one will actually change anything if it passes. He’s an attorney who pretty much has made a career out of representing couples who want to adopt a child against the father’s wishes. The other bill is I think a much stronger one.

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