Utah

Adoption

Access to Adoption Records

Who May Access Information
Citation: Ann. Code §§ 78B-6-143; 78B-6-144

Nonidentifying information is available to:

  • The adoptive parents
  • The adopted person’s legal guardian if the adoptive parents are deceased
  • The adopted person
  • The adopted person’s spouse or guardian of the adopted person’s child if the adopted person is deceased
  • The adopted person’s child or descendant
  • The birth parent or adult birth sibling

Identifying information is accessible to:

  • The adult adopted person
  • Birth parents
  • A birth sibling who is age 18 or older

Access to Nonidentifying Information
Citation: Ann. Code § 78B-6-143

A detailed health history and a genetic and social history of the adopted person that is on file with the Office of Vital Records and Statistics shall be available upon request to the persons listed above.

Mutual Access to Identifying Information
Citation: Ann. Code § 78B-6-144

The adult adopted person and birth parents, upon presentation of positive identification, may request identifying information from the adoption registry maintained by the office. The office may release identifying information only when it receives requests from both the adopted person and the birth parent. After matching the request of an adult adopted person with that of at least one birth parent, the office shall notify both the adopted person and the birth parent that the requests have been matched and disclose the identifying information to those parties. However, if the adult adopted person has a sibling of the same birth parent who is under age 18, and who was raised in the same family setting as the adult adopted person, the office shall not disclose the requested identifying information to that adult adopted person or the birth parent.Adult adopted persons and adult siblings, upon presentation of positive identification, may request identifying information from the registry, following the same procedure outlined above.

Information registered with the office is available only to a registered adult adopted person, and his or her registered birth parent or registered adult sibling. Information regarding a birth parent who has not registered a request with the office may not be disclosed.

Access to Original Birth Certificate
Citation: Ann. Code § 78B-6-141

A petition for adoption, the written report described in § 78B-6-135, and any other documents filed in connection with the petition, are sealed. These documents may only be open to inspection as follows:

  • Upon order of the court expressly permitting inspection or copying, after good cause has been shown
  • Through registration with voluntary adoption registry, as provided under § 78B-6-144

Those records shall become public on the 100th anniversary of the date the final decree of adoption was entered.

If the adopted person is an adult at the time the final decree of adoption is entered, the documents described in this section are open to inspection and copying without a court order by the adopted person or a parent who adopted the adopted person, unless the final decree of adoption is entered by the juvenile court that has jurisdiction over a vulnerable adult, as described in § 78B-6-115(3)(b).

Where the Information Can Be Located

Adoption Reunion Registry, Utah Department of Health, Office of Vital Records and Statistics

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Collection of Family Information About Adopted Persons and Their Birth Families

Agency or Person Preparing the Report
Citation: Ann. Code § 78B-6-143
The person who proceeded on behalf of the petitioner for adoption, or a child-placing agency if an agency is involved in the adoption, shall file a report with the Bureau of Vital Statistics within the Department of Health.

Contents of Report About the Adopted Person
Citation: Ann. Code §§ 78B-6-143; 78B-6-103
The report shall include a detailed health history, and genetic and social histories of the adopted child. The health history will include a comprehensive report of the adopted child’s health status at the time of placement for adoption, as well as medical information that will include neonatal, psychological, physiological, and medical care histories.The report may not contain any information that identifies the adopted child’s birth parents or members of their families.

Contents of Report About the Birth Family
Citation: Ann. Code §§ 78B-6-143; 78B-6-103
The genetic and social histories will be comprised of comprehensive information, when obtainable, on the adopted child’s birth parents, aunts, uncles, and grandparents, that contains the following:

  • Medical histories
  • Health status
  • Causes of and ages at death
  • Height, weight, eye color, and hair color
  • Ethnic origins
  • Where appropriate, levels of education and professional achievement
  • Religion, if any

When the Report Is Made
Citation: Ann. Code § 78B-6-143
The report shall be filed upon finalization of an adoption.

Exceptions for Stepparent or Relative Adoptions

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.

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Intestate Inheritance Rights for Adopted Children

Birth Parents in Relation to Adopted Person
Citation: Ann. Code § 75-2-114
For purposes of intestate succession by, through, or from a person, an adopted individual is not the child of the birth parents. However, adoption of a child by the spouse of either birth parent has no effect on:

  • The relationship between the child and that birth parent
  • The right of the child or a descendant of the child to inherit from or through the other birth parent

Adoptive Parents in Relation to Adopted Person
Citation: Ann. Code § 75-2-114
For purposes of intestate succession by, through, or from a person, an adopted individual is the child of the adopting parent(s).

Adopted Persons Who Are Not Included in a Will
Citation: Ann. Code §§ 75-2-302; 75-2-705
If a testator fails to provide in his or her will for any child who was adopted after the execution of the will, the omitted after-adopted child receives a share in the estate as follows:

  • If the testator had no child living when he or she executed the will, an omitted after-adopted child receives a share in the estate equal in value to what the child would have received had the testator died intestate, unless the will gave all or substantially all of the estate to the other parent of the omitted child and that other parent survives the testator and is entitled to take under the will.
  • If the testator had one or more children living when he or she executed the will, and the will gave property or an interest in property to one or more of the then-living children, an omitted after-adopted child is entitled to share in the estate as follows:
    • The portion of the estate in which the omitted after-adopted child is entitled to share is limited to bequests made to the testator’s then-living children under the will.
    • The omitted after-adopted child is entitled to receive the share of the estate, as limited above, that he or she would have received had the testator included all omitted after-born and after-adopted children with the children to whom bequests were made under the will and had given an equal share of the estate to each child.

The above does not apply if:

  • It appears from the will that the omission was intentional.
  • The testator provided for the omitted after-adopted child by transfer outside the will with the intent that the transfer be in lieu of a testamentary provision.

Adopted persons and their descendants, if appropriate to the class, are included in class gifts and other terms of relationship in accordance with the rules for intestate succession.

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State Recognition of Intercountry Adoptions Finalized Abroad

Effect and Recognition of a Foreign Adoption Decree
Citation: Ann. Code § 78B-6-142

Except as otherwise provided by Federal law, an adoption order rendered to a resident of this State that is made by a foreign country shall be recognized by the courts of this State and enforced as if the order were rendered by a court in this State.

Readoption After an Intercountry Adoption
Citation: Ann. Code § 78B-6-142

A person who adopts a child in a foreign country may register the order in this State. A petition for registration of a foreign adoption order may be combined with a petition for a name change. If the court finds that the foreign adoption order meets requirements, the court shall order the State Registrar to:

  • File the order pursuant to § 78B-6-137
  • File a certificate of birth for the child pursuant to § 26-2-28

If a clerk of the court is unable to establish the fact, time, and place of birth from the documentation provided, a person holding a direct, tangible, and legitimate interest, as described in § 26-2-22(2)(a) or (b), may petition for a court order establishing the fact, time, and place of a birth, pursuant to § 26-2-15(1).

Application for a U.S. Birth Certificate
Citation: Ann. Code § 26-2-28

Upon presentation of a court order of adoption and an order establishing the fact, time, and place of birth under § 26-2-15, the department shall prepare a birth certificate for any person who:

  • Was adopted under the laws of this State
  • Was at the time of adoption considered an alien child for whom the court received documentary evidence of legal residence under § 78B-6-108

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