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S.B. 155





Chief Sponsor: Lyle W. Hillyard

House Sponsor: ____________

             7      LONG TITLE
             8      General Description:
             9          This bill amends Title 78B, Chapter 6, Particular Proceedings, by permitting open
             10      adoption agreements between prospective adoptive parents and birth parents or other
             11      birth relatives of a prospective adoptive child.
             12      Highlighted Provisions:
             13          This bill:
             14          .    defines terms;
             15          .    permits a prospective adoptive parent, birth parent, or other birth relative of a
             16      prospective adoptive child to enter into an open adoption agreement;
             17          .    requires that an open adoption agreement be approved by the court before becoming
             18      legally enforceable;
             19          .    prohibits the enforcement of open adoption agreements that are not in the best
             20      interest of the child; and
             21          .    states that violation of an open adoption agreement is not grounds to set aside an
             22      adoption.
             23      Money Appropriated in this Bill:
             24          None
             25      Other Special Clauses:
             26          None
             27      Utah Code Sections Affected:

             28      ENACTS:
             29          78B-6-146, Utah Code Annotated 1953
             31      Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
             32          Section 1. Section 78B-6-146 is enacted to read:
             33          78B-6-146. Open adoption agreements.
             34          (1) As used in this section:
             35          (a) "open adoption agreement" means a document, agreed upon prior to the finalization
             36      of an adoption, that outlines the relationship between an adoptive parent, birth parent or other
             37      biological relative, and adopted child after the finalization of adoption; and
             38          (b) "other birth relative" means a grandparent, stepparent, sibling, stepsibling, aunt, or
             39      uncle of the prospective adoptive child.
             40          (2) (a) Notwithstanding any other provision in this chapter, the prospective adoptive
             41      parent and birth parent, or other birth relative, may enter into an open adoption agreement as
             42      provided in this section.
             43          (b) A birth parent is not required to be a party to an open adoption agreement in order
             44      to permit an open adoption agreement between a prospective adoptive parent and another birth
             45      relative of the child.
             46          (3) An open adoption agreement shall describe:
             47          (a) visits, if any, that shall take place between the birth parent, other birth relative,
             48      adoptive parent, and adopted child;
             49          (b) the degree of supervision, if any, that shall be required during a visit between a
             50      birth parent, other birth relative, and adopted child;
             51          (c) the information, if any, shall be provided to a birth parent, or other birth relative,
             52      about the adopted child and how often that information shall be provided;
             53          (d) the grounds, if any, on which the adoptive parent may:
             54          (i) decline to permit visits, described in Subsection (3)(a), between the birth parent, or
             55      other birth relative, and adopted child; or
             56          (ii) cease providing the information described in Subsection (3)(c) to the birth parent or
             57      other birth relative; and
             58          (e) whether mediation will be required before seeking enforcement of the open

             59      adoption agreement in court.
             60          (4) In order to be legally enforceable, an open adoption agreement shall be:
             61          (a) signed by each party claiming a right or obligation in the agreement; and
             62          (b) approved by the court before the finalization of the adoption of the adopted child.
             63          (5) In an action seeking enforcement of an open adoption agreement, the court shall
             64      consider whether:
             65          (a) the parties performed the duties outlined in the open adoption agreement in good
             66      faith;
             67          (b) there is a reasonable alternative that fulfills the spirit of the open adoption
             68      agreement without ordering mandatory compliance with the open adoption agreement; and
             69          (c) enforcement of the open adoption agreement is in the best interest of the adopted
             70      child.
             71          (6) An open adoption agreement that has been found not to be in the best interest of the
             72      adopted child shall not be enforced.
             73          (7) Violation of an open adoption agreement is not grounds to set aside an adoption.
             74          (8) Nothing in this section shall be construed to mean that an open adoption agreement
             75      is required before an adoption may be finalized.

Legislative Review Note
    as of 1-29-13 12:13 PM

Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel

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