7 LONG TITLE
8 General Description:
9 This bill amends provisions related to adoptive evaluations.
10 Highlighted Provisions:
11 This bill:
12 ▸ addresses who may conduct a home study as part of a preplacement adoptive
14 ▸ requires a home study to contain certain information; and
15 ▸ makes technical and conforming changes.
16 Money Appropriated in this Bill:
18 Other Special Clauses:
20 Utah Code Sections Affected:
22 78B-6-103, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2015, Chapters 137 and 194
23 78B-6-113, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2012, Chapter 340
24 78B-6-128, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2013, Chapter 458
25 78B-6-130, as enacted by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapter 3
27 Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
28 Section 1. Section 78B-6-103 is amended to read:
29 78B-6-103. Definitions.
30 As used in this part:
31 (1) "Adoptee" means a person who:
32 (a) is the subject of an adoption proceeding; or
33 (b) has been legally adopted.
34 (2) "Adoption" means the judicial act that:
35 (a) creates the relationship of parent and child where it did not previously exist; and
36 (b) except as provided in Subsection 78B-6-138(2), terminates the parental rights of
37 any other person with respect to the child.
38 (3) "Adoption document" means an adoption-related document filed with the office, a
39 petition for adoption, a decree of adoption, an original birth certificate, or evidence submitted
40 in support of a supplementary birth certificate.
41 (4) "Adoption service provider" means [
42 (a) a child-placing agency; [
43 (b) a licensed counselor who has at least one year of experience providing professional
44 social work services to:
45 (i) adoptive parents;
46 (ii) prospective adoptive parents; or
47 (iii) birth parents[
48 (c) the Office of Licensing within the Department of Human Services.
49 (5) "Adoptive parent" means a person who has legally adopted an adoptee.
50 (6) "Adult" means a person who is 18 years of age or older.
51 (7) "Adult adoptee" means an adoptee who is 18 years of age or older and was adopted
52 as a minor.
53 (8) "Adult sibling" means a brother or sister of the adoptee, who is 18 years of age or
54 older and whose birth mother or father is the same as that of the adoptee.
55 (9) "Birth mother" means the biological mother of a child.
56 (10) "Birth parent" means:
57 (a) a birth mother;
58 (b) a man whose paternity of a child is established;
59 (c) a man who:
60 (i) has been identified as the father of a child by the child's birth mother; and
61 (ii) has not denied paternity; or
62 (d) an unmarried biological father.
63 (11) "Child-placing agency" means an agency licensed to place children for adoption
64 under Title 62A, Chapter 4a, Part 6, Child Placing.
65 (12) "Cohabiting" means residing with another person and being involved in a sexual
66 relationship with that person.
67 (13) "Division" means the Division of Child and Family Services, within the
68 Department of Human Services, created in Section 62A-4a-103.
69 (14) "Extra-jurisdictional child-placing agency" means an agency licensed to place
70 children for adoption by a district, territory, or state of the United States, other than Utah.
71 (15) "Genetic and social history" means a comprehensive report, when obtainable, on
72 an adoptee's birth parents, aunts, uncles, and grandparents, which contains the following
74 (a) medical history;
75 (b) health status;
76 (c) cause of and age at death;
77 (d) height, weight, and eye and hair color;
78 (e) ethnic origins;
79 (f) where appropriate, levels of education and professional achievement; and
80 (g) religion, if any.
81 (16) "Health history" means a comprehensive report of the adoptee's health status at the
82 time of placement for adoption, and medical history, including neonatal, psychological,
83 physiological, and medical care history.
84 (17) "Identifying information" means information in the possession of the office, which
85 contains the name and address of a pre-existing parent or adult adoptee, or other specific
86 information that by itself or in reasonable conjunction with other information may be used to
87 identify that person, including information on a birth certificate or in an adoption document.
88 (18) "Licensed counselor" means a person who is licensed by the state, or another state,
89 district, or territory of the United States as a:
90 (a) certified social worker;
91 (b) clinical social worker;
92 (c) psychologist;
93 (d) marriage and family therapist;
94 (e) professional counselor; or
95 (f) an equivalent licensed professional of another state, district, or territory of the
96 United States.
97 (19) "Man" means a male individual, regardless of age.
98 (20) "Mature adoptee" means an adoptee who is adopted when the adoptee is an adult.
99 (21) "Office" means the Office of Vital Records and Statistics within the Department
100 of Health operating under Title 26, Chapter 2, Utah Vital Statistics Act.
101 (22) "Parent," for purposes of Section 78B-6-119, means any person described in
102 Subsections 78B-6-120(1)(b) through (f) from whom consent for adoption or relinquishment
103 for adoption is required under Sections 78B-6-120 through 78B-6-122.
104 (23) "Potential birth father" means a man who:
105 (a) is identified by a birth mother as a potential biological father of the birth mother's
106 child, but whose genetic paternity has not been established; and
107 (b) was not married to the biological mother of the child described in Subsection
108 (23)(a) at the time of the child's conception or birth.
109 (24) "Pre-existing parent" means:
110 (a) a birth parent; or
111 (b) a person who, before an adoption decree is entered, is, due to an earlier adoption
112 decree, legally the parent of the child being adopted.
113 (25) "Prospective adoptive parent" means a person who seeks to adopt an adoptee.
114 (26) "Relative" means:
115 (a) an adult who is a grandparent, great grandparent, aunt, great aunt, uncle, great
116 uncle, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, stepparent, first cousin, stepsibling, sibling of a child, or
117 first cousin of the child's parent; and
118 (b) in the case of a child defined as an "Indian" under the Indian Child Welfare Act, 25
119 U.S.C. Sec. 1903, an "extended family member" as defined by that statute.
120 (27) "Unmarried biological father" means a person who:
121 (a) is the biological father of a child; and
122 (b) was not married to the biological mother of the child described in Subsection
123 (27)(a) at the time of the child's conception or birth.
124 Section 2. Section 78B-6-113 is amended to read:
125 78B-6-113. Prospective adoptive parent not a resident -- Preplacement
127 (1) When an adoption petition is to be finalized in this state with regard to any
128 prospective adoptive parent who is not a resident of this state at the time a child is placed in
129 that person's home, the prospective adoptive parent shall[
130 Sections 78B-6-128 and 78B-6-130[
166 requirements of this section, before a child in state custody is placed with a prospective foster
167 parent or a prospective adoptive parent, the Department of Human Services shall comply with
168 Section 78B-6-131.
169 Section 3. Section 78B-6-128 is amended to read:
170 78B-6-128. Preplacement adoptive evaluations -- Exceptions.
171 (1) (a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, a child may not be placed in an
172 adoptive home until a preplacement adoptive evaluation, assessing the prospective adoptive
173 parent and the prospective adoptive home, has been conducted in accordance with the
174 requirements of this section.
175 (b) Except as provided in Section 78B-6-131, the court may, at any time, authorize
176 temporary placement of a child in a [
177 of a preplacement adoptive evaluation described in this section.
178 (c) (i) Subsection (1)(a) does not apply if a pre-existing parent has legal custody of the
179 child to be adopted and the prospective adoptive parent is related to that child or the
180 pre-existing parent as a stepparent, sibling by half or whole blood or by adoption, grandparent,
181 aunt, uncle, or first cousin, unless the [
182 otherwise requests the preplacement adoption.
183 (ii) The prospective adoptive parent described in this Subsection (1)(c) shall obtain the
184 information described in Subsections (2)(a) and (b), and file that documentation with the court
185 prior to finalization of the adoption.
186 (d) (i) The [
187 updated within the 12-month period immediately preceding the placement of a child with the
188 prospective adoptive parent.
189 (ii) If the prospective adoptive parent has previously received custody of a child for the
190 purpose of adoption, the preplacement adoptive evaluation [
191 updated within the 12-month period immediately preceding the placement of a child with the
192 prospective adoptive parent and after the placement of the previous child with the prospective
193 adoptive parent.
194 (2) The preplacement adoptive evaluation shall include:
195 (a) a criminal history [
196 prospective adoptive parent and any other adult living in the prospective home, prepared no
197 earlier than 18 months immediately preceding placement of the child in accordance with the
199 (i) if the child is in state custody, each prospective adoptive parent and any other adult
200 living in the prospective home shall[
201 Services, which shall perform a criminal history background check in accordance with Section
202 62A-2-120; or
209 (ii) subject to Subsection (3), if the child is not in state custody, [
213 prospective adoptive parents and any other adult living in the prospective home to the Criminal
214 and Technical Services Division of Public Safety for a regional or a regional and nationwide
215 background check, based upon the requirements of the court.
220 (b) a report containing all information regarding reports and investigations of child
221 abuse, neglect, and dependency, with respect to each prospective adoptive parent and any other
222 adult living in the prospective home, obtained no earlier than 18 months immediately preceding
223 the day on which the child is placed in the prospective home, pursuant to waivers executed by
224 each prospective adoptive parent and any other adult living in the prospective home, that:
225 (i) if the prospective adoptive parent or the adult living in the prospective adoptive
226 parent's home is a resident of Utah, is prepared by the Department of Human Services from the
227 records of the Department of Human Services; or
228 (ii) if the prospective adoptive parent or the adult living in the prospective adoptive
229 parent's home is not a resident of Utah, prepared by the Department of Human Services, or a
230 similar agency in another state, district, or territory of the United States, where each
231 prospective adoptive parent and any other adult living in the prospective home resided in the
232 five years immediately preceding the day on which the child is placed in the prospective
233 adoptive home;
234 (c) in accordance with Subsection (6), [
235 adoption service provider that is:
236 (i) an expert in family relations approved by the court;
237 (ii) a certified social worker;
238 (iii) a clinical social worker;
239 (iv) a marriage and family therapist;
240 (v) a psychologist;
241 (vi) a social service worker, if supervised by a certified or clinical social worker; [
242 (vii) a professional counselor; [
243 (viii) an Office of Licensing employee within the Department of Human Services who
244 is trained to perform a home study; and
245 (d) in accordance with Subsection (7), if the child to be adopted is a child who is in the
246 custody of any public child welfare agency, and is a child who has a special need as defined in
247 Section 62A-4a-902, the preplacement adoptive evaluation shall be conducted by the
248 Department of Human Services or a child-placing agency that has entered into a contract with
249 the department to conduct the preplacement adoptive evaluations for children with special
251 (3) For purposes of Subsection (2)(a)(ii)[
256 background check described in Subsection (2)(a)(ii)[
257 acceptable to the court that will:
260 other interested party[
269 (4) In order to comply with Subsection (3)[
270 criminal history background check is submitted shall be approved by the court.
271 (5) Except as provided in Subsection 78B-6-131(2), in addition to the other
272 requirements of this section, before a child in state custody is placed with a prospective foster
273 parent or a prospective adoptive parent, the Department of Human Services shall comply with
274 Section 78B-6-131.
275 (6) (a) [
276 through (vii) shall be licensed to practice under the laws of:
277 (i) this state; or
278 (ii) the state, district, or territory of the United States where the prospective adoptive
279 parent or other person living in the prospective adoptive home resides.
283 divisions may proscribe who qualifies as an expert in family relations or who may conduct
285 (c) The home study described in Subsection (2)(c) shall be a written document that
286 contains the following:
287 (i) a recommendation to the court regarding the suitability of the prospective adoptive
288 parent for placement of a child;
289 (ii) a description of in-person interviews with the prospective adoptive parent, the
290 prospective adoptive parent's children, and other individuals living in the home;
291 (iii) a description of character and suitability references from at least two individuals
292 who are not related to the prospective adoptive parent and with at least one individual who is
293 related to the prospective adoptive parent;
294 (iv) a medical history and a doctor's report, based upon a doctor's physical examination
295 of the prospective adoptive parent, made within two years before the date of the application;
297 (v) a description of an inspection of the home to determine whether sufficient space
298 and facilities exist to meet the needs of the child and whether basic health and safety standards
299 are maintained.
300 (7) Any fee assessed by the evaluating agency described in Subsection (2)(d) is the
301 responsibility of the adopting parent [
302 (8) The person [
303 connection with the preplacement adoptive evaluation, provide the prospective adoptive parent
305 adoption, including information relating to:
306 (a) the adoption process;
307 (b) developmental issues that may require early intervention; and
308 (c) community resources that are available to the prospective adoptive parent [
310 (9) A copy of the preplacement adoptive evaluation shall be filed with the court.
311 Section 4. Section 78B-6-130 is amended to read:
312 78B-6-130. Preplacement and postplacement adoptive evaluations -- Review by
314 (1) (a) If the person [
315 postplacement adoptive evaluation disapproves the adoptive placement, [
318 (b) Upon request [
319 additional preplacement adoptive evaluation or postplacement adoptive evaluation be
320 conducted, and shall hold a hearing on the suitability of the adoption, including testimony of
321 interested parties.
322 (2) [
323 consider the information and recommendations contained in the preplacement adoptive
324 evaluation and postplacement adoptive [
325 78B-6-128 and 78B-6-129.
326 (3) With respect to the home study required as part of the preplacement adoptive
327 evaluation described in Subsection 78B-6-128(2)(c), a court may review and consider
328 information other than the information contained in the home study described in Subsection