Where should I start?

For a step-parent adoption, gather (1) the child’s birth certificate, (2) the stepparent’s marriage certificate, and (3) any divorce paperwork involving the child’s birth parents, and then (4) contact Tim Daniels Law Services at (435) 592-1235.  We will help the adopting step-parent obtain the necessary background checks and prepare the adoption petition.

To adopt a foster child, the child must have lived with the adopting foster parents for at least 6 months.  Contact Tim Daniels Law Services at (435) 592-1235 and we will obtain the necessary documents from DCFS to open the adoption case.

How does a foster care adoption work?

There are 3 main steps to a foster care adoption:  (1) Preparation:  Tim Daniels Law Services gathers the necessary paperwork from DCFS (i.e., the birth certificate, the home study report, etc.) and files the petition.  (2) Hearing:  The hearing is usually with a juvenile court judge.  We are able to hold hearing telephonically for foster parents / petitioners who live out of state.  (3)  New Birth Certificate:  We obtain multiple copies of the child’s new birth certificate from Vital Records (whether from Utah or some other state).  Then the adoptive parents can go to the Social Security Administration (SSA) to request a new SSN and social security card for the child.

How much does a foster care adoption cost?

The court filing fee is currently $360.  The Report of Adoption fee is $8 per child.  Vital Records currently charges $74 for two copies of the new birth certificate.  The attorney fee is typically about $900 – $1,200 per child.  The good news is that DCFS will reimburse you up to $2,000 per child for adoption expenses under Utah Administrative Code R512-43-4, available at www.rules.utah.gov.  At Tim Daniels Adoption Services, we do not allow expenses to go over $2,000 because we want adopting foster parents to be fully reimbursed.

How much does a step-Parent adoption cost?

It depends on the work involved (i.e., whether the birth father wants to fight the adoption, in cases where the stepfather wants to adopt).  The filing fee is $360; the Report of Adoption fee is $8; and the attorney fee is typically about $1,000.  Also, there is a small fee (about $18) for the BCI criminal background check and perhaps a fingerprinting fee.

Is adoption the right option for me?

This is completely a personal decision.  Foster children often come from difficult or traumatic backgrounds.  We recommend that you ‘do your homework’ (i.e., have a lot of time with the child and understand their background and needs and your ability to provide for the child until adulthood) and approach the decision contemplatively.

What is the ICPC?

ICPC stands for Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children. Essentially, ICPC allows for the legal transport of a child from one state to another in a foster or adoption placement. Once a child is available for adoption, whether through birth or through placement of an older child, adoptive parents will typically travel to the home state of the child to accept placement of the child. It is in that state that they wait with the child until paperwork is complete and accepted by both the child’s home state and the adoptive parents’ home state.

(Taken from an article on adoption.org)