Utah Adoption Law Challenged

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

(AP) Single mothers will no longer be able to travel to Utah to put kids up for adoption without first notifying their children's fathers now that state legislators have changed a law that critics said cleared a path for kidnapping and fraud.

The measure's sponsor says the revision will allow responsible fathers to challenge adoptions, giving them a chance to remain in their children's lives.

"We're trying to throw a speed bump into that process," Republican state Sen. Todd Weiler, who sponsored the proposal, said Wednesday.

"This will allow judges to know if a father has reached out and grabbed his rights," he said.

The law aims to cut down on cases such as last year's battle involving a drill sergeant from North Carolina who gained custody of his infant daughter after he said his ex-wife traveled to Utah, gave birth and placed the newborn up for adoption without his knowledge.

"It's kind of a reaction to this perception that we've become a magnet state for fraudulent adoptions," Weiler said.

Gov. Gary Herbert, a Republican, signed the measure Tuesday, weeks after a Utah Supreme Court ruling sided with a Pennsylvania father challenging the Utah Adoption Act as unconstitutional after saying his ex-girlfriend turned their baby over to an adoption agency without telling him.


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