(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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