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Utah – Small step in the right direction…

12 Jan

It seems I can go days with nothing to talk about, and then suddenly I can’t stop talking.  I know I have ranted often about Utah, but at least this is a somewhat positive post.  Utah Department of State is apparently now going to comply with all the state statutes.  They are also supposedly going to put it in the FAQ’s that I talked about before being so NOT helpful.  Perhaps all the bad publicity is paying off – one can only hope.

Unwed fathers get help figuring out what to do in adoption fight (emphasis mine – excerpt below)

For an unwed father who wants to know what to do to protect his parental rights in a Utah adoption proceeding, the process just got easier.

The state Department of Health on Tuesday made the paternity proceeding form and instructions on how to file with Utah’s putative father registry available on the website of the Office of Vital Records and Statistics, which maintains the registry.

Department Director David Patton said the change and other reforms were prompted by a recent Salt Lake Tribune series highlighting the difficulty unwed fathers and attorneys — especially those from out-of-state — had finding information about the registry.

The paternity proceeding form now can be found under the “court orders” link on the Vital Records home page, although the information still doesn’t show up when searching the state website for key terms such as “putative father” or “paternity proceeding.”

There are plans to add information about how to file with the registry to the website’s “frequently asked questions” listing. The form also will now be available at county health departments throughout Utah — a measure required by state law the department hadn’t followed.

“Frankly, I had not been aware of this issue very much and so the article helped us to review the statute, which I think was our primary concern,” Patton said. “We want to be in compliance with the statute.”

The online access makes sense, he said.

Since 1975, Utah has required unwed fathers to file with the state in order to receive notice of an adoption proceeding for a biological newborn child. That requirement was strengthened in 1995, when sweeping revisions were made requiring unwed fathers to initiate a paternity action in court and file a “notice of commencement of paternity proceeding” with Vital Records.

But scores of unwed fathers, many of whom live in other states, allege Utah intentionally makes it difficult figure out how to protect their rights when they object to an adoption.

Patton said Tuesday it was his goal to make the form available to anyone who wants it.

“There is no reason to restrict that access,” he said. “If we can make it available as many places as feasible, that’s not a problem.”

Go read the whole thing – I hope they follow through on what is said in the article and ensure that it is clearly identified that the form is not enough – they have to file a paternity action in court as well and that requires a parenting plan laid out in detail.

I also hope every single parent who has boys reads this and educates their son(s) regardless of what state they live in – watch out for Utah. 

Enough is enough.

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4 Comments

Posted by on January 12, 2012 in Adoption, biological child, Ethics

 

Tags: , , ,

4 responses to “Utah – Small step in the right direction…

  1. Linda

    January 12, 2012 at 11:56 pm

    It will be interesting to see how this unfolds. In my opinion, it is just lip service because of the recent stories about fraudulently obtained children who are being kept from their natural fathers. A few people commented about the fact that this does nothing for out of state fathers who find out their child was born in Utah, after the child’s mother was shuttled there by paps & LDSFS or other LDS umbrella agencies. I hope it’s a good thing, I really do, but I doubt it.

     
  2. The adopted ones

    January 13, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    Me too Linda. I do think though that there is hope that the Utah Supreme Court finally says enough – there are dissenting opinions on the prior cases. It is all just so incredibly sad and makes me very angry.

    You would not believe the number of search queries about fathers rights and Utah show up in my stats – one of the reasons I posted this as they seem to find this blog so at least they have current newspaper articles to find.

    No one should EVER deny a parent the right to be a parent in these situtations – just wrong and it will bite them sooner or later and then the fall out will be terrible.

     
  3. Lorraine Dusky

    January 13, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    Thanks for the heads up about this change. We too have been ranting about Utah and the Mormon influence which means single parenting is bad, adoption is good attitude that permeates the state. But the state needs to make meaningful change in the way it allows agencies to legally kidnap children from fathers who want them. This seems, as Linda above notes, like…too little, too late and of course does nothing for the fathers who children have been stolen.

    I see those ads on television urging people to come to Utah to ski, and I think, Utah: Land of Baby Thieves.

     
    • The adopted ones

      January 13, 2012 at 4:21 pm

      Of course they need to make changes in the law itself – no question about that at all. Yet is is a small step and I can be somewhat positive about it for fathers in the future.

       

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