Utah Administrative Code
The Utah Administrative Code is the body of all effective administrative rules as compiled and organized by the Division of Administrative Rules (see Subsection 63G-3-102(5); see also Sections 63G-3-701 and 702).
NOTE: For a list of rules that have been made effective since January 1, 2020, please see the codification segue page.
NOTE TO RULEFILING AGENCIES: Use the RTF version for submitting rule changes.
R512. Human Services, Child and Family Services.
Rule R512-40. Identification, Home Studies, and Approval of Adoptive Families for Children in the Custody of Child and Family Services.
As in effect on January 1, 2020
Table of Contents
- R512-40-1. Purpose and Authority.
- R512-40-2. Definitions.
- R512-40-3. Identifying Adoptive Families for Children in the Custody of Child and Family Services.
- R512-40-4. Requirements for Persons Applying for Adoptive Placement of a Child in the Custody of Child and Family Services.
- R512-40-5. Home Study Requirements for Adoption.
- R512-40-6. Follow-up Services.
- Date of Enactment or Last Substantive Amendment
- Notice of Continuation
- Authorizing, Implemented, or Interpreted Law
(1) The purpose of this rule is to establish criteria for recruitment of adoptive families, standards for conducting adoptive home studies, and requirements for approval of adoptive homes.
(2) This rule is authorized by Sections 53-10-108, 62A-4a-102, 62A-4a-105, 62A-4a-205.6, 62A-4a-607, and 78B-6-128.
(1) For the purpose of this rule the following definitions apply:
(a) "Adoptive parent" means a couple or individual who completes Child and Family Services training for prospective adoptive parents and is approved by Child and Family Services.
(b) "Cohabiting" means residing with another person and being involved in a sexual relationship.
(c) "Home study" means a pre-placement adoption evaluation defined in Section 78B-6-128 regarding the capacity of the adoptive parents, their family, and their resources available to meet the needs of a child in custody.
(d) "ICWA" means the Indian Child Welfare Act, which defines relative by the law or custom of the Indian child's tribe and includes extended relatives. This definition extends beyond the state's definition of relative. (Defined in 25 U.S.C. Sec. 1901 et seq.)
(e) "Permanency" means the establishment and maintenance of a legally permanent living situation for a child to give the child an internal sense of family stability and belonging and a sense of self that connects the child to his or her past, present, and future.
(f) "Relative" is defined in Section 78A-6-307 as a relative who is the child's grandparent, great-grandparent, aunt, great-aunt, uncle, great-uncle, brother-in law, sister-in-law, stepparent, first cousin, stepsibling, sibling, or the first cousin of the parent, or an adult who is an adoptive parent of the child's sibling.
(g) "Residing" means living in the same household on an uninterrupted basis for 30 days or more or on an intermittent basis.
(1) Child and Family Services seeks to identify permanent adoptive families for children in state's custody whose primary permanency goal is adoption, or whose parents have voluntarily relinquished their parental rights or whose parental rights have been terminated by a court. Kin caregivers and other relatives should be considered first.
(2) Identification of an adoptive family for children in state's custody is accomplished by:
(a) Identifying if the child is in a relative placement who will adopt them.
(b) Targeting efforts to identify family members and others known to the child to consider adoption if not already in a relative placement.
(c) Targeting efforts to identify family members and others known to the child to consider adoption if not already in a relative placement.
(d) Discussing with the current caregiver about adopting the child.
(e) Coordinating with Child and Family Services resource family consultants throughout the state about potential adoptive families for a child.
(f) Website listing of a child for whom there is not an identified adoptive family within 30 days of the primary permanency goal of adoption or whose parents' parental rights are terminated.
(g) Requiring all licensed child placing adoption agencies in Utah to inform adoptive applicants that there are children in state's custody available for adoption in accordance with Section 62A-4a-607.
R512-40-4. Requirements for Persons Applying for Adoptive Placement of a Child in the Custody of Child and Family Services.
(1) Adopting a child in state's custody is based on an adult or couple's ability to provide a permanent family for the child. Adoptive applicants shall:
(a) Apply in the region where they live.
(b) Complete the adoption training program approved by Child and Family Services, with one exception:
(i) Training for relatives who are adopting a child will be based on needs identified on a case-by-case basis.
(c) Be assessed and approved as an adoptive parent by Child and Family Services following completion of a home study pursuant to R512-40-5.
(d) Obtain a foster care license issued by the Department of Human Services, Office of Licensing, or meet the same standards required to be licensed in R501-12, or receive a written waiver from Child and Family Services for a specific standard.
(e) An employee of Child and Family Services must receive a determination by Child and Family Services that no conflict of interest exists in the adoption process.
(1) A home study must be completed by the Department of Human Services, Office of Licensing, Child and Family Services, or by a licensed child placing adoption agency contracted with Child and Family Services to conduct home studies.
(a) A prospective adoptive parent may be approved for the adoptive placement of a child in state's custody if the following are met:
(i) The prospective adoptive parent and all adults residing in the home have passed criminal background checks, including a national fingerprint-based check that is approved according to criteria specified in Sections 53-10-108, 62A-2-120, 78A-6-308, and 78B-6-128, and Pub. L. 109-248.
(ii) A child abuse registry check is completed by Child and Family Services for the prospective adoptive parent and all adults residing in the home, including a check of child abuse registries in any states in which the prospective adoptive parent and all adults residing in the home have resided in the five years prior to application, that is approved according to criteria specified in Sections 62A-2-120, 78A-6-308, and 78B-6-128, and Pub. L. 109-248.
(iii) The prospective adoptive parent is a relative of the child and/or an ICWA placement preference and is legally married, single, or may be cohabiting.
(iv) The prospective adoptive parent who is not a relative of the child or ICWA placement preference is legally married or single and not cohabiting.
(2) The home study should be consistent with the standards of the Child Welfare League of America (www.cwla.org).
(a) The following factors are critical in the success of adoptive placements and are required content in adoptive applicant interviews and home study documentation:
(i) Commitment to the legal adoption of the child as a permanent member of the family.
(ii) Stable marital or cohabiting relationship and/or commitment and stability in other existing family relationships and/or the ability to sustain long-term relationships that would provide a base for an adoptive child.
(iii) Proper motivation and realistic expectations of a child who has experienced trauma and other effects of abuse and neglect.
(iv) Emotional openness, empathy, and flexibility.
(v) Strong social support system for both the parent and child.
(vi) Knowledge of resources to help raise a child.
(b) The following factors may significantly contribute to adoption disruption and are required content to be addressed in adoptive applicant interviews and home study documentation:
(i) History of emotional or psychological problems or substance abuse.
(ii) Marital or relationship difficulties and incompatibilities that seriously compromise the ability to meet the needs of the child.
(iii) Serious problems in child rearing.
(iv) Unrealistic expectations of self and child.
(v) Impulse control disorders.
(vi) Disruptive and/or crisis filled lifestyle.
(vii) Criminal activity.
(c) The home study assessment and family evaluation will include information gathered from the following:
(i) Criminal background clearances for all adults in the home as described in subparagraph 1a(i) above.
(ii) Child abuse registry clearances for all adults in the home as described in subparagraph 1a(ii) above.
(iii) Three written statements of reference, one of which may be from a relative, which are positive regarding the applicant's stability and parenting capacity.
(iv) Psycho-social information gathered from the prospective adoptive parent and family members.
(v) Home visits and interviews to assess the prospective adoptive parent in the following areas:
(A) Marriage, relationship, and personal stability.
(B) Ability to manage stress.
(C) Parenting skills and emotional openness and flexibility to provide continuity of a caring relationship.
(D) Capacity to parent a child who has experienced trauma and who may have other special needs.
(E) How the children living at home will be affected.
(F) How supervision for the child will be arranged in accordance with the child's age and developmental ability at times when the prospective adoptive parent is not able to be in the home.
(vi) Health status verification regarding the prospective adoptive parent based on a doctor's examination made within six months prior to the date of application.
(vii) Financial status that verifies income sufficient to provide for a child's needs.
(viii) Home health and safety assessment.
(d) The evaluation of the family shall include their strengths and challenges.
(e) To preserve family connections for adopted children, home study requirements for relatives or friends known to the child that do not impact the health and safety of the child may be waived.
(f) Recommendations shall be made regarding the specific child intended to be adopted or the age and type of child who can best fit into the home to ensure the healthy development of the child.
(1) Child-specific home studies will be reviewed by the child's caseworker or designated adoption worker.
(2) All other home studies will be reviewed by the identified region committee. As a result of the review, the region committee will determine if the applicant is approved to receive adoptive placements, if the applicant is denied for adoptive placements, or if more information is needed from the applicant.
(a) If the applicant is approved for adoptive placements, the region committee (or region designee) will send a letter to the applicant to let them know that they are approved for adoptive placements.
(b) When Child and Family Services determines through the region committee that there are concerns about making an adoptive placement with the adoptive applicant:
(i) The region committee or designee will provide their concerns in writing to designated region staff. The concerns will include any steps an adoptive applicant may take in order remedy concerns.
(ii) Two designated region staff members will meet with the adoptive applicant and review the concerns outlined by the region committee, including whether the concerns can be resolved.
(iii) The region designees will take clarifying information and/or steps that the applicant has taken to remedy concerns back to the region home study committee.
(iv) If the applicant has been able to remedy the concerns to the satisfaction of the region committee, the region committee will approve the applicant to receive adoptive placements.
(v) If the applicant is unable or unwilling to remedy the concerns, a formal, written letter will be sent to the adoptive applicant explaining that Child and Family Services will not be making an adoptive placement with them.
(c) If an applicant is denied for adoptive placements, the applicant may request that the Child and Family Services region director or designee review the reasons for the denial. The Child and Family Services region director or designee is the only person who has the authority to reverse a denial.
(3) All adoptive home studies will require an updated amendment within 12 months immediately preceding the placement of a child.
(a) A family licensed as a foster parent will require a home study update every 12 months to include background and child abuse registry clearances and to address any changes in the circumstances of the family.
(b) A family that is not licensed as a foster parent or has let their license lapse must have a home study update within 18 months of the original home study to include background and child abuse registry clearances and address any changes in the circumstances of the family.
(c) A home study that is older than two years will require new training requirements and a complete new home study.
(4) The home study document will be maintained in the Child and Family Services offices and will be destroyed according the retention schedule.
November 21, 2019
October 13, 2016
53-10-108; 62A-4a-102; 62A-4a-105; 62A-4a-205.6; 62A-4a-607; 78B-6-128
For questions regarding the content or application of rules under Title R512, please contact the promulgating agency (Human Services, Child and Family Services). A list of agencies with links to their homepages is available at http://www.utah.gov/government/agencylist.html or from http://www.rules.utah.gov/contact/agencycontacts.htm.