Adoption in Utah

Our office represents clients most often in private placement Independent Adoptions (that is where the birth parents choose the adoptive parents and place the baby directly with the adoptive parents usually at the time of the baby’s discharge from the hospital). We also represent clients who are adopting through licensed adoption agencies. We handle collaborative placements which combine the best features of Independent and Agency adoptions often without the drawbacks of traditional Agency adoptions. We represent birth mothers and adoptive couples throughout the United States.

Adoption process in Salt Lake City

While nobody can guarantee how quickly you will match with a birth mother who meets your needs and whose needs you meet as well, it has been our experience that our clients match promptly. The average client is able to match with a birth mother and have a baby in their home through our efforts in most instances from 6 months to two years on average of commencing the process. We do not have a waiting list in our office. In fact, because the birth parents choose the adoptive couple it really does not matter to the birth mother how long clients have been waiting to adopt–the birth mother may choose a client who just retained the firm or one who has been waiting a while–the choice and the reasons for that choice are the birth mother’s alone. However, unlike other law firms which stockpile dozens of clients, we work with a smaller amount of adoptive parents at any given time and our clients receive more individualized and personal attention to their needs.

Tax Benefits of Adoption in Utah

In May 2001 Congress enacted laws making adoption affordable for many clients.  Particularly, the law was revised to permit a tax credit of as much as $12,770.00 adjusted by the cost of living on an annual basis, for expenses incurred in connection with adoptions which become “final” to be claimed in the year when the adoption finalizes.  The same law was permitted adoptive parents whose adoptions did not successfully conclude to seek the same adoption tax credit in the year after their adoption failed.

In January 2013, Congress and the President approved new legislation which was signed and entered into law making the adoption tax credit a permanent credit (the old version had a sunset date of December 31, 2012) raised the maximum qualifying limits for families wishing to avail themselves of the adoption tax credit.  For many of our clients who qualify for the adoption tax credit, the credit covers the majority of their adoption expenses making adoption far more affordable.  You will want to speak with your tax advisors or accountant about the applicability of the adoption tax credit to your situation and whether you would be entitled to the entire credit or to only a portion of it based upon your adjusted gross income.  Please note that the tax credit is not available in stepparent nor in relative adoption cases.

The law also continues to apply to unsuccessful/failed adoptions. Among the other provisions of the revised law Congress eliminated the sunset provision on the old tax credit which would have caused the tax credit to expire in December 2001 (it now sunsets in 2013) and indexed the credit for inflation. The new law also increases the amount of money which employer may provide to employees tax free to help subsidize adoption efforts. To determine how much of your adoption expenses will be allowed as a tax credit on your federal income tax return please contact your tax preparer or accountant as the new adoption tax credit law will make a major financial impact for the better on the vast majority of adoptive families.

Commencing January 1, 2014 the maximum adoption tax credit for qualified adoption expenses will be $13,190.00. The adoption credit begins to phase out for taxpayers with modified adjusted gross income in excess of $197,880.00 and is completely phased out for taxpayers with modified adjusted gross income of $237,880.00 or more.


If you are in Salt Lake or Utah County we encourage you to contact Garner Law for an initial consultation where you’ll receive general divorce advice.