Required notice in an adult adoption is different than what is required in the adoption of a minor child. Under Utah law, unless a pre-existing parent has died or has had their parental rights terminated previously, notice must be given to such parent when the petition to adopt is filed. Unless that parent consents or waives the right to contest the adoption, then the court must make necessary findings to terminate that parent’s rights before an adoption of a minor child can proceed.
Utah law governing adult adoptions does not require that prior notice be given to a per-existing parent. Those entitled to prior notice in an adult adoption include the adoptee’s spouse, the spouse of the person adopting the adult, and any legally appointed custodian or guardian of the adult adoptee.
Giving notice of the proposed adult adoption is not required prior to the adoption hearing or finalization of the adoption. However, upon finalization, Utah Code 78B-6-116(6) does require that notice of the final adoption decree be served on any person who was a legal parent of the adult adoptee prior to the entry of the final decree.
Service of the notice must be made pursuant to the Utah Rules of Civil Procedure. However, in part because a prior parent is not a party to the adoption action, service can be made under Rule 5, rather than under Rule 4 (governing service at the commencement of an action).
Rule 5 allows service methods including handing the paper directly to the person being served, mailing the paper to the person’s last known address, leaving a copy at the person’s residence, and leaving a copy at the person’s office.