Parental Rights

Last Updated: April 2023
Question Answer

Does the state allow for termination or limitation of parental rights when a child is born from rape?


Does the state require a conviction for the sexual offense to terminate or limit the rapist’s parental rights?


May the state terminate or limit parental rights when there was a sexual assault that led to the birth of the child, but no conviction?


What parental rights can be terminated or limited?



Parenting Time

Are there any exceptions to the termination or limitation of a rapist’s parental rights?

Reinstatement of Parental Rights – rapist may petition for reinstatement of parental rights if child has been adopted out, was placed in state’s custody for a year and it is in the best interests of the child.

What other rights may be impacted by terminating a rapist’s parental rights?

Consent to Adoption - rapist parent's consent to adoption is no longer needed if parental rights are terminated. 

What is the procedure for termination or limitation of parental rights in these circumstances?

Any interested party may file a petition to terminate the parental rights of a rapist.

What proof do you have to show to terminate or limit the rapist parent’s parental rights?

May prove by a showing of Clear and Convincing Evidence of a conviction that termination is in the best interests of the child and that rapist parent is unfit if that parent. 

Are there any time limits for when a petition must be filed to terminate or limit the rapist parent’s rights?

Yes. After the date of the rapist parent's conviction, if the victim and rapist cohabitate and establish a "mutual custodial environment" for the child, then the vicitm is barred from bringing a petition to terminate. 

Does the law apply to both adult victims and underage victims?

Yes. If victim is a minor, then parental rights may be terminated, however, exceptions may apply to certain cases of statutory rape, including Section 401.1 Sexual abuse of a minor. Section 401.2 Unlawful sexual conduct with a 16- or 17-year-old.

Does the law have any exceptions for married or co-habitating victims?

After the date of the conviction, the biological parents cohabit and establish a mutual custodial environment for the child.

Can a court require the rapist parent to pay child support after parental rights have been terminated?


Statutory Citations

See, UT ST § 76-5-414- Child conceived as a result of sexual offense--Custody and parent-time

U.C.A. 1953 § 80-4-305. Court disposition of child upon termination of parental rights -- Postermination reunification

U.C.A. 1953 § 78A-6-508. Evidence of grounds for termination

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