Wells v. Children's Aid Society of Utah

In Wells v. Children's Aid Society of Utah, P.2d 199 (Utah 1984), the Court applied a due process analysis under the Utah Constitution to give greater protection to the rights of unwed fathers of newborns. The Court described an unwed father's opportunity interest in developing a relationship with his newborn as a "provisional right" that is itself protected by the due process clause of the Utah Constitution. And the Court said that "we measure the statutory specifications for the termination of that provisional right against the tests of compelling state interest and narrowly tailored means." But because of the state's compelling interest in assuring speedy identification of the newborn's legal parents and the narrow tailoring of the statute, we held that section 78-30-4(3), the predecessor of the adoption statutes at issue in this case, was facially constitutional.