SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Senate gave preliminary approval Thursday to legislation that would create a mechanism for unmarried biological fathers to get notice of pending adoptions.

A letter from the mother would notify the father of his rights to protest the adoption under Utah law. The father would have 30 days to register with the state declaring his paternity. If the adoption does not occur, the father would be required to pay child support for the child, under the bill.

If the man fails to file with the state within 30 days of receipt of the certified letter, his rights to protest the adoption would be forfeited.

Sen. Todd Weiler, R-Woods Cross, said states such as Arizona, Indiana and California have similar laws.

"This is not a mandatory notice requirement," he said, explaining it provides a mechanism for unmarried biological fathers to receive notice and to be informed of their rights. The Senate voted unanimously to send an amended version of SB55 to a final reading in the Senate.

Marjorie Cortez