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Adoption

Adoption is a process where one or two people assume parenting of another, usually a child. Legal adoptions permanently transfer all rights and responsibilities from biological parents to adoptive parents. Adoption can afford an opportunity for parenthood that may otherwise be unavailable. Adoption law varies by state and there are differing methods for adoption to include: adopting a newborn in the United States, an infant or older child from the United States foster care adoption system, or a child through international adoption.

Who can adopt a child in Colorado?

Generally, anyone who is 21 or older or a minor with court approval. Same-sex couples can petition for adoption; however, they may face legal restrictions in some areas. In Colorado, adoptees may obtain their original birth certificate, which is not the case in all states.

Colorado domestic adoptions
  • Generally, with some restrictions, parents desiring to adopt may advertise to find birth parents
  • Adopting parents may use an adoption facilitator from a county department, child placement agency or a private licensed child placement agency
  • If an adopter contracts with a birth parent, the adopter must pay medical, legal, counseling and pregnancy-related expenses
  • A birth parent can consent to adoption before birth, though a legal petition may not be filed in court until four days after birth.
  • Consent to adopt generally becomes irrevocable upon a Judge signing an adoption order.
  • Consent may be revoked in the birth parent shows fraud or duress.
Colorado international adoptions
  • Parents may petition a court to validate an international adoption. The court will issue an adoption decree if one of the adopting parents is a U.S. citizen and state resident, or if a party provides a foreign adoption decree to a court
Colorado foster care adoption
  • Adoption subsidies are available to an adopted foster child who is one or more of the following: 7 years or older, a member of a sibling group of 2 or more children, or has or is at high risk of developing a physical, mental, emotional, or developmental disability
Access to adoption records
  • Generally, adoption records are available to:
    • The adoptee when age 18 or older
    • The birth parents
    • The adoptive parent, custodial grandparent, or legal guardian
    • An adult descendant of an adoptee or the adoptive parent, with the written consent of the adoptee.
    • The adoptee’s spouse, adult stepchild, or adopted adult sibling, with the consent of the adoptee.
    • The birth grandparent with consent of the birth parent
    • The attorney for a party above
The role of attorneys in adoption

Lawyers can prepare and file adoption paperwork and represent parents at court hearings. Lawyers can also serve as a liaison between adopting and birth parents. Attorneys can ensure that adoptive parents have full access to a child’s health records and medical history.

In Colorado, the juvenile court handles adoption cases. However, in some smaller counties or judicial districts there may be only one court that handles all cases.

If you are considering adoption Janko Law, recently merged with WSM Law, is available to assist.

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