What to Know Before Adopting in Colorado
Adopting a child is a life-changing and rewarding experience. However, the adoption process can prove challenging for prospective parents.
If you are considering adoption in Colorado, the following article offers valuable information about legal adoption in the state including:
- The eligibility to adopt in Colorado;
- The types of adoption in Colorado;
- The adoption process in Colorado; and
- The reversal of adoptions in Colorado.
To discuss particular case details, contact an experienced Broomfield adoption attorney.
Eligibility to Adopt in Colorado
Any person 21 years or older may adopt in Colorado. Adoptive and foster parents must pass a background check, complete training, and a home study.
Spouses must apply to adopt a child jointly. Same-sex couples may adopt a child in Colorado.
A person convicted of a felony crime including child abuse, neglect, battery, sexual assault, rape, or murder cannot adopt a child in Colorado.
Types of Adoption in Colorado
A Colorado adoption can take place within a family or from outside of a family. Adoptions within a family may include a stepparent adoption or a kinship adoption.
In a stepparent adoption, a stepparent who is legally married to a child’s biological parent adopts that child. A kinship adoption is an adoption where one biological family member adopts another.
Adoptions from outside of a family may be public, private, or international. A public adoption is one through the Department of Human Services foster care system.
A private adoption is an adoption coordinated through an agency. A birth mother is matched with a prospective parent or parents.
In agency adoptions, a child’s natural parents directly transfer their parental rights to the adoptive parents. This is different from public adoptions where parental rights are initially transferred to the state.
Agencies may also assist with international adoptions. These adoptions are some of the most costly and complicated.
The Adoption Process in Colorado
Whether prospective parents choose public or private adoption, they are typically required to attend parenting classes. These classes outline the adoption process and highlight the emotional and behavioral needs of adopted children.
Home studies are a requirement for most adoptions. During a home study, a licensed social worker meets with a potential family in their home to ensure the following:
- The safety of the home environment;
- The aptitude and competency of the family; and
- The family is educated and prepared for the adoption.
Home study interviews are conducted with every member of the family. The conversations can be lengthy and very personal.
Prospective parents will also undergo a thorough check of their finances and a medical assessment. These are to ensure a stable home and living situation for an adopted child.
An adoptive parent can petition the court to finalize an adoption six months from the date that they take custody of a child.
The Reversal of Adoptions in Colorado
Colorado allows final adoption decrees to be challenged within 91 days of their initial passage. Outside of the 91 days, a decree can only be challenged when there is clear and convincing evidence that the adoption is not in the best interest of the child.
Contact an Experienced Broomfield Adoption Attorney Today
If you are a prospective parent in Colorado and want to know more about the types of adoption available to you or the state’s adoption process, Danielsen Westhoff, PC, can help. We are a full-service Broomfield family law firm experienced in stepparent, kinship, and other areas of adoption.
Schedule an appointment with an adoption attorney today to discuss your questions and concerns. You can reach Danielsen Westhoff, PC, by phone or via our online contact form.