In Colorado, adoption is the legal process of terminating biological parent’s rights and permanently granting them to the adoptive parent(s), who now assume all the rights and responsibilities of the child. In instances of step-parent, kinship, and custodial adoptions, court interaction and the filing of a case is required.
With these cases comes a great amount of detail, that is both procedural and substantive in nature. Having an attorney who understands adoption proceedings matters when it comes time to take the significant step of legally becoming a parent to a child. The adoption attorneys at Plog & Stein, P.C. are proud to help front range families with their adoption cases. Let us help you!Understanding Colorado Adoptions
Who can adopt?
C.R.S. 19-5-202 states that any person who is 21 or older may file for Adoption with the Courts. Factors such as the nature of your relationship to the child and duration of physical custody will determine what kind of adoption case to file (kinship, custodial, or step-parent adoption).
Who can be adopted?
Pursuant to C.R.S. 19-5-203, for an adoption to occur a child must be found to qualify as legally “available” for adoption. The child must be under the age of 18 and reside in Colorado. In addition, one of the following must have occurred:
- a) Legal termination of the parent-child relationship;
- b) Legal and voluntary relinquishment by a parent;
- c) Biological parents are deceased and guardian consents;
- d) One biological parent is deceased and the other parent consents to a step-parent adoption;
- e) Upon a finding that a biological parent has abandoned the child for a period of more than 1 year; OR
- f) Upon a finding that a biological parent has failed without cause to provide reasonable support for the child for a period of more than 1 year.
Adoptions can be contested or uncontested. Should the other parent in an abandonment or failure to pay support scenario object, he or she has right to challenge the legal proceedings. In these instances, a contested court hearing may be required tied into termination of that parent’s rights. An adoption cannot be filed if the child is the subject of a pending dependency and neglect case. At Plog & Stein, we are equipped to represent parties on both sides of a contested adoption case.
When filing an adoption, a family assessment or home study may be required by the Court. The purpose is to ensure that the child is being placed in a stable home environment. It is possible to ask the Court to waive this requirement, but the proper paperwork must be filed.
The prospective parents must also complete both state and federal background checks, along with a “TRIALS” background check from the Department of Human Services. This must be done within the 90 days prior to filing the adoption case.
If you or your spouse have a criminal history, speak with your attorney. Your ability to qualify as an adoptive parent can depend on the nature of the felony, misdemeanor, etc. A criminal history is not necessarily going to preclude a person from being an adoptive parent, but could have an impact, depending on the charge.Seek the Assistance of a Well-Versed Adoption Attorney!
At Plog & Stein, we understand that family is not defined solely by biology, but is built and maintained through love and caring. The ability to adopt a child and legally make them your own is a powerful process. Our firm is dedicated to your family’s success and ensuring that your legal goals are met. Let us help you!