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Denver Divorce Attorneys

Adoption in Colorado

Colorado Adoption Process

In Colorado, adopting a child legally gives the adopting party all the obligations and responsibilities that a parent has, but also all the parental rights and benefits. Some adoptions must go through agencies with an attorney of their own, but others may go through the court system. For those adoptions, it is vital to have a well-versed attorney.

Adopting a child can be one of the most joyous times in a new parent’s life and our Denver family lawyers are happy to help remove the stressful and time-consuming aspects of the process so that the parent and child can focus on their newfound relationship.

What to Expect

There can be a lot of paperwork and processes in an adoption case. Because the relationship between a biological parent and child is being legally severed, the court expects perfection when it comes to following the procedures. Sometimes, adoptions can be contested as well, in which case, the adoption becomes that more complicated.

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How to Adopt

It is important to seek legal advice prior to commencing an adoption case in Colorado as the rules and procedures can be quite intricate. A background check through the FBI, CBI, and TRAILS will need to be completed prior to commencing your case, which can take up to 15 weeks. Whether or not the biological parent(s) are consenting to the adoption is another hurdle that will need to be addressed. If the adoption is a contested one, a hearing in front of a judge will be required.

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Kinship and Stepparent Adoption

The most common kind of adoption case that we see is stepparent adoptions or kinship adoptions (grandparent, aunt/uncle, sibling, etc.). In both of these sorts of adoptions, we need to either obtain consent from the biological parent to terminate his or her rights or we need to show that the biological parent has abandoned his or her child. Criminal background checks are required prior to filing the adoption paperwork with the court and there can be required waiting periods based on the last contact between the biological parent and the child to be adopted so timing can be vital. If the adoption is not consented to, a hearing will be required in front of a judge.

Private Adoption

If you are seeking to adopt a child other than a stepchild or a relative, it is still important to seek the advice of an attorney even though you may be required to ultimately go through an agency for the adoption.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to go through an adoption agency to adopt my stepchild or a child that is related to me?
In Colorado, stepparent and kinship adoptions do not need to go through an adoption agency. It is recommended that you seek advice from a family law attorney on whether you and the child meet the requirements for a valid and successful adoption.

Can I adopt another adult?
In Colorado, it is legally permissible to adopt an adult. This process is far easier than the adoption of a child especially if the adult being adopted consents to same. An adoption of an adult can have financial and legal benefits and can be a creative solution to rare, but complex legal issues between two parties.

Can my husband/wife adopt my biological child if the child’s father/mother is out of the picture?
If the biological parent has abandoned the child, meaning has refused or failed to provide financial support and has not had contact with the child for at least one year, then a stepparent adoption will likely be successful. While the abandoning biological parent may contest the adoption, the court will consider if the adoption is in the child’s best interests.

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