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Thinking About Adopting in Colorado? Start Here.

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“Adopting one child won’t change the world, but for that child the world will change.” 

Colorado has different kinds of adoptions; however, the state does not allow birth parents and prospective adoptive parents to enter into contractual agreements to adopt a child, also known as private adoptions.  In Colorado, if it is not a familial or custodial adoption, you must go through an agency, either a county human services department or a private adoption agency. 

When a child is adopted the rights and responsibilities of the birth parents come to an end.  A birth parent cannot reappear one day and try to reclaim rights to the child.

Any person over the age of 21 can adopt.  Those under 21 will need special permission from the Court.  If you are married, you and your spouse need to file jointly for the adoption.  If you are single, you can file on your own.

One of the most common forms of familial adoptions is a stepparent adoption.  A stepparent can adopt their stepchild if their spouse (the child’s parent) agrees and the child’s other biological parent either provides their consent or has abandoned the child for a year or more or has failed to provide reasonable support for the child. 

If you are a grandparent, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, half-sibling, or first cousin of the child to be adopted, and the child has lived with you for one year or more,  you can ask the Court to allow you to adopt the child through a kinship adoption.

Other types of adoptions include custodial adoptions (adoption of a child that you have legal custody of), second parent adoptions (adoption of a child who only has one legal parent) and adult adoptions. 

Persons wanting to adopt a child must go through a background check, which includes Colorado Bureau of Investigation and Federal Bureau of Investigation checks.  A family assessment or home study must also be completed in most types of adoptions. Separate paperwork must be filled out for each person, if you’re adopting more than one child.

Once the adoption is complete, the adoptive parents can obtain a new birth certificate for the child through the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (Vital Records) and the old birth certificate will be sealed.    

If you are considering adoption, we encourage you to seek the assistance of an experienced family law attorney who is well versed in this complicated area of the law in order to protect yours and your future child’s rights.