Colorado Adoption FAQs

adoptionWhat is adoption?

Adoption refers to a legal process where a birth parents’ rights are permanently terminated and awarded to the adoptive parents, and the adoptive parents assume all responsibilities and rights for the child.

How does adoption differ from guardianship?

With adoption, a birth parents’ rights and responsibilities to the child are terminated. With guardianship, on the other hand, an individual is responsible for the child’s custody and care. It does not, however, sever the birth parents’ rights and responsibilities.

What are the different kinds of adoption?

There are three kinds of adoption: private adoption, adoption from the foster care system, and international adoption. Each of them require the completion of background checks, home studies, and paperwork.

Who can adopt in Colorado?

 In Colorado, there are very few limitations on who can adopt a child through child welfare. Individuals 21 years old and above can legally adopt a child. Individuals under the age of 21 may be allowed to adopt a child, with court approval. There are no restrictions based on an individual or couple’s sexual orientation or gender identity. There are also no restrictions on a couple’s living situation.

Can I adopt in Colorado if I have a criminal record?

You will not be allowed to adopt if you have been convicted of a felony in the areas of child neglect or abuse, spousal abuse, or child pornography. You will also not be allowed to adopt if you have violated a protection order, committed any crime against a child, any crime of domestic violence, or any crime involving rape, violence, homicide, or sexual assault. If you have any felony battery or physical assault convictions or felony drug-related convictions in the last five years, you will also not be allowed to adopt. If you are convicted of a misdemeanor in any of the abovementioned areas, you may be allowed to adopt if approved by the court.

How long does the adoption process take in Colorado?

No two adoptions are the same. How long the process takes typically depends on the child’s age, location, and the type of adoption. While the adoption of an infant can be done in six months, other adoptions can take two years or even more.

Can a child’s birth parents still take the child from me after adoption?

No. A birth parent can no longer reclaim his or her parental rights of the child after the adoption.

Can I use a third party or facilitator to adopt in Colorado?

No. State laws dictate that only a licensed child placement agency or the county department of social services can facilitate an adoption in Colorado. Except for stepparent adoptions, a child placement agency must be involved in every adoption within the state of Colorado. However, an adoption attorney may assist a client in communicating with all agencies and entities involved.

Do I need an attorney to adopt a child in Colorado?

While not required, it may be most beneficial to work with an adoption attorney throughout the process, particularly if you are considering adoption through a private or international agency. An attorney will be able to keep you informed throughout each step, streamline the entire process, and protect you from being a victim of any adoption-related crimes.