Frequently, nonbiological parents wonder how hard it may be for them to adopt a child. Today, we're going over the steps you may need to take to adopt your nonbiological child in Colorado.
To schedule a consultation with our firm for your case, contact us online or via phone at (303) 647-4245.
Getting Custody Rights in CO
As a rule of thumb, for a nonbiological parent to obtain custody rights for a child, they must be "in loco parentis."
The term "in loco parentis" means "in place of a parent." Individuals can be identified as "in loco parentis" if they are functionally filling the role of a parent in a minor child's life. This may include taking on responsibilities such as providing housing, food, transportation, medical care, education, and affection for a child.
Common nonbiological parents who may qualify as in loco parentis include step-parents, same-sex parents, and grandparents.
If you are declared in loco parentis by a court, you may be able to obtain custody rights instead of one of the child's biological parents (or both, depending on the circumstances of the case).
Obtaining Custody As a Nonbiological Parent
Generally, nonbiological parents must prove to a court that they qualify as in loco parentis to obtain custody of a child. This typically involves an in-court hearing, especially if one of the child's biological parents wishes to contest the nonbiological parent's custody rights.
During the hearing, the nonbiological parent may need to prove:
- They are effectively acting as the child's parent or fulfilling a parental role for them;
- They have a sustained and substantial interest in the child's welfare, and that is supported by their actions toward and around the child;
- One or both of the child's biological parents are unable to provide them with adequate care and should not have custody rights.
At The Law Office of Alexandra White, P.C., our attorneys can help you try and obtain custody rights for a child you are supporting. To schedule a consultation with our team and learn more, contact us online or via phone at (303) 647-4245.