The adoption process can be hard to navigate, as there are numerous legal requirements depending on the type of adoption you are interested in pursuing. In today’s blog, we will talk about 3 types of adoption in Colorado and the filing process.
Types of Adoption in Colorado
Adoption from Foster Care
Adults who are interested in adopting through the foster care system must first become a foster parent. Adoptive and foster parents must:
- be at least 21 years or older,
- pass a background check,
- complete training, and
- receive a home study.
Foster parents must be able to use sound judgment like a prudent parent and demonstrate a responsible, stable, and emotionally mature lifestyle.
International adoption is the adoption of a child and/or teen from another country. There are different types of international adoptions that will determine which type of Visa the child will receive in the finalization of an adoption. Certain Colorado child placement agencies that are licensed to complete private adoptions finalize these adoptions and support the prospective families and children in this process.
Private Domestic Adoption
Private domestic adoption is a voluntary relinquishment of parental rights by biological parents placing a child or youth into the custody of a child placement agency licensed to complete adoptions. These placements are arranged and managed by child placement agencies and private Colorado adoption attorneys. Note that Colorado is an agency-to-agency state, which means that no facilitation from private stakeholders is allowed during the private adoption process. Generally, agencies are involved to provide support to the adoptive family prior to and after finalization of private domestic adoptions.
How to File for Adoption
Once you’ve decided what type of adoption you are interested in, you can begin the filing process. Keep in mind that every prospective adoptive parent must complete core training in addition to other required training before adopting, such as CPR and first aid. The training is an important step in preparing for adoption. Note that in two-parent households, both parents are required to complete training.
Next, prospective parents should expect a home study. The Colorado home study process is tailored to the type of adoption parents are interested in pursuing. Note that every prospective foster parent must:
- pass a background check,
- complete training, and
- receive a home study from a county human service department or child placement agency.
On average, the home study process takes 3-6 months to complete.
In Colorado, most children or youth in foster care are adopted by their foster parents. In any case, the matching process heavily depends on the child welfare caseworker making the matches for a child or sibling group. Once the home study process is complete, certified families can make inquiries on children who are waiting to be adopted and should discuss what type of child they would like to adopt with their county or child placement agency. This discussion could include but is not limited to age, disabilities, sibling groups, and gender identity.
Finalization of Adoption
Prior to placement, foster parents will be provided additional information about the adoptee, such as the history of each child or youth such as medical, emotional, disability, and all other pertinent information including if parental rights to the children have been terminated. Ideally, if the placement is determined to be a fit for the family and the child, they will be slowly transitioned into the foster home through scheduled visits and a transition plan.
Be aware that before finalization of the adoption, a foster parent will have agency caseworkers visit their home to assist with the transition and provide support. Caseworkers are required to visit the child monthly in and out of the home to determine their safety, permanency, and well-being. In Colorado, post-placement supervision is required for a minimum of 6 months before finalization of the adoption can occur.
An adoption hearing to finalize the adoption of the child will be set before the court in the jurisdiction where the child welfare agency is located or in the county where the private adoption is being finalized legally. This hearing is when the youth will officially become part of the family. From there, post permanency services and support can be provided to continue to support adoptive families after an adoption has been finalized.
Adult adoption – a court process that creates a legal relationship between a person older than 18 years of age – has a slightly different filing process. Overall, adult adoption is a quick process and can often be completed within 90 days.
Note that a home study is not necessary to complete the adult adoption process. Additionally, adult adoption generally does not require an actual hearing, but one can be requested. Be aware that adult adoption in Colorado does not affect the rights of biological parents, and they do not need to be notified of an adult adoption proceeding.
Let the Law Office of Alexandra White, P.C. Help!
If you are interested in adopting, whether through the foster system, internationally, or in a private case, consult an experienced lawyer for legal support throughout the process. Depending on what type of adoption you are pursuing, you might face training requirements and a thorough home study process. Let an attorney help you navigate the adoption process in Colorado; you deserve to build your family on your terms.
Schedule a free case consultation with the Law Office of Alexandra White, P.C. today!