Many people want to extend their families by adopting children. While this is an admirable decision, adopting a child in Denver can be legally complicated. Hiring a knowledgeable family law attorney can go a long way in making sure the process goes smoothly.
At Shapiro Family Law, our caring, compassionate attorneys have helped families achieve their goal of adopting children. If you want to adopt a child, call us today at 303-695-0200 to schedule a thorough legal review of your case. Our adoption lawyer in Denver can answer your questions and help you get started with the process. We serve clients throughout Colorado.
How an Experienced Adoption Lawyer Can Help You
Hiring a family law attorney early in the can help you make sure you fulfill Colorado’s legal requirements for adoption. While you may handle an adoption on your own, having a lawyer on your side relieves you from having to manage all of the legal tasks associated with the process.
How Do I Start the Adoption Process?
In Colorado, you can choose how you want to adopt a child. Choosing the right kind of adoption for you and your family is an essential part of the process.
You can adopt:
- Through a private adoption agency; or
- Through a public adoption agency, which is a state or county government that has legal custody of children in foster care.
You may also choose to have:
- An open adoption, in which you and the biological parents share some personal information with each other; or
- A closed adoption, in which you and the biological family do not share any information.
- A stepparent adoption
We have considerable experience in handling all aspects of the adoption process. We can provide a wealth of information to you that will help you make informed decisions.
Colorado Statute §19-5-201 allows adoption of children under 18 years old, and adults between the ages of 18 to 21 years old, upon court approval. Additionally, children age 12 and older and adults must consent to an adoption before the process can be completed.
It is important to note that state law requires the biological parents to relinquish their parental rights before an adoption can take place.
Our attorneys can help you navigate this process. We have helped clients throughout Colorado choose how they want to adopt their child. We can also ensure the biological parents have given up their parental rights and help if you want to negotiate an open or closed adoption.
Who Can Adopt a Child in Colorado?
Under Colorado state statutes, any adult over 21 years old can adopt a child. These adults include:
- A married couple;
- People in civil unions; and
- Single individuals who can adopt on their own
- A stepparent.
A spouse in a same-sex couple can also adopt their spouse’s children without terminating the first parent’s legal rights. This is called a “second-parent adoption,” and it is available for biological and adoptive children.
In some cases, a person under 21 years old may also petition the court to adopt. If you are under 21 and you want to adopt a child, contact our office today. We can help you with this process.
Prospective adoptive parents must undergo a thorough background check. State and federal authorities will determine if you have any prior crimes or convictions. If the background check reveals a history of child abuse, violent crimes, or a felony offense involving unlawful sexual behavior, you will not be able to adopt a child.
Our attorneys can explain what to expect from this process. Not all convictions will preclude you from being able to adopt a child. Contact us today and let us answer your questions.
How Can a Stepparent Adopt a Stepchild?
In some cases, stepparents have become so attached to their spouse’s child or stepchildren that they want to adopt them. Before an adoption takes place, both custodial birth parents must agree or one must be deemed to have abandoned the child.
Our attorneys can help you with this process. If the non-custodial birth parent cannot be located, we can work with the court to allow your adoption to move forward. Our legal team can explain this detailed process and help you file the paperwork to notify the other parent about the adoption.
Is It Possible to Adopt a Family Member?
Many families choose to adopt children who are already part of their family unit, whose parents are either unable or unwilling to care for them. Our law firm understands how important it is for you to add another loved one to your home and we want to help you by fulfilling the requirements for kinship adoption. To adopt a family member, a petitioner must:
- Be 21 years old or older, unless a minor has the court’s permission to file the adoption; and
- Be a close relative of the child;
- Have physical custody of the child for one year or more.
Similar to adopting non-relatives, a family member is legally available for adoption if:
- A court has terminated the parent-child legal relationship;
- A court has approved voluntary relinquishment of the parent-child legal relationship; or
- A court-appointed guardian has executed written and verified consent, if the parents are deceased, or written and verified consent has been signed by the parents.
We can help you complete and file the kinship adoption petition and assist as you develop an adoption plan.
Contact Shapiro Family Law Today.
At Shapiro Family Law, we can provide you with legal guidance to help you navigate the adoption process in Colorado. We know how important adopting a child is to you and your family. That is why we work diligently to accomplish adoptions in a timely, efficient, and cost-effective manner. Contact our adoption lawyer in Denver today at 303-695-0200 to schedule a consultation.