Denver Metro Area Adoption Lawyer
by Cory Gallagher, Denver Area Family Law Attorney
Updated on 03/23/2020
Is adoption right for you?
People consider adoption for many reasons. On this page we will discuss why adopting children may be the right choice for you to grow your family. I will also discuss the laws and process of adoption as well as the different types of adoption available.
If you’ve been trying to conceive for a long time you’ve probably already considered alternative options. Your physician may have suggested in vitro fertilization or other alternatives but you as many prospective parents tend to view adoption as a last resort. The reason for this is that most parents want a child of their own.
Surrogate mother or adoption?
Depending on their circumstances, couples may seek other options such as finding a surrogate mother. But in many cases, the obvious alternative is adoption. There are many children in need of a good home. Often childless couples are eager to adopt a newborn baby rather than an older child. Prospective parents are often deterred from adoption by the long waiting list sometimes involved in the adoption of a child.
Children's birth parents.
There are many factors to consider when looking into the adoption process. You need to be sure that adoption is for you and that you are prepared to make the commitment. Keep in mind that information regarding a child’s birth parents is kept private and usually little or no information is provided unless prior arrangements have been made to the contrary.
When a child is adopted, this ends all of the birth parents' rights and responsibilities. A birth parent cannot just reappear one day and try to reclaim the child.
Guardianship does not sever the rights and responsibilities of the birth parents but means that a caregiver is responsible for the care and custody of the child.
Legal custody is different than guardianship in that it may be easier to receive government services from the state if you are a guardian rather than a legal custodian.
Information pertinent to the child’s health can be disclosed and should be made available. Couples seeking to adopt a child should do plenty of research to find an attorney that is right for them. You should never become involved in an agreement that you are uncomfortable with. Be certain that you understand all aspects of the agreement before entering into or signing any type of contract. Ask questions where any uncertainty arises. Ask for clarification of any terms you may find unfamiliar.
The first step you will need to take once you have contacted an attorney is to discuss the requirements of adoption in your the Denver Colorado metro area. You also need to consider such factors as costs, legal fees and placement time, among others.
Ready for the commitment?
Assuming that you have discussed all aspects of the adoption process with your partner or family, be certain to express your preferences, questions and concerns to your attorney you are working with. You need to know whether you are willing to provide any needy child with a good, loving home or whether there are specifics you are looking for in the child you wish to adopt. Colorado does not specifically prohibit the LGBT community from adopting a child.
Do you want an infant or are you willing to accept an older child?
Are you willing to accept a special needs child?
Does the sex of the child matter?
Are you willing to adopt a child from a different ethnic background other than your own?
These are questions to which you must give careful consideration. There are approximately 300 children available for adoption in Colorado ranging in between the ages of 2 and 18. Do you have what it takes to fulfill that role?
Abuse, neglect, or other family issues prevent them from living with their birth parents.
Some of these children may be referred to as having "special needs" because they:
- Are 5 years of age or older
- Part of sibling group who must be placed together
- Are African American or Hispanic
- Have developmental disabilities such as Down Syndrome
- Have other physical, mental, or emotional disabilities, including attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
Adoptions are so important because they allow for children to gain new parents, new siblings, and other new relatives. Adoption is a great way to grow your family and provide children with a loving and caring home.
Hiring a knowledgeable and experienced Adoption Attorney can ensure that the adoption process goes smoothly. Call Cory Gallagher at (720) 295-4434 for a free consultation.
In Colorado, an adoptive parent must be at least 21.
There are 4 types of adoption including:
Adoption is the legal process where birth parents’ rights are terminated and permanently awarded to adoptive parents. When a child is adopted, the adopting parents step into the birth parents shoes and assume all the rights and responsibilities for the child.
A relative of the minor, and a spouse if married, petition the court to adopt the child. Under Colorado law, a relative is a grandparent, brother, sister, one-half sibling, aunt uncle or first cousin.
A non-family member, and their spouse if married, can petition the court to adopt a child if they currently have legal custody (Allocation of Parental Responsibilities established in a domestic or juvenile case) or guardianship (established in Probate Court).
A child can be adopted by a step-parent when the birth parent that does not live with the child has died, abandoned the child for a year or more, or not provided reasonable support for the child by paying child support. A step-parent can also adopt a child if the birth parent that does not live with the child consents and agrees to relinquish their rights.
Hiring a knowledgeable and experienced Adoption Attorney can ensure that the adoption process goes smoothly.
Call Cory Gallagher at (720) 295-4434 for a free consultation.