“Adoption” is the legal process where a man or woman who is not the birth parent of the child, becomes the legal parent entrusted with the responsibility of caring for and raising the child. A child is considered anyone less than 18 years of age.
Some of the various types of adoption include the following:
- Agency Adoption – Children are adopted through public or private adoption agencies.
- Independent Adoption or Designated Adoption – Private adoption is arranged directly with the natural mother or father without going through an agency.
- Foreign Adoption – State and federally regulated through the INS, single or married couples may adopt internationally, either independently or through an adoption agency.
- Stepparent Adoption – Covered in the section Stepparent Adoption
- Inter-family Adoption – Other family members, including aunts, uncles, grandparents, brothers and sisters, may adopt a child if divorce, death or other circumstances result in the natural mother’s or father’s inability to care for their child.
- Open Adoption – Prior to the adoption, the adoptive and biological parents know each other and remain in communication after the adoption.
- Closed Adoption – The adoptive and biological parents don’t know each other, and there is no contact after adoption.
Colorado has passed specific statutes to preserve the privacy of the birth parents and adoptive parents, allowing them to remain unidentified to each other. However, a voluntary adoption registry is also set up for those who want to provide identification of their name and address.
An experienced family law attorney can assist birth parents and adoptive parents with proper documentation and file necessary forms with the courts to meet the requirements of the adoptive procedure. Adoption will be granted based on the best interests of the child. In Colorado, the adoptive parents and children must attend an adoption hearing where a judge presides. If the adoption is approved, a final decree is issued at the time of the hearing, making the adoption official.