Adoption is a wonderful way to expand your family and provide a child with a loving home. However, the process of adoption can be complicated. Once you decide adoption is right for you, consider speaking to an attorney that who understands the process, as well as the local laws that will affect your adoption. An adoption attorney can provide support throughout the process, as well as protection to help you avoid the pitfalls that occasionally occur.
Colorado Adoption Laws
Details regarding Colorado adoption laws are found under Title 19, Article 4 and address relinquishment of the child by his or her birth parent and adoption. It is important for prospective adoptive parents to understand that in most cases, the relationship between a child and his or her birth parent(s) must be legally terminated before a child is eligible to be adopted.
Colorado allows for the adoption of any child under the age of 18 years of age. Children 12 years and over must consent to their adoption. A person between the ages of 18 and 21 might also be adoptable as a child with court approval. People over the age of 21 might be eligible to adopt if they have special needs requiring guardianship once they reach adulthood.
Colorado residency is not required to finalize an adoption. Adoption cases are handled by the social services and juvenile court division. If a married couple wishes to adopt, they must petition the court jointly, unless one is the child’s natural parent, or has previously adopted the child, or is legally separated.
What Can an Adoption Lawyer Do?
The main job of an adoption attorney is to help you gain legal guardianship of a child that is not biologically your own. He or she can suggest adoption agencies, help you with paperwork, and provide representation in court if necessary. Though it is possible to adopt a child without an attorney’s assistance, most people who have adopted and those who understand the process usually recommend working with an attorney for your protection because Colorado adoption laws are extremely detailed.
An attorney can help you make important decisions about adopting and prepare for hearings or other face to face meetings that might be required. Should you encounter any legal problems during or after the adoption, your attorney can represent you in court.
Does an Adoption Attorney Increase the Cost of Adoption?
Adoption is an expensive process and some adoptive parents are reluctant to add to the expense by hiring a lawyer. Unfortunately, foregoing an attorney can actually cost you more in the long run. Adoption includes a variety of fees and expenses and an attorney can help you manage the financial side of the process. He or she can also ensure paperwork is filled out properly, so the time it takes to adopt is not increased due to mistakes.
If you have questions about adoption laws in Colorado, Montgomery Little & Soran, PC might be able to help. If you would like to learn more about adoption or you are dealing with another family or domestic law issue, contact us at 303-773-8100.