For all of your adoption needs, count on Ciancio Ciancio Brown, P.C. We are a team of dedicated and highly experienced Denver adoption lawyers who will work tirelessly on your case. We will treat your family like our family, and do what we can to reach your goals.
Adoption is a beautiful and powerful process. It demonstrates a parent’s commitment and love for the adopted child. However, it is also a complicated legal process in Colorado. Your family will benefit from hiring an adoption attorney in Denver to assist you with the steps that it takes to successfully adopt a child. Even if you are already the child’s stepparent or legal guardian, an experienced Denver family law lawyer can make the legal process easier.
The right adoption attorney in Denver can play a critical role in a successful adoption. Your lawyer will explain the steps involved in a Colorado adoption and guide you through each one for an optimal outcome. The services that your lawyer can provide include:
Your lawyer can also help facilitate adoptions by serving as a legal liaison between a parent or parents wishing to adopt and social services or licensed private placement agencies. Colorado is one of only four adoption states that don’t allow lawyers to act as facilitators in private adoptions but instead demand they work through the state system or recognized private adoption agencies.
An attorney can ensure prospective parents have access to all medical information and health records before taking steps toward formalizing the adoption procedures. Only in stepparent adoptions in Colorado is it not necessary to work through an official child placement agency.
You can focus on your family’s future while your adoption lawyer represents you in all meetings, appointments and hearings related to your adoption case in Colorado. A lawyer can carefully navigate the complexities of your adoption case using years of skill, knowledge and experience.
Colorado family courts always seek to prioritize the best interests of the child in all matters of family law, including adoption. To that end, Colorado’s Department of Human Services as well as private adoption agencies operate with the aim to seek a safe, secure, and supportive family for every child rather than a child for every couple or individual seeking to adopt.
Private agencies in Colorado serve to place foster care children in permanent homes through adoption and also keep databases of expectant mothers prepared to give up their children for adoption. For children under a year old, an expedited relinquishment procedure for children available for adoption may be filed four days after birth. The court may grant the petition as soon as 7 days after filing without requiring a hearing. This procedure requires 63 days’ notice to the putative father prior to the baby’s due date. Then the father has 21 days to contest the termination of his rights.
Prospective adoptive parents may not financially compensate expectant adoptive mothers outside of the adoption agency.
At Ciancio Ciancio Brown, P.C., our Denver lawyers can assist you with all types of adoption matters, including:
Your lawyer can explain what to expect from your specific adoption case, so you avoid unwelcome surprises during an already emotional time. Our family law firm is here to help in adoption cases.
Adopting a child looks different depending on the state where you live, as each state has its own adoption laws. Colorado’s adoption laws are complex and highly nuanced, and you may need an attorney to help you fully understand them. Here is a brief summary of some of the key adoption laws in Colorado:
Successfully navigating these laws – and many others – is much easier with assistance from a licensed adoption attorney in Denver. An attorney can protect your rights and safety as an expectant parent. Your lawyer will help you avoid mistakes that could jeopardize your adoption, for example, and work effectively toward your goals.
Fostering to adopt a child is accomplished through Colorado’s Department of Human Services. Foster homes offer a temporary safe placement for a child with the ultimate goal of reunion with their family after their biological parents resolve issues, learn new skills, or become able to provide a safe, secure home environment. However, in some cases, reunion with biological parents or previous guardians becomes impossible for a variety of reasons. In these cases, a child may become available for adoption as the state’s secondary goal becomes finding a safe, suitable permanent home.
There is always a need for foster parents with a goal to adopt, especially for older children, teens, and sibling groups. To foster a child with a goal of adoption, the prospective parent must undergo a number of hours of training, classes, a background check, and a home study. Once certified as a foster parent, individuals wishing to adopt can request one or more foster children who are already cleared for the adoption process.
Adopting a child in Colorado begins with an understanding of the types of adoptions available in the state so you can choose the best option for growing your family. Many prospective parents adopt through the foster care system, but others choose international adoption. Some adoption processes address the needs of a stepparent who wishes to adopt the child of their spouse.
For most adoptions the general steps are as follows:
Stepparent adoption is a different process. In a stepparent adoption, the stepparent must pass a criminal background check and must have the legal consent of the child’s noncustodial parent before an adoption hearing can take place. For children over age 12, the court also requires the child’s consent to adoption by the stepparent.
International adoptions are also a unique process. Internation adoptions require validation through the court in order to issue the child a U.S. birth certificate. Parents must provide proof of a finalized adoption in a foreign country.
When a stepparent plays a full parental role in a stepchild’s life they may wish to formalize their status as the child’s legal father to match the emotional bonds already in place. Without a formal adoption, a stepparent has no legal parental rights. Before taking the step of legalizing this type of parent-child relationship it’s important to understand the following implications:
It’s important for all involved adults to discuss the full implications of this decision. Children over age 12 should also play a role in this important life-changing process including the decision to change their last name.
In Colorado, unmarried individuals can adopt children and so can same-sex couples. You must be at least 21 years old to legally adopt a child in Colorado, but individual agencies may have further age requirements. In some instances, the courts may allow an individual under age 21 to adopt, especially in the case of an older sibling wishing to adopt their younger siblings.
At Ciancio Ciancio Brown, P.C., we provide compassionate, personalized and innovative legal solutions to our adoption law clients in Denver and throughout Colorado. Your attorney will be on this journey with you, helping you add to your family while reducing the emotional toll typically involved in this type of family law case.
From deciding whether adoption is right for you to attending adoption hearings on your behalf, our Denver adoption attorneys will provide the services that you need. We are your lawyers for life. Please call us at (303) 395-4771 or contact us online today to request a free consultation.