Some children may be born into families where one of their parents no longer takes care of them anymore, but they live with another person who is now their legal guardian. Stepparents or grandparents often may want to legally recognize and establish a relationship with children under their care. The process to do so is called intra-family adoption.
A Colorado Springs adoption lawyer at the Law Office of Jeanne M Wilson & Associates P.C., can represent grandparents and stepparents in their efforts to be recognized as a child's parent. Once an adoption has been finalized, you will become the child’s official legal parent. Our family law attorneys can assist you through this complex process.
The Colorado Adoption Process
We know that adding another person to your family unit is important, and we'd like to be able to offer some assistance. We can explain how the adoptive parent selection and placement processes work, give you resources to assist you through the entire application and placement process, and create a plan for you to follow so that you can become an adoptive parent.
Adoption isn't always an easy thing to achieve, the process comes with unique legal issues. Adopting children requires understanding the legal aspects involved in terminating the parental relationship between a child and their birth parents. The adoptive parents must prove that placing the child in their care is in the child's best interest. A parent who adopts a child must meet the following complex adoption law:
- Be at least 21 years of age
- Pass background checks
- Live in Colorado
A minor who is at least 12 years old must usually agree to an adoption. Once the adoption has been approved, the child will receive a new birth certificate identifying their adoptive parents as their parents.
Stepchildren can be adopted in Colorado, but it isn't as simple as it might appear. A biological parent can either voluntarily give up their parental rights or have if the court finds legal grounds to terminate them based on several factors, such as not paying child support or not exercising parenting time.
When legal requirements lead to parental rights being revoked, so are the legal rights and responsibilities to provide financial support for children. Any past due child support payments before the date of adoption will still be the responsibility of the relinquishing parent, but any future financial support will be forfeit.
The biological parent can contest a stepparent adoption even if they have not been involved in their child's life for a significant period of time. If this occurs a court can terminate the parental rights of the uninvolved parent in order to grant a stepparent adoption. Regardless of whether you're adopting a stepchild or are a biological parent who realizes the importance of having two parents involved in their children's lives, it is crucial to hire knowledgeable attorneys to help you through the adoption process.
Fortunately, Colorado is one of a few states still recognizing the importance of grandparents in children's lives and upbringings. Grandparent adoptions often are more complicated, but Drexler Law stands by to help you formalize an adoption plan or a temporary care arrangement for the benefit of the child or children involved.
Grandparents can ask for an allocation of parental responsibility for their grandchildren under certain circumstances. If a person’s parents die or lack the capacity to care for them, Colorado law permits grandparents or other suitable parties to take custody of children.
When the court determines whether a grandparent may seek parenting time with their grandchild the process can get difficult and usually requires the assistance of an experienced adoption attorney. Colorado's Children's Code and the Uniform Dissolution of Marriage Act both implemented statutes to secure grandparents' and other nonparents' parenting time and custody of minor children.
What Can Warrant an Intra-Family Adoption?
When a family court or social services decides that a child's birth parent or guardian isn't able to provide for them, they may recommend the child be put in the care of a grandparent or stepparent.
There are many factors and laws involved in child adoption, guardianship, child custody, and parental right allocation. At the Law Office of Jeanne M Wilson & Associates PC, we can protect your rights and guide you through the legal process so that you get the best outcome for your situation.