Standard Adoption Process-Where To Start

Adoption in Colorado is a complex and long process. Since it involves the placement of children into a home, it’s only natural that there are requirements and a thorough process in place designed to protect the children who are being brought into new families and new homes. Patience is part of any adoption process, as there will be times when it seems like nothing is happening. However, the results are well worth the wait for many families.

If you are ready to bring a child into your home via adoption, having an adoption attorney who is familiar with state laws, procedures and requirements can be incredibly beneficial. At The Burnham Law Firm, our multi-disciplined team is fully prepared to assist you with this important matter. Keep in mind that adoption can be a very emotional process as well, so it’s best that you know as much as possible about how it works before you get too far into it.


The criteria for parents to adopt

Colorado’s adoption policies are focused on the children foremost, but they are also geared toward inclusion when it comes to adoptive parents. This means that you can’t be denied an adoption because of your religion, ethnicity, race, marital status, gender identity or sexual orientation. You must be over 21 years of age and be able to demonstrate a full commitment to the child or teen you wish to adopt. You also have to show that you can financially support a family that includes the new child. It does not matter if you work outside your home or work from home, and if you are married or have a partner, both of you working outside the home is not a barrier to adoption. You do need to be physically and mentally able to care for the child, and for married couples, both spouses need to seek the adoption.

You and your immediate family members are subject to criminal, abuse and domestic violence background checks, as this ensures the well-being and safety of the adopted child. Generally, persons with past documented instances of or convictions for violent crimes, including child abuse and domestic violence, are not allowed to adopt because of the risk they pose to the adoptee.


The agency decision

In Colorado, adoptions are done through a private agency or a county placement agency. This means you will have to decide which type of agency you want to work with for your adoption. While private child agencies do charge fees, usually ranging from $1,800 to $3,500, they may be required if you want to adopt a child who is under five years old.


Your home study

As part of the adoption process, you and your family will have to take part in a home study. This study, which is carried out by a social worker who is licensed to provide them by the state, is an overview of your family life. It will include the collection of necessary documents, such as your financial information, background checks, health records, birth certificate copies and other vital records. Visits to your home by the social worker are also included in a home study, during which she or he will interview you and your spouse (if you are married) and conduct an inspection of the home.

A home study is designed to document that the adoptive parents are decent people who are ready to add to their family, and that the adoptive home is a suitable environment in which to raise a child. To get an approved home study, you will need to meet various requirements. Staying organized, preparing, and taking things one step at a time will help ensure the process is productive and goes as smoothly as possible. Once a home study is completed by a licensed worker, it remains valid for up to one year from the date it was completed. If you do not finalize an adoption within that year, you will need to do another home study if you still wish to adopt.


An attorney can help

Your adoption will go through the agency you decide to work with. An adoption attorney can help during the process to answer questions and concerns, and help you facilitate communication between the different agencies you are dealing with. Delays in an adoption can be caused by mistakes made by the person who is trying to adopt, and these hold-ups can waste time, money or worse: the child may end up with another family instead, which can be heartbreaking.

At The Burnham Law Firm, we understand just how important, complex and emotional the adoption process can be, and we will be with you every step of the way as you prepare to grow your family. Contact us about your adoption today so we can help guide you through this critical time in your life.