Adopting a child is a life-changing event for both parents and the adopted child. For potential and current adoptive parents in and around Wheat Ridge, Colorado, it is important to understand family law and the adoption process.

Among the forms of adoption in the state of Colorado are stepparent adoptions, kinship adoptions, and custodial adoptions:

  • Stepparent adoptions - stepparent adoptions typically occur when the biological parent is not present in a child's life. It can occur without the consent of a noncustodial parent if the child has had no contact with or support from the parent for a year or more.
  • Kinship adoptions - if biological parents are missing or considered unfit to care for their child or children due to drug use or mental illness, a relative may adopt the child. Relatives may include brothers or sisters, aunts, uncles, half-siblings, grandparents and first cousins.
  • Custodial adoptions - if parents have had physical or legal custody of a child for a year or longer, with permission of the child's biological parents the child may be adopted via a custodial adoption. Doing so will help offset costs associated with going through a traditional adoption through an agency.

It is important to understand that potential adoptive parents are subject to home studies, background checks, paperwork and may encounter significant wait times with no guarantee of ever being matched with a child. It is important to understand the process. But this should not dissuade potential adoptive parents, as the potential reward of caring for a child in need of loving parents is priceless.

Source: Colorado Foster Care and Adoption, "Adoption in Colorado", accessed on March 3, 2015