Colorado Adoption Lawyers
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Adoption creates families. Adoption is the legal process where a person (or couple) assumes the parental responsibilities and rights for a child. The process can be contested or non-contested by the child's biological parent or parents. At Jorgensen, Brownell & Pepin, P.C., we assist individuals with the adoption process and other legal family law operations.
Our Colorado adoption attorneys can assist with:
- Step-parent adoption - When a spouse seeks to adopt the child of their husband or wife, the parental rights and support obligations of the child's other biological parent will be terminated, and the adopting step-parent will become the child's parent. A new birth certificate will be issued naming the adopting parent as the child's mother or father.
- Kinship adoption - A close relative can adopt a minor and become that child's legal parent. The relatives who can petition for a kinship adoption are the child's grandparent, aunt, uncle, brother, sister, half-sibling, or first cousin. The person seeking to adopt must have had physical custody of the child for a period of one year or more, and the child cannot be the subject of a pending dependency and neglect proceeding brought by the Department of Social Services.
- Custodial adoption - An unrelated person who has had physical custody of the child for over one year can seek to adopt the child. Legal custody may have been established through a Domestic Relations, Probate or Juvenile case (for example, the adoptive parent may be the child's temporary or permanent guardian).
- Second parent adoption - Second parent adoption permits a parent in a same-sex relationship to adopt his or her partner's child and become a legal parent of that child, giving the child two legal parents and giving both parental legal rights. Stepparent adoption laws require the parents be married, while second parent adoption laws do not.
A Close Look at the Adoption Process
In all adoption cases, the adoptive child must be "legally available for adoption." This means one of the following: a court has terminated the parent-child legal relationship of one of the parents, or a court has approved the voluntary relinquishment of the parent-child legal relationship. Most often, this termination of the parent-child relationship is done as a part of the adoption case.
The parent-child relationship of a parent can be terminated without that parent's consent when he or she has failed without cause to provide reasonable support for the child for a period of one year or more and/or has abandoned the child (not had reasonable contact) for a period of one year or more.
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