Understanding the Colorado Stepparent Adoption Process

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By: Bill Henry
PublishedAug 13, 2018

UpdatedMar 5, 2021
2 minute read

Stepparent adoption is one of Colorado’s most common forms of adoption. Because Colorado stepparent adoption is often considered the best, most secure situation for a child who has a parental relationship with the stepparent, courts may simplify the requirements inherent in other forms of adoption.

Colorado Stepparent Adoption Process

Colorado stepparent adoption
Before a stepparent is eligible to file for adoption in Colorado, he or she must meet several basic requirements. The adopting stepparent must:

      1. Have been a Colorado resident for at least six months
  1. Be over the age of 21 years
  2. Be able to successfully pass several background checks

Colorado Stepparent Adoption Steps to Secure Legal Parenthood Rights

  1. File a petition for adoption with Colorado courts.
  2. File by the custodial parent, showing their approval of the adoption.
  3. Gain the consent of the child if he or she is over 12 years of age.
  4. Obtain and file the non-custodial parent’s consent.
  5. If the non-custodial parent’s consent cannot be obtained, show the non-custodial parent has abandoned the child for one year or more or has failed to provide reasonable support for the child, without cause.

Typically, the one area where problems arise is step four: gaining the consent of the non-custodial parent. Even for the most unsupportive biological parent, giving consent for the adoption of a child can be a difficult step. Inherent in their consent is the relinquishment of all parental rights.

How to Overcome a Biological Parent’s Refusal 

If a biological parent balks at giving consent for the adoption, the custodial parent and stepparent can file a petition with the court to terminate all parental rights of the noncustodial parent.

In this case, the stepparent and spouse will have to prove either abandonment or failure to provide support for a period of at least a year.

If a biological parent has visited even occasionally or provided minimal support during that time, it can derail the adoption.

However, if a parent has not provided the required support, he or she will have few avenues of escape.

Colorado courts require parents to pay some level of support even if they are unemployed, disabled, or incarcerated.

Successful Completion of a Colorado Stepparent Adoption

Once the process is complete and the stepparent adoption is finalized, the child will receive a new birth certificate with his or her new name. The new birth certificate will list the stepparent as a parent.

At that time, the adoptive parent will assume all the legal rights of parenthood and the child will have the same inheritance rights as the stepparent’s natural heirs.

Connect with a Colorado Stepparent Adoption Attorney

If you are considering adopting your stepson or stepdaughter in Colorado, you should consider contacting an experienced stepparent adoption attorney. While stepparent adoptions can be easier than other types of adoptions, properly completing all of the legal formalities ensures fewer snags along the way.

Our Colorado stepparent adoption attorneys understand the challenges you face at this important juncture. We understand having a strong and capable ally will help you achieve your objective as quickly and amicably as possible.

We always offer a free initial assessment. Call 303-688-0944 to set up that appointment or click here to schedule your meeting.

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