At its core, the adoption process works to establish a legally binding relationship, where one did not exist before. There are a variety of reasons that may make adoption the right choice for families. Many different avenues for adoption exist, and depending on your situation, the process can be complicated. At GEM Family Law, our attorneys are well versed in:
- Step Parent Adoption
- Same Sex Adoption
- Adoption from Foster Care
- Adult Adoption
The formal adoption of a child can be among the most caring and thoughtful things a parent can do. A stepparent adoption occurs when the non-custodial spouse of a child elects to adopt the child of the custodial spouse, their partner. Non-legal parents do not possess the full rights and privileges as their partners and a formal adoption often makes legal sense. Additionally, adoption can have a strong emotional impact on families, working to strengthen existing bonds.
In Colorado, all parties must agree for a step-parent to be legally eligible for adoption. While many adoptions can go smoothly, if the biological parent raises a legal objection, the family may end up inside of a courtroom. Make no mistake, this is a formal legal process and a verbal arrangement may not be sufficient for a court to grant custody. When this does occur, or if the biological parent cannot be located, our Denver family law attorneys can help parents take legal action.
When a parent contests an adoption, a family can move to terminate their parental rights, in which case they would no longer require consent. The termination of consent can be accomplished if (1) the birth parent has not communicated with or provided a child with support for a period of time, or (2) they are not fit for parental responsibilities, or (3) the contesting party does not have a legitimate legal claim to parental rights. The need for their consent may also be voided if the child is over the age of 18. While adoption generally occurs when the child is a minor, it is not uncommon for families to seek adult-adoption.
After the finalization of an adoption, a parent will have the same legal rights, responsibilities, and privileges of a parent by birth. This means that as an adoptive parent, you will be able to make financial, medical, and educational decisions for and on behalf of your child. If you and your spouse are ready to pursue an adoption, GEM Family Law can help. Our Denver family law attorneys understand the legal complexities specific to step-parent adoptions.
In most situations, the adoption process proves to be far more intricate than the adopting parents anticipated, even if it is just one stepparent adopting the child of their new spouse. For same-sex couples looking to grow their family through adoption, even more obstacles may be in their path. At GEM Family Law, our mission and our passion is helping families of all types find happiness and comfort after coming face-to-face with serious family law complications.
A same-sex couple that wants to raise a child may only have adoption to do so, as scientific measures could prove to be too costly or time-consuming, or simply not an experience they want. For this reason and more, our family law firm feels driven to uplift and encourage same-sex spouses during the adoption process since we know it might be their first and last option. It begins with a state-managed home study to determine if the aspiring adopters can provide a healthy family life in a stabile home environment.
An inspector or interviewer will be interested in:
- Each parent’s criminal history
- Medical necessities of either parent
- Financial stability of the household
- Reasons behind wanting an adopted child
If the social worker is satisfied with the apparent conditions of your home and home life, you can expect that a judge will approve of your same-sex adoption. From there, you will have to decide what sort of adoption you would like to use: public or private. In a public agency adoption, you will be using a foster home to find the right child for you. In private agency adoption, you may work directly with the parents of the child up for adoption, or work with a company specializing in adoptions. There are pros and cons to both forms of adoption, so it is advised you speak with an attorney first before reaching your final decision.
Adoption is one of the most wonderful things that a parent or family can do for a child. It can be a very uplifting and positive experience for you and your family to give a child in need a safe and happy home. However, the adoption process can be complicated and time-consuming, as there are many laws and regulations surrounding adoptions practices.
We are here to help facilitate foster care adoptions by:
- Family members (grandparents, aunts, uncles, or adult siblings)
- Foster parents who want to go through the formal adoption
- Couples who are not in the foster care system
At GEM Family Law, we provide knowledgeable guidance for parents interested in foster care adoption. From handling the paperwork to helping you navigate adoption agencies and adoption hearings, we can help guide you through the process and see that the matter is executed seamlessly. Our goal is to make the process as stress-free and efficient as possible.
Families come in all shapes and sizes, and they change as children become adults. Adults who have emancipated from foster care or those who do not have supportive family relationships may feel a strong connection to an adult who is not their biological parent. A guardian, relative, teacher, coach, mentor, or former foster parent can become a parent-like figure in a person’s life. Adult adoption is the formalization of this existing parent-like relationship. It establishes a permanent, life-long connection. There is no age limit for adoption and the process is significantly difference from the process to adopt a minor.
The adult adoption process is a formal legal proceeding. The attorneys at GEM Family Law are experienced in adult adoptions and can help you navigate the legal process.