& Family Law Representation
Legal Representation While Adopting in Durango
Many families are aware of how many kids need a loving home. Others have the desire to have a child, but they aren’t able to have one of their own. Still others want to adopt a child who is already in their lives, whether as step-children or as nieces, nephews, or grandchildren whose biological parents are unable to care for them. Adoptions take place either domestically or internationally and with children ranging in age from infancy to adolescence. However, many people make the decision to adopt a child born in the United States. If you are interested in a domestic adoption, the Durango family law attorneys of Greenberg, McGuinness & Alt can help. We have significant experience helping people adopt in La Plata County, Archuleta County, Montezuma County, and the Southern Ute Tribal Court jurisdiction.
Colorado Domestic Adoption Laws
Infancy, older child, and special needs adoption are all available in Colorado. Older children may be in foster care at the time that the adoption takes place. Special needs adoption addresses not only kids with disabilities but also much older children, minority children, or a group of siblings that must stay together. These kinds of adoptions are often arranged through social services. Greenberg, McGuinness & Alt has experience arranging adoptions of infants.
In order to adopt, you must be at least 21 years old. You need not be married, but you may need to complete a home study. This will include a background check, review of your financial status, discussion about your parenting style and childhood and marital status, and a safety inspection of your house or apartment.
An adoption can only take place if the biological parents have relinquished their parental rights or if the court has terminated their rights. At that point the child can be legally adopted by somebody else or by a family. A direct contract with a birth mother before the child is born is not legally enforceable. If you have made any sort of arrangement with a birth mother before the birth, you need to let your Durango adoption attorney know about these agreements.
In Colorado child custody situations, the court is most interested in the best interests of the child. If a child is placed in a new home, your adoption attorney must file a petition for adoption. You must wait at least six months before petitioning for adoption after you take custody of a child. This is a precautionary measure in case adoption is not in the best interests of one or more parties. Aside from an experienced adoption attorney, others who can make adoptive placements are birth parents, child-placement agencies, courts, and the Department of Social Services.
Many adoptions take place within an extended family because the biological parents are unable to care for the child. Even if an adoption occurs within a family, an adoption lawyer’s help with the adoption petition is important. Once you have started the adoption process, you should be aware that every county in Colorado handles its own adoptions. If you move out of the county, you may have to start the process all over again.
Ask a Durango Family Attorney About Adoption
The process of adoption will be smoother with the help of an experienced Durango adoption lawyer at Greenberg, McGuinness & Alt. The last thing you want is to find out months or years after an adoption that something fell through the cracks or that the biological parents are contesting your parental rights. Regardless of your circumstances, our trustworthy lawyers can help you. We represent clients in Durango, Pagosa Springs, Cortez, and Ignacio. Contact us at (970) 259-4422 or by filling out our online form.