Adopting domestically (within the United States) is not always as cut and dry as people may assume. Sure, unlike international adoptions, there are no translation needs or dossier expenses, but there are plenty of other restrictions and rules that an adoptive parent must come to learn, and each state has its own set of “need to knows.” If you’re looking to adopt from the Centennial state, look no further. Here are seven facts about adoption in Colorado.
- There are two routes for adopting within Colorado: adopting through a private agency or adopting through a county agency. No third party involvement is allowed. If you’re primarily looking to adopt a child under the age of 5 or want to expand your search to include the entire United States, you will most likely be working with a private agency. Cost does differ between the two types of agencies as well.
- A “special needs” label may not be what you think. Within the state of Colorado, children may have a label of “special needs” if they are over the age of 5, African American or Hispanic, part of a sibling group that must stay together, have developmental delays, or have other physical, emotional, or mental delays or diagnoses.
- Colorado takes pride in their inclusion policy. Anyone over the age of 21 with a clean background check can apply to become a foster parent. So, come one, come all! If you wish to adopt a child in foster care, you must become a foster parent first, which means obtaining a home study and finishing your training.
- You do not need to live in Colorado in order to adopt from Colorado. You probably can’t live on Mars or some remote island no one has heard of, so I suppose there are a couple boundaries.
- Adoption assistance (both federal and state) in Colorado does exist. But, be aware of potential monthly payment fluctuations due to each county being able to handle their own negotiations.
- If you are interested in adopting an infant, the birth parent’s consent for the adoption can come at any time after the child is born. In order to revoke that consent, the birth parents have 91 days after they have relinquished the child to prove that consent was gained improperly (either through duress or by fraud).
- If you are adopting through foster care, there is no rule in the state of Colorado stating how long a child must live with adoptive parents before finalizing the adoption. However, in 2014 it was found that, on average, it took about 13 months between the termination of parental rights and the finalization of the adoption in Colorado, so don’t go in assuming it’ll happen as quickly as you wish. With adoption, it rarely does.
If you are ready to jump in and start your adoption journey within the state of Colorado, start by figuring out the age of the child(ren) you wish to pursue. Once you have decided that, Colorado has essentially laid out your path for you.