In Colorado, unmarried couples, or single individuals, can adopt a child in the same way that a married couple can. The major difference between married and unmarried couples attempting to adopt a child is that the unmarried couple, or single individual, will undergo greater scrutiny and face more difficult challenges as the adoption agencies impose more restrictions. If you are a single individual or part of an unmarried couple, that wishes to adopt, consult our offices to speak to a Colorado Springs family law attorney in-depth about the process. We’ve included some need-to-know facts about adoption for your convenience and to get you started on your journey.
In order for a baby, child, or teenager to be adopted, their biological parent(s) must revoke legal parenting rights; this can be done either voluntarily by the mother when she puts her child up for adoption, or by court order from a judge who deems the mother/parents unfit to raise the child. For children over the age of 12 years old, in order to be adopted, they must attend counseling to address any mental, physical, or emotional trauma they may have and to prepare for the adoption process and to live with a new guardian and/or family, as well as present their written consent to the process.
To adopt, an individual must be at least 21 years old; if married, they must file for adoption jointly with their spouse. All potential guardians are subject to interviews, background checks, home and work inspections, financial history review, and more. This is where unmarried couples face more aggressive challenges as the adoption agency will likely impose higher fees and longer wait times.
Once the process has begun, a judge will review the potential guardians and the child to determine what is best for the child and if the guardians will properly provide and raise the child. As an unmarried couple, you may need to go through “second parent” adoption; one member of the couple will file for adoption, and if granted custody, the second parent can then file for the same adoption process. This is common when a parent remarries and their new partner, the child’s now stepparent, wishes to legally adopt.
If you are single, in an unmarried couple, or are married and would like to adopt, call, or contact, us today to go over which challenges you may face and how to prepare for the adoption process. Our expert Colorado Springs family law attorneys are waiting to help you build your family.