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In many situations, it’s appropriate and natural for stepparents to want to adopt their stepchildren. Colorado law allows for this under certain conditions. An attorney can help you determine if you can meet these conditions and what steps you need to take if you want to adopt your stepchild.

Blood relation isn’t a requirement to be a good parent. Many Colorado stepparents take on a parental role, offering the guidance and care their stepchildren deserve. To solidify and legalize this parental role, some stepparents decide to adopt their stepchildren. While adopting stepchildren is a similar process to other Colorado adoptions, there are some additional requirements.

If you are a stepparent who desires to legally adopt your stepchild, there are some requirements that you should be keenly aware of. By hiring knowledgeable Aurora adoption lawyers, you can be assured that you know the exact requirements and that you have an advocate on your side to keep you informed and help you meet them.

Surrender of Other Biological Parent’s Rights

Before you even start the adoption process, it’s crucial to ensure that the child’s biological parent has surrendered their legal parental rights. This can be done voluntarily, or in some situations, the court can enforce an involuntary surrender. An involuntarily surrender is only appropriate if a judge determines the biological parent to be an unfit parent for a reason, such as in situations involving:

  • Abandonment
  • Abuse
  • Serious mental illness
  • Incarceration

Requirements for a Colorado Stepparent Adoption

Once the other parent is relieved of their parental rights, either voluntarily or involuntarily, then you must meet specific requirements for a stepparent adoption in the state. You must:

  1. Be at least 21 years of age
  2. Undergo and clear a criminal background check
  3. Have legal proof that the surrendering parent agreed to the adoption—if they refuse, you can ask the court to enforce an involuntary termination of that parent’s rights
  4. Provide proof that the custodial, non-forfeiting biological parent (your spouse) consents to the adoption
  5. File a Petition for Adoption.

Additionally, if the child is over 12 years old, they must also give their consent for adoption. You can rely on Aurora adoption attorneys to help you understand the state’s requirements and help you during this process.

The Next Steps

After you file a Petition for Adoption, a judge will decide if the adoption is in your stepchild’s best interests. Factors like the child’s relationship with the adoptive parent, family stability, and the child’s adjustment to the situation will be taken into consideration. You will need to show proof that the adoption is in the child’s best interest.

You will be required to attend an adoption hearing in the final stage of the adoption process. At the final adoption hearing, you will find out if your stepparent adoption petition has been approved. Aurora adoption lawyers can represent you throughout every step of this process and be there with you in court.

Want to Learn More about Stepchild Adoptions in Colorado? Contact Aurora Adoption Lawyers Today

At the CNL Law Firm, PLLC, we know how important it can be to your family to become the legal parent of your stepchildren. We do everything we can to help you meet this goal. Call (720) 370-2171 or complete our online form to receive your case evaluation with knowledgeable Aurora adoption lawyers today. 

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