The final legal step in the Colorado adoption process is adoption finalization. Once this step occurs, your child becomes a legally recognized and permanent member of your family.
But before adoption finalization happens and a final decree of adoption is issued in Colorado, there are several steps that need to happen after placement:
A baby’s biological parents must terminate their parental rights by consenting to an adoption according to Colorado adoption consent laws. Biological parents may issue this consent any time after the birth of the child. Parental rights may then be granted to adoptive parents at the adoption finalization hearing.
When applicable, you must comply with the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC) and/or the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) before returning home with your child.
Your Colorado-licensed adoption home study professional must confirm that all post-placement requirements have been met prior to finalization.
Your American Adoptions adoption specialist and your Colorado adoption attorney will let you know when your Colorado adoption finalization hearing is scheduled once you’ve completed all of the above steps. The hearing is usually scheduled several months after placement and happens in your local juvenile court, which holds jurisdiction for adoption proceedings in Colorado.
The adoption finalization hearing itself is generally short. It typically lasts between twenty minutes to an hour. At the hearing, a judge issues the final decree of adoption and legally completes the Colorado adoption process.
This is often seen as a time to celebrate and welcome a new family member by the adoptive family.
You can anticipate the following at your Colorado adoption finalization hearing:
The judge will swear you and your adoption attorney in before the court.
The judge may ask you why you chose to adopt and ask about your ability to provide your child with a safe and stable home.
The judge may ask you, your adoption attorney or your social worker some additional questions, and then they will sign the final decree of adoption.
When a final decree of adoption has been issued, it signals the completion of your child’s adoption in Colorado.
Now that the Colorado adoption finalization is completed, you’ll be able to file for your child’s amended birth certificate and social security card. Remember that you can always contact American Adoptions if you have questions, need help facilitating communication with your child’s birth family, require support, educational resources or more.
Learn more about how to finalize an adoption in Colorado by calling 1-800-ADOPTION now.
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