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Respected Denver Adoption Lawyer Advises Prospective Parents

Experienced Colorado attorney helps couples and individuals grow their families

Adoption is one of life’s most rewarding experiences. Since establishing Karin Johnson Chatfield LLC as a Denver family law firm in 1993, I have Coloradans to overcome the challenges and embrace the joys of adoption. With experience and passion, I guide hopeful parents through each step of the legal process, explaining state, federal and international requirements. My goal is to help you share your love with a child in a supportive and stable home.

Passionate advocate guides clients through the most common types of adoption

A trusted family law attorney with more than 30 years of experience, I handle adoptions of all kinds. The three most common types of adoption in Colorado are:

  • Private domestic adoption — The child and the adults between whom parental rights are transferred all reside in the United States. The child’s birth parents or guardians relinquish their rights, transferring them directly to the adoptive parents.
  • Adoption from foster care — A parent may adopt a child from a foster home overseen by the Colorado Department of Human Services, giving that child the gift of a permanent home.
  • International adoption — When people seek to adopt a child from outside the United States, the laws of the child’s home country as well as U.S. laws must be met.

The adoption process can include home visits, criminal background checks and extensive paperwork. I will assist you at every step so that you can you grow your family as easily as possible.

Knowledgeable lawyer explains the benefits of open vs. closed adoptions

In an open adoption, the adoptive parents and biological parents share information with one another. Open adoption agreements may allow for regular communication and visits between the child and birth parents, whereas others are more limited in scope. These adoptions benefit all parties: adoptive parents can learn about the child’s family and medical history while birth parents know who will raise their child and can be kept updated about how the child is doing. The child can establish a loving relationship with each parent and gain peace of mind, as long as birth parents and adoptive parents honor the adoption agreement.

In a closed adoption, birth parents and adoptive parents know little about each other. The birth parents may provide medical records and other important information, but identifying details are kept confidential. Birth parents cannot contact the child or adoptive parents. This option may be preferable to birth parents who are not prepared to establish a relationship with the child and for adoptive parents who want to avoid a complicated family dynamic. Potential disadvantages include the child’s inability to gain closure about the adoption or to learn about their biological family. Birth parents who choose a closed adoption may face an uphill battle if they later want to establish contact.

Caring family attorney handles kinship, custodial and stepparent adoptions

Some adoptions involve adults and children who already have an established relationship:

  • Stepparent adoption — A person who becomes a parent by marriage can formally establish parental rights. Stepparent adoption is only available when the child’s other, noncustodial parent has had their rights terminated, has been absent from the child’s life for at least one year or has failed without cause to support the child for at least one year. The state looks for consent from the biological parents as well as consent from the child if he or she is over the age of 12.
  • Kinship adoption — When parents are no longer fit to care for a child, a relative or another adult who has a significant relationship with a child can seek a kinship adoption. Grandparents, aunts and uncles, friends and neighbors may seek this type of adoption.
  • Custodial adoption — An adult who acts as a child’s legal guardian or custodian for at least one year can seek to formally adopt the child if the birth parents have abandoned the child or failed without cause to provide reasonable support for at least a year.

Adult adoption is also an option in Colorado. Through this court process, an adult can establish a legal parental relationship with a consenting adult over the age of 18. If you seek to add to your family through adoption, you can rely on my trusted counsel and guidance along the way.

Contact a dedicated Colorado adoption lawyer to schedule a free initial consultation

From the Denver, Colorado office of Karin Johnson Chatfield LLC, I have guided hundreds of area families through their adoption journeys. If you are ready to welcome a child into your home, call 720-386-5511 or contact me online to schedule your free initial consultation.

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Denver Office
  • Denver Office
    200 Union Boulevard
    Suite 200
    Lakewood, Colorado 80228
    Phone: 303-520-0387