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Some of the most powerful and wonderful moments in Centennial (Arapahoe County) courtrooms occur during adoption hearings. Adoption proceedings involve finalizing a child’s “forever home” with parent(s) professing their devotion and love to the child. Once adopted, the child will have the same legal and inheritance rights as a naturally born child.


Colorado is divided into 22 judicial districts, with Centennial in the 18th Judicial District. All Centennial adoptions are handled by the Arapahoe County Justice Center located at 7325 S. Potomac St., Centennial, CO 80112.


As can be expected, an adoption can be a complicated legal process. Prior to appearing in court, adoptions require the proper legal pleadings to be filed and the completion of proper background checks. The number of pleadings required for a Colorado adoption can be cumbersome, yet each pleading must be properly completed and filed.

Once the proper pleadings are filed, the adoption case will then move to the litigation phase.


Adoptions can proceed on a “contested” or “uncontested” litigation route. All cases will finalize with a trial presided by a Centennial judge; however, the trial’s intensity and length will depend on whether the adoption is contested or uncontested.

Contested adoptions mean that there is a person who objects to the adoption being granted. In Colorado, a child must first be “available” to be adopted for any adoption to take place. If a child has two legal parents, such as two names on a birth certificate, then one parental relationship must be terminated to make the child available for adoption. Any objection typically comes from the legal parent whose parental rights would be terminated if the adoption were to be finalized. For the termination of parental rights of a legal parent to be successful, it must first be proven that the parent has either abandoned the child for a minimum of one year or failed to provide reasonable support to the child for one year.

Those involved in a contested adoption should use the services of an experienced adoption lawyer. An experienced adoption lawyer will know and understand the evidence needed to prove (or disprove) abandonment or lack of support. Each Centennial judge has their own tendencies on what evidence is important to them. An experienced adoption lawyer will know and understand which evidence will be weighed more heavily by the Centennial judges.

In addition to knowing what evidence to present, an experienced adoption lawyer will also have the litigation skills to gather and introduce the most important evidence for their client. These skills include knowing the Colorado Rules of Evidence, conducting thorough investigations, and completing precise discovery.

Even adoptions that are “uncontested” require that the judge receive specific evidence to make the proper legal findings. Having an experienced attorney will assure that during an uncontested trial, your case ends with a proper adoption decree such that no future action can undo the important court order.


Centennial allows for a vast array of different types of adoptions. Burnham Law handles all types of adoptions, including the following:

  • Adult Adoption
  • Agency Adoption
  • Confirmation (Assisted Reproduction) Adoption
  • Custodial Adoption
  • Foster Parent Adoption
  • Kinship Adoption
  • Relative Adoption
  • Second Parent Adoption
  • Stepparent Adoption

Each type of adoption has its own individual requirements and nuances. Having an attorney that understands the nuances will be critical to a smooth, efficient, and successful adoption process. Any mistakes, even inadvertent mistakes, can cause significant delays in the adoption case. While having any court case delayed is troublesome, this is especially true in adoption cases as there are children and families desperately waiting for their day to become legally intact families.

At Burnham Law, our Denver metro area lawyers have handled numerous adoptions in Centennial and the surrounding areas. Burnham Law is proud of its adoption practices, with one of its lawyers describing the practice as “rewarding” and “life-changing.” With each adoption, the lawyers at Burnham Law celebrate and acknowledge the life-changing moment for our clients. Let Burnham Law help you complete your family with a successful Centennial adoption.