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When is it time to get a Fort Collins Adoption Lawyer?

Fort Collins adoptions are some of the most powerful and wonderful moments inside any courtroom. 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.

Each November, Fort Collins (Larimer) celebrates “National Adoption Day,” which has historically included significant media coverage highlighting stories of adoption. Burnham Law is proud to celebrate National Adoption Day each year as it reminds our law firm of all the forever families that have been formed with the assistance of our adoption lawyers.

Fort Collins Adoptions

Colorado is divided into 22 judicial districts, with Fort Collins in the 8th Judicial District. Fort Collins adoptions are handled at Larimer County Judicial Building located at 201 La Porte Ave., Fort Collins, CO 80521 (directions/map).

Why Do You Need an Adoption Attorney?

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.

Do Adoptions End in a Trial?

Adoptions can proceed on a “contested” or “uncontested” litigation route. All cases will be finalized with a trial presided by a Fort Collins 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 Fort Collins 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 Fort Collins 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.

What Types of Adoption Does Burnham Law Handle?

Fort Collins 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 for 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 Fort Collins lawyers have handled numerous contested and non-contested adoptions. Burnham Law is proud of its adoption practice, 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 Fort Collins adoption.

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Leslie
Shafer

Managing Partner - Domestic Relations

Colorado Springs

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