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Child Adoption Laws
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Child Adoption Laws
Colorado


We hope to help you learn more about the child adoption laws in the State of Colorado.  Please note that while we have tried to be as current as possible, laws are occasionally rewritten and/or amended; accordingly, the Colorado adoption law provided below may have errors, omissions, or may not be the most current version. Please remember that this information should not be used as the basis for making any legal decision. Please use appropriate resources and an attorney's advice when making legal decisions.

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Colorado State Legislature

Colorado Revised Statute: Colorado Adoption Law
Title 19: Children's code
Article 5: Relinquishment and Adoption
Parts 1 (Relinquishment), 2 (Adoption), 3 (Access to Adoption Information), and 4 (Access to Nonidentifying Information)

(This page was last updated on 08/02/13.)

Sections 100.2-403

19-5-100.2. Legislative declaration.
Statute text

(1) The general assembly hereby finds that parental relinquishment and adoption of children are important and necessary options to facilitate the permanent placement of minor children if the birth parents are unable or unwilling to provide proper parental care. The general assembly further finds that adoption offers significant psychological, legal, economic, and social benefits not only for children who might otherwise be homeless but also for parents who are unable to care for their children and for adoptive parents who desire children to nurture, care for, and support. Conversely, the general assembly recognizes that disrupted adoptive placements often have a profound and negative impact on individuals, particularly children, involved in the adoption proceedings.

(2) It is the purpose of this article to promote the integrity and finality of adoptions to ensure that children placed in adoptive placements will be raised in stable, loving, and permanent families. The general assembly intends that by enacting this legislation, it will be protecting children from being uprooted from adoptive placements and from the life-long emotional and psychological trauma that often accompanies being indiscriminately moved.
History
Source: L. 94: Entire section added, p. 746, § 1, effective April 20.

19-5-101. Termination of the parent-child legal relationship.
Statute text
(1) The juvenile court may, upon petition, terminate the parent-child legal relationship between a parent or parents, or a possible parent or parents, and a child in:
(a) Proceedings under section 19-1-104 (1) (d);
(b) Proceedings under section 19-5-105; or
(c) Proceedings under section 19-5-203 (1) (d), (1) (e), (1) (f), (1) (j), and (1) (k).
(2) No parent shall relinquish the parent-child legal relationship with a child other than in accordance with the provisions of this article.
History
Source: L. 87: Entire title R&RE, p. 801, § 1, effective October 1. L. 99: (1) amended, p. 1065, § 9, effective June 1.
Annotations
Editor's note: This section was contained in a title that was repealed and reenacted in 1987. Provisions of this section, as it existed in 1987, are similar to those contained in 19-4-101 as said section existed in 1986, the year prior to the repeal and reenactment of this title.
Annotations
ANNOTATION
Annotations
Am. Jur.2d. See 59 Am. Jur.2d, Parent and Child, § 5.
C.J.S. See 43 C.J.S., Infants, § 72.
Law reviews. For article, "The 1951 Amendments to the Relinquishment and Adoption Laws", see 28 Dicta 227 (1951). For article, "A Lawyer's Advice to the Unmarried Mother", see 31 Dicta 112 (1954). For article, "One Year Review of Domestic Relations", see 34 Dicta 108 (1957). For article, "The Adoption of Children in Colorado", see 37 Dicta 100 (1960). For article, "Adoption Procedures of Minor Children in Colorado", see 12 Colo. Law. 1057 (1983).
Annotator's note. The following annotations include cases decided under former provisions similar to this section.
Paternal rights (now parent-child legal relationships) may be forfeited by abandonment of the child. Fulton v. Martensen, 129 Colo. 125, 267 P.2d 658 (1954).
Statutory relinquishment cannot be waived because it is a part of the court process in such matters. It is necessary in order that the parent be under the jurisdiction of the court where the other statutory provision of counseling and guidance can be given. Fackerell v. District Court, 133 Colo. 370, 295 P.2d 682 (1956).
An attempt to relinquish a minor child to an individual is without any force or effect. Consent alone adds nothing in the way of giving jurisdiction to the court. Fackerell v. District Court, 133 Colo. 370, 295 P.2d 682 (1956).

19-5-102. Venue.
Statute text
A petition for relinquishment of the parent-child relationship shall be filed in the county where the child resides or in the county where the petitioner resides. If a child placement agency is involved, the petition may be filed in the county where the child placement agency is located.
History
Source: L. 87: Entire title R&RE, p. 801, § 1, effective October 1. L. 88: Entire section R&RE, p. 746, § 16, effective July 1. L. 89: Entire section amended, p. 938, § 1, effective March 21.
Annotations
Editor's note: This section was contained in a title that was repealed and reenacted in 1987. Provisions of this section, as it existed in 1987, are similar to those contained in 19-1-105 as said section existed in 1986, the year prior to the repeal and reenactment of this title.

19-5-102.5. Relinquishment hearings - court docket priority.
Statute text
(1) On and after July 1, 2002, any hearing concerning a petition for relinquishment filed in a district court, the Colorado court of appeals, or the Colorado supreme court shall be given a priority on the court's docket. On and after July 1, 2002, if there is no determination on a case concerning a petition for relinquishment by any such court within two months of the filing of the petition, it shall be given a priority on the court's docket that supersedes the priority of any other priority civil hearing on the court's docket.
(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (1) of this section, nothing in this section shall affect the priority of a hearing concerning the issuance of a temporary protection order pursuant to section 13-14-102, C.R.S.
(3) The provisions of this section shall be implemented within existing appropriations.
History
Source: L. 2002: Entire section added, p. 1644, § 2, effective July 1. L. 2003: (2) amended, p. 1016, § 27, effective July 1. L. 2004: (2) amended, p. 556, § 15, effective July 1.

19-5-103. Relinquishment procedure - petition - hearings.
Statute text
(1) Any parent desiring to relinquish his or her child shall:
(a) Obtain counseling for himself or herself and the child to be relinquished as the court deems appropriate from the county department of social services in the county where such parent resides or from a licensed child placement agency, and, if the petitioner has not received the counseling required by the court, the petition shall be continued until counseling is obtained, and the petitioner shall be referred to counseling by the court;
(b) (I) Petition the juvenile court upon a standardized form prescribed by the judicial department giving the following information: The name of both natural parents, if known; the name of the child, if named; the ages of all parties concerned; and the reasons for which relinquishment is desired.
(II) The petition shall be accompanied by a standardized affidavit of relinquishment counseling prescribed by the judicial department that includes:
(A) A statement indicating the nature and extent of counseling furnished to the petitioner, if any, and the recommendations of the counselor;
(B) A copy of the original birth certificate or a copy of the application therefore; and
(C) A statement disclosing any and all payments, gifts, assistance, goods, or services received, promised, or offered to the relinquishing parent in connection with the pregnancy, birth, or proposed relinquishment of the child and the source or sources of such payments, gifts, assistance, goods, or services.
(1.5) (a) Pursuant to the provisions of section 19-1-126, the petition for relinquishment shall:
(I) Include a statement indicating whether the child is an Indian child; and
(II) Include the identity of the Indian child's tribe, if the child is identified as an Indian child.
(b) If notices were sent to the parent or Indian custodian of the child and to the Indian child's tribe, pursuant to section 19-1-126, the postal receipts shall be attached to the petition and filed with the court or filed within ten days after the filing of the petition, as specified in section 19-1-126 (1) (c).
(2) The counseling specified in paragraph (a) of subsection (1) of this section and provided by the department or the child placement agency shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
(a) Information to the relinquishing parent concerning the permanence of the decision and the impact of such decision on the relinquishing parent now and in the future;
(b) Information concerning each parent's complete medical and social histories;
(c) In the case of pregnancy, referral of the woman for medical care and for determination of eligibility for medical assistance;
(d) Information concerning alternatives to relinquishment and referral to private and public resources that may meet the parent's needs;
(e) Relinquishment services necessary to protect the interests and welfare of a child born in a state institution;
(f) Information to the child's parent that if he or she applies for public assistance for himself or herself and the child, he or she must cooperate with the child support enforcement unit for the establishment and enforcement of a child support order; and
(g) The confidentiality of all information, except for nonidentifying information as defined in section 19-1-103 (80) that may be accessed as provided in part 4 of this article, obtained by the department and the child placement agency in the course of relinquishment counseling unless the parent provides written permission or a release of information is ordered by a court of competent jurisdiction and except for a copy of an original birth certificate that may be obtained by an adult adoptee, adult descendant of an adoptee, or a legal representative of the adoptee or descendant as authorized by section 19-5-305. The counseling shall also include notice that a birth parent has the opportunity to file a written statement specifying that the birth parent's information remain confidential, an explanation of the rights and responsibilities of birth parents who disagree about consent as set forth in section 19-5-305 (2), and notice that a birth parent has the opportunity to sign and submit a contact preference form and updated medical history statements to the state registrar as set forth in section 19-5-305 (1.5).
(2.5) In those cases in which a parent proposes to relinquish his or her parent-child legal relationship with respect to a child who is under one year of age pursuant to the expedited procedures set forth in section 19-5-103.5, the licensed child placement agency or the county department of social services assisting the relinquishing parent shall proceed with filing the petition and providing notice as set forth in section 19-5-103.5.
(3) Upon receipt of the petition for relinquishment, the court shall set the same for hearing on the condition that the requirements of subsection (1) of this section have been complied with by the petitioner.
(4) (a) The parent-child legal relationship of a parent shall not be terminated by relinquishment proceedings unless the parent joins in the petition.
(b) The relinquishing parent, child placement agency, and county department of social services shall provide the court any and all information described in section 19-1-103 (80) that is available to such relinquishing parent, agency, or county department.
(5) The court shall not issue an order of relinquishment until it is satisfied that the relinquishing parent and the child, if determined appropriate by the court, have been counseled pursuant to subsection (1) of this section and this subsection (5) and fully advised of the consequences of the parent's act. The court may order counseling for any age child to be relinquished if the court deems such counseling would be in the child's best interests. The court may order that a child younger than twelve years of age be prepared for relinquishment, termination of parental rights, or adoption.
(6) If the court finds after the hearing that it is in the best interests of the child that no relinquishment be granted, the court shall enter an order dismissing the action.
(7) (a) The court shall enter an order of relinquishment if the court finds after the hearing that:
(I) The relinquishing parent or parents and any child that the court directed into counseling have been counseled as provided in subsections (1) and (5) of this section; and
(II) The parent's decision to relinquish is knowing and voluntary and not the result of any threats, coercion, or undue influence or inducements; and
(III) The relinquishment would best serve the interests of the child to be relinquished.
(b) There shall be a rebuttable presumption that a relinquishment would not be in the child's best interests if the child is twelve years of age or older and objects to the relinquishment.
(8) If the court is not satisfied that the relinquishing parents and the child, if twelve years of age or older, have been offered proper and sufficient counsel and advice, it shall continue the matter for such time as the court deems necessary.
(9) (a) The court may appoint a guardian ad litem to protect the interests of the child if:
(I) The court finds that there is a conflict of interest between the child and his or her parents, guardian, or legal custodian;
(II) The court finds that such appointment would be in the best interests of the child; or
(III) The court determines that the child is twelve years of age or older and that the welfare of the child mandates such appointment.
(b) Reasonable fees for guardians ad litem appointed pursuant to this subsection (9) shall be paid by the relinquishing parent or parents; except that, in the case of an indigent parent or parents, such fees shall be paid as an expense of the state from annual appropriations to the office of the state court administrator.
(10) The court may interview the child in chambers to ascertain the child's wishes as to the relinquishment proceedings. The court may permit counsel to be present at such an interview. The court shall cause a record of the interview to be made, and it shall be made a part of the record in the case.
(11) The court may seek the advice of professional personnel whether or not said personnel are employed on a regular basis by the court. Any advice given by professional persons shall be in writing and shall be made available by the court to attorneys of record, to the parties, and to any other expert witnesses upon request, but it shall be considered confidential for any other purposes, shall be sealed, and shall not be open to inspection except by consent of the court. Attorneys of record may call for the cross-examination of any professional persons consulted by the court.
(12) The provisions of this section, including but not limited to relinquishment counseling, notification, and the relinquishment hearing, shall apply in any case involving a child in Colorado or for whom Colorado is the home state as described in section 14-13-102 (7), C.R.S., including any case in which it is proposed that the child to be relinquished will be relinquished or adopted outside the state of Colorado.
History
Source: L. 87: Entire title R&RE, p. 801, § 1, effective October 1. L. 92: (1)(b)(II) amended, p. 179, § 1, effective March 20. L. 97: Entire section amended, p. 1155, § 1, effective July 1. L. 2000: (2)(g) amended, p. 1373, § 6, effective July 1; (12) amended, p. 1538, § 6, effective July 1. L. 2002: (1.5) added, p. 787, § 8, effective May 30. L. 2003: (2.5) added, p. 872, § 2, effective July 1. L. 2005: (2)(g) amended, p. 992, § 4, effective July 1.
Annotations
Editor's note: This section was contained in a title that was repealed and reenacted in 1987. Provisions of this section, as it existed in 1987, are similar to those contained in 19-4-102 as said section existed in 1986, the year prior to the repeal and reenactment of this title.
Annotations
Cross references: For the legislative declaration contained in the 2002 act enacting subsection (1.5), see section 1 of chapter 217, Session Laws of Colorado 2002.
Annotations
ANNOTATION
Annotations
Am. Jur.2d. See 2 Am. Jur.2d, Adoption, §§ 65, 66.
C.J.S. See 2 C.J.S., Adoption of Persons, §§ 70-73.
Law reviews. For article, "The Adoption of Children in Colorado", see 37 Dicta 100 (1960). For article, "One Year Review of Domestic Relations", see 38 Dicta 84 (1961). For article, "Colorado Moves Toward Full Compliance With Federal Indian Child Welfare Act", see 31 Colo. Law. 77 (November 2002).
Annotator's note. The following annotations include cases decided under former provisions similar to this section.
The purpose of this section is to prevent the relinquishment of a child by parents who do not realize the seriousness and finality of their acts. It does not provide that the department of welfare or the court should argue with the parents concerning the reasons for their relinquishment or seek to thwart the exercise of their free and voluntary will. Smith v. Welfare Dept., 144 Colo. 103, 355 P.2d 317 (1960).
Child is ward of state during proceedings. The initiation of any proceedings in a court in which the rights, status, and welfare of an infant may be affected immediately establishes the infant's relation to the court as that of its ward. Smith v. Welfare Dept., 144 Colo. 103, 355 P.2d 317 (1960).
Power of court to grant petition is discretionary. This section, which confers upon the court jurisdiction of relinquishment procedures, vests in the trial court the discretionary power to grant or deny the petition for relinquishment. People in re K.W.E., 31 Colo. App. 219, 500 P.2d 167 (1972).
Relinquishment does not require known identity of adoptive parents. In relinquishing children the parents do not have the slightest idea as to who, if anyone, shall become the adoptive parents. Batton v. Massar, 149 Colo. 404, 369 P.2d 434 (1962).
Evidence established consent was knowing and voluntary. Evidence that natural parents of child were fully advised of the seriousness and finality of relinquishing their child for adoption, and willingly and voluntarily sought to divest themselves of all legal rights and obligations with respect to such child, was sufficient to comply with the provisions of this section. Smith v. Welfare Dept., 144 Colo. 103, 355 P.2d 317 (1960).
Denial of petition did not abuse discretion. Trial court does not abuse discretion in denying petition for relinquishment of child on basis of finding, supported by the record, that a mother is not in any position to make such an important decision. People in re K.W.E., 31 Colo. App. 219, 500 P.2d 167 (1972).
Grounds for reversal of order for relinquishment. Once the order for relinquishment has been granted, it cannot be reversed except where the court lacks jurisdiction, or when consent of the parents is obtained through fraud, overreaching pressure, or duress. Smith v. Welfare Dept., 144 Colo. 103, 355 P.2d 317 (1960).
Where the child has not been adopted prior to an attack on a relinquishment decree and mistake and misunderstanding invalidated the parents' consent to the relinquishment, a court may reverse the final order of relinquishment. People In re J.B.P., 44 Colo. App. 95, 608 P.2d 847 (1980).
Void decree subject to collateral attack. Where statutory requirements are not met, the court cannot enter a valid adoption decree, and the decree is thereby absolutely void on its face and may be the subject of a collateral attack, and the lack of these jurisdictional matters made the decree subject to an attack at any stage of the proceedings or after entry of judgment. The lack of jurisdiction is usually shown by the judgment roll, and in adoption cases the record constitutes the judgment roll. Fackerell v. District Court, 133 Colo. 370, 295 P.2d 682 (1956).
Motion to vacate order of relinquishment properly denied. In a proceeding by the natural parents of a minor child to set aside a relinquishment and consent to adoption, where it is shown that the court had jurisdiction, and there being no allegation of coercion, duress, or pressure exerted upon the parents to induce them to relinquish the child, a motion to vacate such consent was properly denied. Smith v. Welfare Dept., 144 Colo. 103, 355 P.2d 317 (1960).
Time limit between petition and hearing. Although no time limit is prescribed by statute for hearing after the filing of a petition for the relinquishment and adoption of a minor child, reasonable time should elapse between the filing of the petition and a hearing thereon, permitting the court to examine into the facts to determine whether relinquishment is advisable under the circumstances. Smith v. Welfare Dept., 144 Colo. 103, 355 P.2d 317 (1960).
Only parties of record and their attorneys are granted access to reports under this section. Where grandparent was never a proper party of record and did not have standing to become one in the relinquishment proceeding, she and her counsel were properly denied access to reports. Petition of B.D.G., 881 P.2d 375 (Colo. App. 1993).
Standard of professional conduct in Colorado required attorney to discuss relinquishment counseling with his or her client in both in-state and out-of-state adoptions. Thus trial court properly submitted to the jury the issue of whether defendant attorney breached a duty of care to plaintiffs. Boyd v. Garvert, 9 P.3d 1161 (Colo. App. 2000) (case arose prior to enactment of subsection (12)).

19-5-103.5. Expedited relinquishment procedure - children under one year of age - other birth parents - notice - termination.
Statute text
(1) (a) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 19-5-103 to the contrary, a parent desiring to relinquish his or her child may seek an expedited order terminating his or her parent-child legal relationship without the necessity of a court hearing if:
(I) The child is under one year of age, at the time of filing the petition;
(II) The relinquishing parent is being assisted by a licensed child placement agency or the county department of social services in the county where such parent resides;
(III) The requirements of section 19-5-103 (1) have been met; and
(IV) The parent signs an affidavit stating his or her desire to voluntarily relinquish his or her parent-child legal relationship with the child and consenting to a waiver of his or her right to contest a termination of parentage.
(b) (I) The affidavit required to be signed by the parent seeking to relinquish his or her parental rights pursuant to this section shall advise the relinquishing parent of the consequences of the relinquishment decision and shall further advise the relinquishing parent that he or she is still required to obtain the relinquishment counseling described in section 19-5-103 (1) (a) and (2). The relinquishing parent shall be advised of the opportunity to seek independent counseling. The affidavit shall also advise the relinquishing parent that he or she may withdraw the affidavit anytime after signing it but before the affidavit and petition are filed with the court. The relinquishing parent may sign the affidavit before the birth of the child. The relinquishing birth parent may withdraw the affidavit from the child placement agency or county department of social services in the county where such parent resides any time after signing it but before the affidavit and petition are filed with the court.
(II) The affidavit shall include the following:
(A) A statement that the petitioner has completed the relinquishment counseling required in section 19-5-103 (1) and (2) or understands he or she must complete the counseling prior to entry of the order of termination;
(B) A statement that the child to be relinquished is under one year of age at the time of filing the petition;
(C) A statement that the relinquishing parent's decision is knowing and voluntary and not the result of threats, coercion, or undue influence or inducements; and
(D) A statement that the relinquishing parent believes the relinquishment is in the best interests of the child.
(III) The relinquishing parent's signature on the affidavit shall be witnessed by two witnesses, one of whom shall be either a representative of the licensed child placement agency with which the relinquishing parent has contracted or a representative of the county department of social services in the county where such parent resides, whichever is assisting the parent. The other witness shall not be associated with either the licensed child placement agency or the county department of social services in the county where such parent resides, whichever is assisting the parent, and shall not be the potential adoptive parent of the child to be relinquished.
(IV) The affidavit shall be notarized and shall be attached to the petition for relinquishment and filed with the court after the birth of the child. The petition for relinquishment may not be filed until at least four days after the birth of the child.
(c) If the birth parent has signed the affidavit described in this subsection (1) and if it is properly witnessed and notarized and attached to the petition, the court may vacate the hearing required pursuant to section 19-5-103 (3) and, upon making the findings set forth in section 19-5-103 (7) (a), shall enter an order of relinquishment, without a hearing, no more than seven business days after the date of the filing of the petition for relinquishment and the accompanying affidavit.
(2) (a) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 19-5-105 to the contrary, in those cases in which a parent seeks to relinquish his or her parent-child legal relationship with a child pursuant to this section, the licensed child placement agency or the county department of social services assisting the relinquishing parent shall proceed with filing the petition for termination of the other birth parent's or possible birth parents' parent-child legal relationship and notify the other birth parent or possible birth parents as provided in section 19-5-105.
(b) Notice of the proceeding pursuant to this section shall be given to every person identified as the other birth parent or a possible birth parent in the manner appropriate under the Colorado rules of juvenile procedure for the service of process or in any manner the court directs; except that notice shall not be required to be given to a person who has received notice pursuant to section 19-5-103.7 if the person waives the right to contest a termination of parental rights and waives the right to further notice concerning the expedited relinquishment or if the person fails to reply as required pursuant to section 19-5-103.7. The notice shall inform the parent or alleged parent whose rights are to be determined that failure to file an answer or to appear within twenty days after service and, in the case of an alleged father, failure to file a claim of paternity under article 4 of this title within twenty days after service, if a claim has not previously been filed, may likely result in termination of the parent's or the alleged parent's parental rights to the child. The notice shall also inform the parent or alleged parent whose rights are to be determined that the person has the right to waive his or her right to appear and contest and that failure to appear and contest may likely result in termination of the parent's or the alleged parent's parental rights to the child. Proof of giving the notice shall be filed with the court before the petition is heard or otherwise acted upon. If no person has been identified as the birth parent, the court shall order that notice be provided to all possible birth parents by publication or public posting of the notice at times and in the places and manner the court deems appropriate.
(c) The other birth parent or possible birth parents may sign the affidavit of voluntary relinquishment described in subsection (1) of this section. Such birth parent may sign the affidavit prior to the birth of the child. If the other birth parent or possible birth parent signs an affidavit of voluntary relinquishment, he or she may withdraw the affidavit from the child placement agency or the county department of social services assisting the relinquishing parent any time after signing it but before the affidavit and petition are filed with the court.
(d) (I) The court shall vacate the proceeding and, at the time of the review of the case pursuant to paragraph (c) of subsection (1) of this section, enter an order terminating the parent-child legal relationship of the other birth parent or possible birth parent if the other birth parent or possible birth parent:
(A) Has waived his or her right to contest the termination of parental rights; or
(B) Has failed to appear and contest or to file an answer to the petition for termination or to file a paternity action within the prescribed twenty days following the date of the service, publication, or posting of the notice as provided in the notice pursuant to paragraph (b) of this subsection (2); or
(C) Has signed the affidavit of voluntary relinquishment described in subsection (1) of this section; or
(D) Has waived his or her right to notice and right to contest the termination of parental rights pursuant to section 19-5-103.7.
(II) If the other birth parent or possible birth parent expresses his or her desire to appear and contest the termination of the parent-child legal relationship, the court shall proceed with a hearing on the petition for termination of the other birth parent's parent-child legal relationship.
(3) The licensed child placement agency or the county department of social services assisting the relinquishing parent shall not submit the documents referenced in subsections (1) and (2) of this section for judicial review unless a permanent placement for the child has been identified.
(4) The court shall not be bound to enter an order terminating a parent-child legal relationship upon the affidavit of the relinquishing parent pursuant to subsection (1) of this section and the court shall not be bound to enter an order terminating a parent-child legal relationship of the other birth parent or possible birth parents pursuant to subsection (2) of this section, but the court may, upon its own motion, require that a formal hearing be held to determine any or all issues presented by the pleadings.
History
Source: L. 2003: Entire section added, p. 869, § 1, effective July 1. L. 2004: (2)(a) amended, p. 263, § 1, effective April 5. L. 2005: (2)(b) and (2)(d) amended, p. 101, § 2, effective July 1.
Annotations
Editor's note: Section 5 of chapter 23, Session Laws of Colorado 2005, provides that the act amending subsections (2)(b) and (2)(d) applies to actions commenced on or after July 1, 2005.

19-5-103.7. Anticipated expedited relinquishment - children under one year of age - notice to other or possible parent - administrative procedures.
Statute text
(1) Notwithstanding any provision of section 19-5-103 to the contrary, a licensed child placement agency assisting a parent who plans to relinquish a child through an expedited relinquishment pursuant to section 19-5-103.5, may provide notice of the anticipated expedited relinquishment on behalf of the relinquishing parent to any other birth parent or possible birth parent identified pursuant to section 19-5-105 (2) who is not a presumed parent pursuant to section 19-4-105 (1).
(2) The licensed child placement agency may give notice of the anticipated expedited relinquishment prior to or after the filing of the affidavit and petition with the court, but not more than sixty days prior to the anticipated birth of the child to be relinquished.
(3) (a) Notice to the other birth parent or possible birth parent given pursuant to this section shall be provided:
(I) By publication appearing in a newspaper of general circulation in the county of the person's last known address, if the person's identity is known, or the county in which the relinquishing parent reports the conception to have occurred. Notice by publication is only proper if a person has not been identified as the other birth parent or possible birth parent or the location of the other birth parent or possible birth parent has not been determined after diligent efforts.
(II) In person, delivered by an employee or a representative of the licensed child placement agency assisting the relinquishing parent, with a requirement that the other birth parent or possible birth parent sign a statement acknowledging receipt of the notice; or
(III) By certified mail to only the other birth parent or possible birth parent, return receipt requested, with return receipt providing prima facie evidence of service.
(b) The date of notice shall be considered either the date on which the notice is delivered pursuant to subparagraph (II) of paragraph (a) of this subsection (3) or the date on the return receipt for notice given by certified mail pursuant to subparagraph (III) of paragraph (a) of this subsection (3), whichever is applicable. If notice is provided by publication, the date of notice shall be the date of the first day of publication.
(4) (a) Notice of the anticipated expedited relinquishment given pursuant to this section shall include the name, mailing address, and physical address of the licensed child placement agency providing the notice and shall inform the other birth parent or possible birth parent of the following:
(I) The name of the parent of the child who anticipates seeking to relinquish his or her parental rights for purposes of the child's adoption and the anticipated date of birth or the actual date of birth of the child;
(II) That the other birth parent or possible birth parent has been identified by the parent who anticipates seeking to relinquish his or her parental rights as potentially being the other birth parent of the child, or, if no other birth parent or possible birth parent has been identified, that the parent who anticipates seeking to relinquish his or her parental rights is unable to identify the other birth parent or possible birth parent;
(III) That placing a child for adoption requires termination of the child's parent-child legal relationships;
(IV) That the other birth parent or possible birth parent has a right to contest the termination of parental rights; and
(V) That failure to declare an intent to contest the termination of parental rights may likely result in a termination of the person's parental rights to the child, and that, to declare an intent to contest the termination of the parent-child legal relationship, the other birth parent or possible birth parent shall:
(A) No later than twenty days after the date of notice pursuant to paragraph (b) of subsection (3) of this section or before a relinquishment petition is filed with the court, whichever occurs later, either return a reply form to the licensed child placement agency by certified mail, return receipt requested, or personally appear at the licensed child placement agency to declare an intent to contest the termination of parental rights; and
(B) No later than twenty days after the date of notice pursuant to paragraph (b) of subsection (3) of this section or before a relinquishment petition is filed with the court, whichever occurs later, file a claim of paternity pursuant to article 4 of this title and notify the licensed child placement agency pursuant to section 19-4-105.5 (4), C.R.S.;
(VI) That the other birth parent or possible birth parent may waive the right to contest the termination of parental rights and that waiver may likely result in a termination of the person's parental rights to the child; and
(VII) That further notice related to the anticipated expedited relinquishment proceedings shall not be provided to the other birth parent or possible birth parent without receipt of a response required by subparagraph (V) of this paragraph (a).
(b) (I) Except when notice is provided by publication, the licensed child placement agency assisting the relinquishing parent with an expedited relinquishment shall send or deliver a reply form described in sub-subparagraph (A) of subparagraph (V) of paragraph (a) of this subsection (4) to the other birth parent or possible birth parent at the same time and by the same method as the delivery of notice given pursuant to subsection (3) of this section. The reply form sent pursuant to this paragraph (b), or otherwise available at the licensed child placement agency pursuant to paragraph (b) of subsection (7) of this section, shall be signed by the other birth parent or possible birth parent, witnessed, and dated, and shall require the other birth parent or possible birth parent to disclose the following information to the licensed child placement agency:
(A) The full name of the other birth parent or possible birth parent;
(B) The name of the relinquishing parent and the anticipated date of birth or the actual date of birth of the child to be relinquished, as listed on the notice;
(C) The other birth parent's or possible birth parent's address;
(D) The case number of the pending action filed, if any, by the other birth parent or the possible birth parent for determination of the parent-child legal relationship pertaining to the child to be relinquished; and
(E) If a case concerning the determination of the parent-child legal relationship pertaining to the child to be relinquished has been filed, a copy of any court orders issued regarding the other birth parent's or possible birth parent's parent-child legal relationship.
(II) In addition to the requirements of subparagraph (I) of this paragraph (b), the reply form sent or delivered pursuant to this paragraph (b), or otherwise available at the licensed child placement agency pursuant to paragraph (b) of subsection (7) of this section, shall provide response options for selection by the other birth parent or the possible birth parent replying to the notice, which response options shall be substantially similar to the following:
(A) That the person replying to the notice acknowledges that there may be a parent-child legal relationship, declares an intent to contest the termination of parental rights, and declares an intent to seek to have the court make this determination;
(B) That the person replying to the notice acknowledges that there may be a parent-child legal relationship, waives the right to contest a termination of parental rights, and waives the right to further notice concerning the expedited relinquishment and the termination of parental rights with respect to the child; and
(C) That the person replying to the notice does not acknowledge that there may be a parent-child legal relationship, waives the right to contest a termination of parental rights, and waives the right to further notice concerning the expedited relinquishment and the termination of parental rights with respect to the child.
(III) In addition to the requirements of subparagraphs (I) and (II) of this paragraph (b), the reply form sent or delivered pursuant to this paragraph (b), or otherwise available at the licensed child placement agency pursuant to paragraph (b) of subsection (7) of this section, shall include a statement of acknowledgment by the other birth parent or possible birth parent that there is a requirement to file a claim of paternity and to notify the licensed child placement agency pursuant to section 19-4-105.5 (4), C.R.S., no later than twenty days after the date of notice or before a relinquishment petition is filed with the court, whichever occurs later.
(5) To properly reply and declare an intent to contest the termination of the parent-child legal relationship pursuant to this section, the other birth parent or possible birth parent shall, no later than twenty days after receiving notice pursuant to subsection (3) of this section or before a relinquishment petition is filed with the court, whichever occurs later:
(a) Return a reply form to the licensed child placement agency by certified mail, return receipt requested, or, for other birth parents or possible birth parents who receive notice by publication or who otherwise decide not to return the reply form by certified mail, personally appear at the licensed child placement agency to declare an intent to contest the termination of parental rights in the anticipated proceedings; and
(b) File a claim of paternity pursuant to article 4 of this title and notify the licensed child placement agency pursuant to section 19-4-105.5 (4), C.R.S.
(6) The other birth parent or possible birth parent who is served with notice pursuant to subsection (3) of this section and fails to reply as required in subsection (5) of this section irrevocably waives the right to further notice of proceedings related to the anticipated expedited relinquishment and irrevocably waives the right to appear and contest the termination of his or her parental rights, unless the other birth parent or possible birth parent proves, by clear and convincing evidence, the following:
(a) That it was not possible for the other birth parent or possible birth parent to properly reply and declare an intent to contest the termination of the parent-child legal relationship pursuant to the requirements of subsection (5) of this section; and
(b) That the other birth parent or possible birth parent did properly reply and declare an intent to contest the termination of the parent-child legal relationship pursuant to the requirements of subsection (5) of this section within twenty days after it became possible for the other birth parent or possible birth parent to do so.
(7) (a) If the other birth parent or possible birth parent replies to the notice provided pursuant to subsection (3) of this section by returning the reply form via certified mail to the licensed child placement agency that sent the notice, the licensed child placement agency shall accept and file the original reply form with the court upon filing the petition for relinquishment or upon receipt of the reply form, whichever occurs later. The date of the reply shall be then noted on the return receipt.
(b) If the other birth parent or possible birth parent replies to the notice provided pursuant to subsection (3) of this section by appearing in person at the licensed child placement agency to declare his or her response, the licensed child placement agency shall provide a reply form for the other birth parent or the possible birth parent to complete and sign. An agency or social services employee shall sign the form as a witness. The licensed child placement agency shall accept the completed, signed reply form, provide a copy of the form to the other birth parent or the possible birth parent, and file the original with the court upon filing the petition for relinquishment or upon receipt of the completed reply form, whichever occurs later. The date of the reply shall be the date on which the other birth parent or the possible birth parent signs the reply.
(c) (I) Notwithstanding any provision of this section to the contrary, if the other birth parent or possible birth parent replies to notice provided by publication pursuant to subsection (3) of this section by contacting the licensed child placement agency in a manner other than is specified in paragraph (b) of this subsection (7), and the other birth parent or possible birth parent provides his or her full name and address, the licensed child placement agency shall:
(A) Within three business days after the contact, and by certified mail, return receipt requested, send a reply form to the other birth parent or possible birth parent with a written statement informing the person that the date he or she contacted the licensed child placement agency in response to the notice received shall be considered his or her date of reply if he or she returns the form no later than ten days after the date noted on the return receipt, and that, if he or she returns the form more than ten days after the date noted on the return receipt, the date the licensed child placement agency actually receives the reply form shall be considered his or her reply date; and
(B) Maintain a dated record to submit to the court of all communications made related to this paragraph (c).
(II) The date of reply provided in the manner described in this paragraph (c) shall be the date the other birth parent or possible birth parent contacts the licensed child placement agency in response to the notice received if he or she returns the form no later than ten days after the date noted on the return receipt of the form. If the other birth parent or possible birth parent returns the form more than ten days after the date noted on the return receipt, the date the reply is received by the licensed child placement agency shall be considered the reply date.
(d) Notwithstanding any provision of this section to the contrary, if the other birth parent or possible birth parent files a claim of paternity pursuant to article 4 of this title and provides notice to the licensed child placement agency pursuant to section 19-4-105.5, then such claim and notice shall be deemed to satisfy the requirements of subsection (5) of this section, so long as the claim of paternity is filed and notice is provided to the licensed child placement agency no later than twenty days after receiving notice pursuant to subsection (3) of this section or before a relinquishment petition is filed with the court.
(e) The other birth parent or possible birth parent who replies to a licensed child placement agency pursuant to this subsection (7) shall notify the agency of any change in his or her address.
(8) A licensed child placement agency that provides notice of the anticipated expedited relinquishment on behalf of the relinquishing parent to the other birth parent or possible birth parent pursuant to the provisions of this section shall have the duty to file with the court the following information at the time it files the petition for relinquishment:
(a) An affidavit of administrative notice with respect to the other birth parent or possible birth parent who has received notice pursuant to subsection (3) of this section, including the following information, if available:
(I) The method of providing notice;
(II) The date of notice;
(III) The deadline for reply;
(IV) The date of the reply;
(V) The intent declared in the reply;
(VI) A statement indicating whether an action relating to the parent and child legal relationship was filed;
(VII) A statement indicating whether the person's reply was timely; and
(VIII) A statement indicating that the expedited relinquishment was filed pursuant to section 19-5-103.5.
(b) In addition to the affidavit of administrative notice filed with the court pursuant to paragraph (a) of this subsection (8), the licensed child placement agency shall file all available evidence supporting the affidavit, including but not limited to signed return receipts, completed reply forms, affidavits of service of process, evidence of publication, evidence of the filing of an action relating to the parent and child legal relationship, and any other records of pertinent communication with the possible birth parent or other birth parent.
(9) Nothing in this section shall be construed to require a parent who plans to relinquish a child through an expedited relinquishment pursuant to section 19-5-103.5 to file the expedited relinquishment.
(10) Nothing in this section shall be construed to authorize the filing of a petition and affidavit of relinquishment prior to the birth of a child.
History
Source: L. 2005: Entire section added, p. 95, § 1, effective July 1.
Annotations
Editor's note: Section 5 of chapter 23, Session Laws of Colorado 2005, provides that the act enacting this section applies to actions commenced on or after July 1, 2005.

19-5-104. Final order of relinquishment.
Statute text
(1) If the court terminates the parent-child legal relationship of both parents or of the only living parent, the court, after taking into account the racial, cultural, and religious background of the child, shall order guardianship of the person and legal custody transferred to:
(a) The county department of social services; or
(b) A licensed child placement agency; or
(c) A relative of the child; or
(d) An individual determined to be of good moral character through a process that includes the assessment made pursuant to section 19-5-206 (2) (a), if such individual shall have had the child living in his or her home for six months or more, including a foster parent or a designated adoptive parent.
(2) (a) The court shall consider, but shall not be bound by, a request that custody of the child, with the option of applying for adoption, be placed in a grandparent, aunt, uncle, brother, or sister of the child or a foster parent. When ordering legal custody of the child, the court shall give preference to a grandparent, aunt, uncle, brother, or sister of the child when such relative has made a timely request therefore and the court determines that such placement is in the best interests of the child. Such request must be submitted to the court prior to commencement of the hearing on the petition for relinquishment. If such legal custody is granted, guardianship of the child shall remain with the parent, if the legal parent-child relationship has not been terminated, or the guardianship shall be transferred pursuant to subsection (1) of this section. Nothing in this section shall be construed to require the birth parents or the child placement agency with custody of the child to notify said relatives described in this subsection (2) of the pending relinquishment of parental rights. This subsection (2) shall not apply in cases where the birth parents have designated an adoptive family for the child or the birth parents have designated that legal custody of the child shall not be in a person described in this subsection (2) and where the child has not been in legal custody of a relative requesting guardianship or custody as described in this section or the child has not been in the physical custody of such relative for more than six months.
(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (a) of this subsection (2), in cases in which a parent is seeking to relinquish his or her parent-child legal relationship with more than one child of a sibling group at one time, if the county department or child placement agency locates an appropriate, capable, willing, and available joint placement for all of the children in the sibling group, the court shall presume that placement of the entire sibling group in the joint placement is in the best interests of the children. Such presumption may be rebutted by a preponderance of the evidence that placement of the entire sibling group in the joint placement is not in the best interests of a child or of the children.
(3) No person shall be precluded from adopting a child solely because that person has been a child's foster parent.
(4) The order of relinquishment shall set forth all pertinent facts brought at the hearing, and, in addition, it shall state that the court is satisfied that the counsel and guidance provided for in section 19-5-103 (1) and (5) has been offered the relinquishing parent or parents and any child for whom the court has ordered counseling.
(5) A final order of relinquishment shall divest the relinquishing parent or parents of all legal rights and obligations they may have with respect to the child relinquished, but it shall not modify the child's status as an heir at law which shall cease only upon a subsequent final decree of adoption; except that the relinquishing parent's or parents' obligation to pay for services received by the child through the department, or other support received, shall be terminated upon a subsequent final decree of adoption or by order of the court at the time of relinquishment. The order of relinquishment shall release the relinquished child from all legal obligations with respect to the relinquishing parent or parents.
(6) If one parent files a petition for the relinquishment of a child and the agency or person having custody of the child files a petition to terminate the rights of the other parent pursuant to section 19-5-105, the court shall set a hearing, as expeditiously as possible, on the relinquishment petition. A court may enter an order of relinquishment for the purpose of adoption prior to the relinquishment or termination of the other parent's parental rights. Except as otherwise provided in subsection (7) of this section, an order of relinquishment is final and irrevocable.
(7) (a) A relinquishment may be revoked only if, within ninety days after the entry of the relinquishment order, the relinquishing parent establishes by clear and convincing evidence that such relinquishment was obtained by fraud or duress.
(b) Notwithstanding paragraph (a) of this subsection (7), a relinquishment may not be revoked on the basis that the relinquishment or termination of the other parent's parental rights was not obtained because the relinquishing parent knew, but did not disclose, the name or whereabouts of such other parent.
(8) If the relinquishment by an individual is revoked pursuant to subsection (7) of this section and no grounds exist under section 19-5-105 or under part 6 of article 3 of this title for terminating the parental rights of that individual, the court shall dismiss any proceeding for adoption and shall provide for the care and custody of the child according to the child's best interests.
(9) The fact that the relinquishing parent or parents are minors shall in no way affect the validity of the final order of relinquishment.
History
Source: L. 87: Entire title R&RE, p. 802, § 1, effective October 1. L. 88: (1)(d) and (2) amended and (2.5) added, p. 757, § 3, effective May 31. L. 94: (4.3), (4.5), and (4.7) added, p. 747, § 2, effective April 20; (4) amended, p. 2688, § 210, effective July 1. L. 97: Entire section amended, p. 1158, § 2, effective July 1. L. 2003: (2) amended, p. 2627, § 8, effective June 5.
Annotations
Editor's note: This section was contained in a title that was repealed and reenacted in 1987. Provisions of this section, as it existed in 1987, are similar to those contained in 19-4-103 as said section existed in 1986, the year prior to the repeal and reenactment of this title.
Annotations
ANNOTATION
Annotations
Law reviews. For article, "One Year Review of Domestic Relations", see 34 Dicta 108 (1957). For article, "Adoption Procedures of Minor Children in Colorado", see 12 Colo. Law. 1057 (1983). For article, "House Bill 1268 -- In the Best Interests of the Child", see 18 Colo. Law. 1703 (1989).
Annotator's note. The following annotations include cases decided under former provisions similar to this section.
Minors are competent to relinquish their children to a state agency. Batton v. Massar, 149 Colo. 404, 369 P.2d 434 (1962).
A partial or conditional relinquishment is not authorized by this section. People in re K.W.E., 31 Colo. App. 219, 500 P.2d 167 (1972).
Grounds for reversal of relinquishment order. Once the order for relinquishment has been granted, it cannot be reversed except where the court lacks jurisdiction or when consent of the parents is obtained through fraud, overreaching pressure, or duress. Smith v. Welfare Dept., 144 Colo. 103, 355 P.2d 317 (1960).
After relinquishment, parents have no control over adoption. Where parents voluntarily relinquish a child, the parents have by court decree been divested of all of their legal rights and obligations to said child. They have no control over the child or the adoption proceedings, notice to them is not required, their consent, if given, is meaningless. Batton v. Massar, 149 Colo. 404, 369 P.2d 434 (1962).
Where both parents stated that they did not want the grandmother to have custody of the child and the grandmother had never had physical or legal custody of the child, the provisions of subsection (2) specifically operate to prevent the grandmother from having standing in the relinquishment proceedings. Petition of B.D.G., 881 P.2d 375 (Colo. App. 1993).
The proceedings for voluntary relinquishment under this section are separate and distinct from the proceedings for determining whether a child is dependent or neglected under § 19-3-605. Under dependency and neglect proceedings, the grandparent may be an interested party. Petition of B.D.G., 881 P.2d 375 (Colo. App. 1993).
Adopted step-daughter not entitled to inheritance. After husband and wife were divorced and order of relinquishment became final, daughter from wife's former marriage, who had been adopted by husband, was divested of her status as heir. In re Estate of Haddan, 874 P.2d 1081 (Colo. App. 1994).
Applied, with respect to grandparents' request, in People in Interest of A.D., 706 P.2d 7 (Colo. App. 1985).

19-5-105. Proceeding to terminate parent-child legal relationship.
Statute text
(1) If one parent relinquishes or proposes to relinquish or consents to the adoption of a child, the agency or person having custody of the child shall file a petition in the juvenile court to terminate the parent-child legal relationship of the other parent, unless the other parent's relationship to the child has been previously terminated or determined by a court not to exist. This section applies whether or not the other parent is a presumed parent pursuant to section 19-4-105 (1).
(2) In an effort to identify the other birth parent, the court shall cause inquiry to be made of the known parent and any other appropriate person. The inquiry shall include the following: Whether the mother was married at the time of conception of the child or at any time thereafter; whether the mother was cohabiting with a man at the time of conception or birth of the child; whether the mother has received support payments or promises of support with respect to the child or in connection with her pregnancy; or whether any man has formally or informally acknowledged or declared his possible paternity of the child.
(3) If, after the inquiry, the other birth parent is identified to the satisfaction of the court or if more than one person is identified as a possible parent, each shall be given notice of the proceeding in accordance with subsection (5) of this section, including notice of the person's right to waive his or her right to appear and contest. If any of them waives his or her right to appear and contest or fails to appear or, if appearing, cannot personally assume legal and physical custody, taking into account the child's age, needs, and individual circumstances, such person's parent-child legal relationship with reference to the child shall be terminated. If the other birth parent or a person representing himself or herself to be the other birth parent appears and demonstrates the desire and ability to personally assume legal and physical custody of the child, taking into account the child's age, needs, and individual circumstances, the court shall proceed to determine parentage under article 4 of this title. If the court determines that the person is the other birth parent, the court shall set a hearing, as expeditiously as possible, to determine whether the interests of the child or of the community require that the other parent's rights be terminated or, if they are not terminated, to determine whether:
(a) To award custody to the other birth parent or to the physical custodian of the child; or
(b) To direct that a dependency and neglect action be filed pursuant to part 5 of article 3 of this title with appropriate orders for the protection of the child during the pendency of the action.
(3.1) The court may order the termination of the other birth parent's parental rights upon a finding that termination is in the best interests of the child and that there is clear and convincing evidence of one or more of the following:
(a) That the parent is unfit. In considering the fitness of the child's parent, the court shall consider, but shall not be limited to, the following:
(I) Emotional illness, mental illness, or mental deficiency of the parent of such duration or nature as to render the parent unlikely, within a reasonable period of time, to care for the ongoing physical, mental, and emotional needs of the child;
(II) A single incident of life-threatening or serious bodily injury or disfigurement of the child or other children;
(III) Conduct toward the child or other children of a physically or sexually abusive nature;
(IV) A history of violent behavior that demonstrates that the individual is unfit to maintain a parent-child relationship with the minor;
(V) Excessive use of intoxicating liquors or use of controlled substances, as defined in section 12-22-303 (7), C.R.S., that affects the ability of the individual to care and provide for the child;
(VI) Neglect of the child or other children;
(VII) Injury or death of a sibling or other children due to proven abuse or neglect by such parent;
(VIII) Whether, on two or more occasions, a child in the physical custody of the parent has been adjudicated dependent or neglected in a proceeding under article 3 of this title or comparable proceedings under the laws of another state or the federal government;
(IX) Whether, on one or more prior occasions, a parent has had his or her parent-child legal relationship terminated pursuant to this section or article 3 of this title or comparable proceedings under the laws of another state or the federal government.
(b) That the parent has not established a substantial, positive relationship with the child. The court shall consider, but shall not be limited to, the following in determining whether the parent has established a substantial, positive relationship with the child:
(I) Whether the parent has maintained regular and meaningful contact with the child;
(II) Whether the parent has openly lived with the child for at least one hundred eighty days within the year preceding the filing of the relinquishment petition or, if the child is less than one year old at the time of the filing of the relinquishment petition, for at least one-half of the child's life; and
(III) Whether the parent has openly held out the child as his or her own child.
(c) That the parent has not promptly taken substantial parental responsibility for the child. In making this determination the court shall consider, but shall not be limited to, the following:
(I) Whether the parent who is the subject of the petition is served with notice and fails to file an answer within thirty days after service of the notice and petition to terminate the parent-child legal relationship, or within twenty days if the petition for termination was filed pursuant to section 19-5-103.5, or fails to file a paternity action, pursuant to article 4 of this title, within thirty days after the birth of the child or within thirty days after receiving notice that he is the father or likely father of the child, or, for those petitions filed pursuant to section 19-5-103.5, within twenty days after the birth of the child or after receiving notice that he is the father or likely father of the child;
(II) Whether the parent has failed to pay regular and reasonable support for the care of the child, according to that parent's means; and
(III) Whether the birth father has failed to substantially assist the mother in the payment of the medical, hospital, and nursing expenses, according to that parent's means, incurred in connection with the pregnancy and birth of the child.
(3.2) In considering the termination of a parent's parental rights, the court shall give paramount consideration to the physical, mental, and emotional conditions and needs of the child. Such consideration shall specifically include whether the child has formed a strong, positive bond with the child's physical custodian, the time period that the bond has existed, and whether removal of the child from the physical custodian would likely cause significant psychological harm to the child.
(3.3) If the child is under one year of age at the time that the relinquishment petition is filed, there is an affirmative defense to any allegations under subparagraph (VI) of paragraph (a), paragraph (b), and paragraph (c) of subsection (3.1) of this section that the parent's neglect, failure to establish a substantial relationship, or failure to take substantial responsibility for the child was due to impediments created by the other parent or person having custody. A parent shall demonstrate such impediments created by the other parent or person having custody by a preponderance of the evidence.
(3.4) (a) If the court determines not to terminate the nonrelinquishing parent's parental rights nor to direct that a dependency and neglect action be filed, the court shall proceed to determine custody of the child, parenting time with the child, duty of support, and recovery of child support debt.
(b) The court shall determine custody based upon the best interests of the child giving paramount consideration to the physical, mental, and emotional conditions and needs of the child.
(c) If the child has been out of his or her birth parents' care for more than one year, irrespective of incidental communications or visits from the relinquishing or nonrelinquishing parent, there is a rebuttable presumption that the best interests of the child will be served by granting custody to the person in whose care the child has been for that period. Such presumption may be overcome by a preponderance of the evidence.
(3.5) Notwithstanding subsection (3.4) of this section, the court shall grant custody of the child to the nonrelinquishing birth parent if the court finds that the birth parent has the ability and the desire to assume personally legal and physical custody of the child promptly and that all of the following exists:
(a) The nonrelinquishing parent has established a substantial, positive relationship with the child;
(b) The nonrelinquishing parent has promptly taken substantial parental responsibility for the child; and
(c) The award of custody to the nonrelinquishing parent is in the best interests of the child.
(3.6) Except for a parent whose parental rights have been relinquished pursuant to section 19-5-104, a person who has or did have the child in his or her care has the right to intervene as an interested party and to present evidence to the court regarding the nonrelinquishing parent's contact, communication, and relationship with the child. If custody is at issue pursuant to subsection (3.4) of this section, such person also has the right to present evidence regarding the best interests of the child and his or her own suitability as a placement for the child.
(4) If, after the inquiry, the court is unable to identify the other birth parent or any other possible birth parent and no person has appeared claiming to be the other birth parent and claiming custodial rights, the court shall enter an order terminating the unknown birth parent's parent-child legal relationship with reference to the child. Subject to the disposition of an appeal upon the expiration of thirty days after an order terminating a parent-child legal relationship is issued under subsection (3) of this section or this subsection (4), the order cannot be questioned by any person, in any manner, or upon any ground, except fraud upon the court or fraud upon a party. Upon an allegation of fraud, the termination order cannot be questioned by any person, in any manner or upon any ground, after the expiration of ninety days from the date that the order was entered.
(5) Notice of the proceeding shall be given to every person identified as the other birth parent or a possible birth parent in the manner appropriate under the Colorado rules of juvenile procedure for the service of process or in any manner the court directs. The notice shall inform the parent or alleged parent whose rights are to be determined that failure to file an answer or to appear within thirty days after service and, in the case of an alleged father, failure to file a claim of paternity under article 4 of this title within thirty days after service, if a claim has not previously been filed, may likely result in termination of the parent's or the alleged parent's parental rights to the minor. The notice also shall inform the parent or alleged parent whose rights are to be determined that such person has the right to waive his or her right to appear and contest and that failure to appear and contest may likely result in termination of the parent's or the alleged parent's parental rights to the minor. Proof of giving the notice shall be filed with the court before the petition is heard. If no person has been identified as the birth parent, the court shall order that notice be provided to all possible parents by publication or public posting of the notice at times and in places and manner the court deems appropriate.
(6) In those cases in which a parent proposes to relinquish his or her parent-child legal relationship with a child who is under one year of age, pursuant to the expedited procedures set forth in section 19-5-103.5, the licensed child placement agency or the county department of social services assisting the relinquishing parent shall proceed with filing the petition for termination of the other birth parent's or possible birth parents' parent-child legal relationship and notify the other birth parent or possible birth parents as provided in section 19-5-103.5 (2).
History
Source: L. 87: Entire title R&RE, p. 803, § 1, effective October 1. L. 94: Entire section amended, p. 747, § 3, effective April 20. L. 97: IP(3), (3.1)(c)(I), and (5) amended, p. 1160, § 3, effective July 1. L. 98: (3.1)(a)(II) amended, p. 1421, § 8, effective July 1. L. 2001: (3.1)(a)(VI) amended and (3.1)(a)(VIII) and (3.1)(a)(IX) added, p. 499, § 2, effective May 4. L. 2003: (3.1)(c)(I) amended and (6) added, p. 872, § 3, effective July 1.
Annotations
Editor's note: This section was contained in a title that was repealed and reenacted in 1987. Provisions of this section, as it existed in 1987, are similar to those contained in 19-6-126 as said section existed in 1986, the year prior to the repeal and reenactment of this title.
Annotations
ANNOTATION
Annotations
Law reviews. For article, "Adoption Procedures of Minor Children in Colorado", see 12 Colo. Law. 1057 (1983). For article, "Relinquishment of Children in Colorado", see 15 Colo. Law. 2008 (1986).
No due process right for an incarcerated parent to be present at termination hearings where parent appeared in proceeding through counsel, presented evidence as to parole date by affidavit, and submitted a brief. Matter of Catholic Charities, 942 P.2d 1380 (Colo. App. 1997).
The express purposes of the relinquishment and adoption statutes is to promote the integrity and finality of adoption. Court did not misconstrue this section in finding that the father was unable personally to assume custody of the child promptly. Matter of Catholic Charities, 942 P.2d 1380 (Colo. App. 1997).
The general assembly intended that custody be given only if that parent can promptly assume ongoing parental responsibility for the child. Had the general assembly intended to allow a nonrelinquishing parent to avoid termination by making alternative custodial arrangements, it would have so provided. Matter of Catholic Charities, 942 P.2d 1380 (Colo. App. 1997).
Section does not authorize termination of the parent-child legal relationship of the other parent in anticipation of possible stepparent adoption. Statutes governing parental relinquishment and adoption must be read together in order to effectuate the legislative intent and give consistent, harmonious, and sensible effect to all their parts. Thus, since mother wanted to keep her relationship intact but involuntarily end father's in order to make children available for stepparent adoption, reliance on this section was inappropriate. In re D.S.L., 18 P.3d 856 (Colo. App. 2001).
Any defect in subject matter jurisdiction resulting from a parent not having custody of child at time of filing petition to terminate parental rights is cured by the filing of subsequent petitions to terminate by agency and adoptive parents. People in the Matter of A.L.B., 994 P.2d 476 (Colo. App. 1999).

19-5-106. Records. (Repealed)
History
Source: L. 87: Entire title R&RE, p. 804, § 1, effective October 1. L. 89: Entire section amended, p. 943, § 3, effective March 27. L. 90: Entire section repealed, p. 1012, § 8, effective July 1.
Annotations
Editor's note: This section was contained in a title that was repealed and reenacted in 1987. Provisions of this section, as it existed in 1987, are similar to those contained in 19-4-104 as said section existed in 1986, the year prior to the repeal and reenactment of this title.
19-5-107. When notice of relinquishment proceedings required. (Repealed)
History
Source: L. 87: Entire title R&RE, p. 805, § 1, effective October 1. L. 91: Entire section amended, p. 254, § 13, effective July 1. L. 92: Entire section amended, p. 2175, § 30, effective June 2. L. 94: Entire section repealed, p. 752, § 4, effective April 20.
Annotations
Editor's note: This section was contained in a title that was repealed and reenacted in 1987. Provisions of this section, as it existed in 1987, are similar to those contained in 19-6-125 as said section existed in 1986, the year prior to the repeal and reenactment of this title.

19-5-108. When notice of relinquishment proceedings required.
Statute text
If the custodial parent has assigned rights to support for a child who is the subject of relinquishment proceedings to the department of human services, notice of the relinquishment proceedings shall be given, by the parent proposing to relinquish a child or by that parent's counsel, to the appropriate delegate child support enforcement unit in cases where there is no adoption proceeding pending.
History
Source: L. 96: Entire section added, p. 613, § 15, effective July 1.

Part 2
ADOPTION

19-5-200.2. Legislative declaration.
Statute text
(1) Notwithstanding any other provisions of this title to the contrary, it is the intent of the general assembly that the court shall protect and promote the best interests of the children who are the subjects of proceedings held pursuant to this part 2 while giving due regard to the interests of any other individuals affected.
(2) The general assembly hereby finds and declares that:
(a) It is beneficial for a child placed for adoption to be able to continue relationships with his or her brothers and sisters, regardless of age, in order that the siblings may share their strengths and association in their everyday and often common experiences;
(b) When parents and other adult relatives are no longer available to a child, the child's siblings constitute his or her biological family;
(c) When placing children in adoptive placements, efforts should be made to place siblings together, unless there is a danger of specific harm to a child or it is not in the child's or children's best interests to be placed together. The general assembly further finds that if the county department locates an appropriate, capable, willing, and available joint placement for all of the children in the sibling group, there should be a rebuttable presumption that placement of the entire sibling group in the joint placement is in the best interests of the children. Such presumption should be rebuttable by a preponderance of the evidence that placement of the entire sibling group in the joint placement is not in the best interests of a child or of the children.
History
Source: L. 94: Entire section added, p. 1198, § 1, effective May 19. L. 2000: Entire section amended, p. 476, § 6, effective July 1. L. 2003: (2)(c) amended, p. 2627, § 9, effective June 5.

19-5-201. Who may be adopted.
Statute text
Any child under eighteen years of age present in the state at the time the petition for adoption is filed and legally available for adoption as provided in section 19-5-203 may be adopted. Upon approval of the court, a person eighteen years of age or older and under twenty-one years of age may be adopted as a child, and all provisions of this part 2 referring to the adoption of a child shall apply to such a person.
History
Source: L. 87: Entire title R&RE, p. 805, § 1, effective October 1.
Annotations
Editor's note: This section was contained in a title that was repealed and reenacted in 1987. Provisions of this section, as it existed in 1987, are similar to those contained in 19-4-105 as said section existed in 1986, the year prior to the repeal and reenactment of this title.
Annotations
ANNOTATION
Annotations
Am. Jur.2d. See 2 Am. Jur.2d, Adoption, §§ 26-30.
C.J.S. See 2 C.J.S., Adoption of Persons, §§ 22-24.
Law reviews. For article, "The Adoption of Children in Colorado", see 37 Dicta 100 (1960). For article, "Adoption Procedures of Minor Children in Colorado", see 12 Colo. Law, 1057 (1983). For article, "Lawful Permanent Residence and Citizenship for the Adopted Foreign Child", see 15 Colo. Law. 2207 (1986).

19-5-202. Who may adopt.
Statute text
(1) Any person twenty-one years of age or older, including a foster parent, may petition the court to decree an adoption.
(2) A minor, upon approval of the court, may petition the court to decree an adoption.
(3) A person having a living spouse from whom he is not legally separated shall petition jointly with such spouse, unless such spouse is the natural parent of the child to be adopted or has previously adopted the child.
History
Source: L. 87: Entire title R&RE, p. 805, § 1, effective October 1. L. 88: (1) amended, p. 758, § 4, effective May 31.
Annotations
Editor's note: This section was contained in a title that was repealed and reenacted in 1987. Provisions of this section, as it existed in 1987, are similar to those contained in 19-4-106 as said section existed in 1986, the year prior to the repeal and reenactment of this title.
Annotations
ANNOTATION
Annotations
Am. Jur.2d. See 2 Am. Jur.2d, Adoption, §§ 15-19.
C.J.S. See 2 C.J.S., Adoption of Persons, §§ 15, 16, 19.
Law reviews. For article, "The Adoption of Children in Colorado", see 37 Dicta 100 (1960). For article, "Adoption Procedures of Minor Children in Colorado", see 12 Colo. Law, 1057 (1983). For article, "Lawful Permanent Residence and Citizenship for the Adopted Foreign Child", see 15 Colo. Law. 2207 (1986).

19-5-202.5. Adoption hearings - termination appeals - court docket priority - exceptions.
Statute text
(1) On and after July 1, 2002, any hearing concerning a petition for adoption filed in a district court, the Colorado court of appeals, or the Colorado supreme court and any hearing concerning a petition filed in the Colorado court of appeals or the Colorado supreme court related to a child who is available for adoption due to an order of the court terminating the parent-child legal relationship shall be given a priority on the court's docket. On and after July 1, 2002, if there is no determination on a case concerning a petition for adoption or a case concerning a child who is available for adoption due to an order of the court terminating the parent-child legal relationship by any such court within six months of the filing of the petition, it shall be given a priority on the court's docket that supersedes the priority of any other priority civil hearing on the court's docket.
(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (1) of this section, nothing in this section shall affect the priority of a hearing concerning the issuance of a temporary protection order pursuant to section 13-14-102, C.R.S.
(3) The provisions of this section shall be implemented within existing appropriations.
History
Source: L. 2002: Entire section added, p. 1643, § 1, effective July 1. L. 2003: (2) amended, p. 1016, § 28, effective July 1. L. 2004: (2) amended, p. 557, § 16, effective July 1.

19-5-203. Availability for adoption.
Statute text
(1) A child may be available for adoption only upon:
(a) Order of the court terminating the parent-child legal relationship in a proceeding brought under article 3 or 5 of this title;
(b) Order of the court decreeing the voluntary relinquishment of the parent-child legal relationship under section 19-5-103, 19-5-103.5, or 19-5-105;
(c) Written and verified consent of the guardian of the person, appointed by the court, of a child whose parents are deceased;
(d) (I) Written and verified consent of the parent in a stepparent adoption where the other parent is deceased or his parent-child legal relationship has been terminated under paragraph (a) or (b) of this subsection (1);
(II) Written and verified consent of the parent in a stepparent adoption, accompanied by an affidavit or sworn testimony of such parent, that the other birth parent has abandoned the child for a period of one year or more or that the other birth parent has failed without cause to provide reasonable support for such child for a period of one year or more. Upon filing of the petition in adoption, the court shall issue a notice directed to the other parent, which notice shall state the nature of the relief sought, the names of the petitioner and the child, and the time and place set for hearing on the petition. If the address of the other parent is known, service of such notice shall be in the manner provided by the Colorado rules of civil procedure for service of process. Upon affidavit by the petitioner that, after diligent search, the address of the other parent remains unknown, the court shall order service upon the other parent by one publication of the notice in a newspaper of general circulation in the county in which the hearing is to be held. The hearing shall not be held sooner than thirty days after service of the notice is complete, and, at such time, the court may enter a final decree of adoption notwithstanding the time limitation in section 19-5-210 (2).
(e) Written and verified consent of the parent having only residual parental responsibilities when custody or parental responsibilities have been awarded or allocated to the other parent in a dissolution of marriage proceeding where the spouse of the parent having custody or parental responsibilities wishes to adopt the child;
(f) Written and verified consent of the parent or parents as defined in section 19-1-103 (82) in a stepparent adoption where the child is conceived and born out of wedlock;
(g) A statement by the department of human services or its designated agent as to whether any placement arranged outside the state of Colorado was carried out by a child placement agency licensed or authorized under the laws of another state to make placements;
(h) Verification by the child placement agency, a county department of social services, or the attorney for the petitioner in any adoption proceeding that any custody obtained outside the state of Colorado was acquired by:
(I) Proceedings to relinquish all parent-child legal relationships which complied with the laws of the state where conducted or conformed substantially to the laws of this state; or
(II) Proceedings to terminate all parent-child legal relationships which complied with the laws of the state where conducted or conformed substantially to the laws of this state; or
(III) Written and verified consent, under the conditions set forth in paragraphs (c) to (f) of this subsection (1), which was executed in accord with the laws of the state where granted or in substantial conformity with the laws of this state;
(i) Verification by the department of human services or its designated agent that any custody obtained outside the state of Colorado was acquired by proceedings sanctioned by the federal immigration and naturalization service in cooperation with the department of human services whenever such cooperation is authorized or advised by federal law;
(j) Submission of an affidavit or sworn testimony of the adoptive relative in a kinship adoption that the birth parent or birth parents have abandoned the child for a period of one year or more or that the birth parent or birth parents have failed without cause to provide reasonable support for such child for a period of one year or more, and that the relative seeking the kinship adoption has had physical custody of the child for a period of one year or more and the child is not the subject of a pending dependency and neglect proceeding pursuant to article 3 of this title. Upon filing of the petition in adoption, the court shall issue a notice directed to the birth parent or birth parents, which notice shall state the nature of the relief sought, the names of the petitioner and the child, and the time and place set for hearing on the petition. If the address of the birth parent is known, service of such notice shall be in the manner provided by the Colorado rules of civil procedure for service of process. Upon affidavit by the petitioner that describes with specificity the diligent search made by the petitioner, and that states that, after diligent search, the address of the birth parent or birth parents remains unknown, the court shall order service upon the birth parent or birth parents by one publication of the notice in a newspaper of general circulation in the county in which the hearing is to be held. The hearing shall not be held sooner than thirty days after service of the notice is complete, and, at such hearing, the court may enter a final decree of adoption notwithstanding the time limitation in section 19-5-210 (2).
(k) Submission of an affidavit or sworn testimony of the legal custodian or legal guardian in a custodial adoption that the birth parent or birth parents have abandoned the child for a period of one year or more or that the birth parent or birth parents have failed without cause to provide reasonable support for such child for a period of one year or more and that the legal custodian or legal guardian seeking the custodial adoption has had the child in his or her physical custody for a period of one year or more. Upon filing of the petition in adoption, the court shall issue a notice directed to the birth parent or birth parents, which notice shall state the nature of the relief sought, the names of the petitioner and the child, and the time and place set for hearing on the petition. If the address of the birth parent or birth parents is known, service of such notice shall be in the manner provided by the Colorado rules of civil procedure for service of process. Upon affidavit by the petitioner that describes with specificity the diligent search made by the petitioner, and that states that, after diligent search, the address of the birth parent or birth parents remains unknown, the court shall order service upon the birth parent or birth parents by one publication of the notice in a newspaper of general circulation in the county in which the hearing is to be held. The hearing shall not be held sooner than thirty days after service of the notice is complete, and, at such hearing, the court may enter a final decree of adoption notwithstanding the time limitation in section 19-5-210 (2).
(2) Written consent to any proposed adoption shall be obtained from the person to be adopted if such person is twelve years of age or older.
History
Source: L. 87: Entire title R&RE and (1)(f) amended, pp. 805, 1587, §§ 1, 61, effective October 1. L. 94: (1)(g) and (1)(i) amended, p. 2688, § 211, effective July 1. L. 97: (1)(d)(II) amended, p. 1161, § 4, effective July 1. L. 98: (1)(f) amended, p. 822, § 29, effective August 5; (1)(e) amended, p. 1410, § 73, effective February 1, 1999. L. 99: (1)(j) and (1)(k) added, p. 1062, § 3, effective June 1. L. 2005: (1)(b) amended, p. 765, § 25, effective June 1.
Annotations
Editor's note: This section was contained in a title that was repealed and reenacted in 1987. Provisions of this section, as it existed in 1987, are similar to those contained in 19-4-107 as said section existed in 1986, the year prior to the repeal and reenactment of this title.
Annotations
ANNOTATION
Annotations
Analysis
I. General Consideration.
II. Consent and Availability Without Consent.
I. GENERAL CONSIDERATION.
Am. Jur.2d. See 2 Am. Jur.2d, Adoption, §§ 26-30, 65, 66, 120.
C.J.S. See 2 C.J.S., Adoption of Persons, §§ 22, 49, 55, 57-61, 63-69.
Law reviews. For article, "The 1951 Amendments to the Relinquishment and Adoption Laws", see 28 Dicta 227 (1951). For article, "The Adoption of Children in Colorado", see 37 Dicta 100 (1960). For note, "Batton v. Massar: The Finality of Colorado Adoptions", see 35 U. Colo. L. Rev. 314 (1963). For article, "Substantive Changes in Adoption and Relinquishment Law in Colorado", see 16 Colo. Law. 2183 (1987).
Annotator's note. The following annotations include cases decided under former provisions similar to this section.
Section held constitutional. Stjernholm v. Mazaheri, 180 Colo. 352, 506 P.2d 155 (1973).
Purpose of section. The prime purpose of the provisions relating to adoption definitely pertain to the care, support, training, and welfare of children who are orphaned or left dependent during minority. Martin v. Cuellar, 131 Colo. 117, 279 P.2d 843 (1955).
The purpose of adoption proceedings is to change the status of a child and its adoptive parents and to create a new status, a new relationship of parent and child. Johnson v. Black, 137 Colo. 119, 322 P.2d 99 (1958).
The general assembly has evidenced a benign policy toward adopted persons. People ex rel. Dunbar v. White, 144 Colo. 212, 355 P.2d 963 (1960).
This section and § 19-5-211, when viewed together, exclude from the reach of adoption statutes all form of adoption not otherwise expressly permitted. Adoption of T.K.J., 931 P.2d 488 (Colo. App. 1996).
This section, when read together with § 19-5-211 contemplates two types of adoptions. The first is an adoption in which the rights of the parents are terminated by the court or are relinquished by the parents, or by the child's guardian if the parents are deceased. In such situation, final decree of adoption has effect of divesting the child's natural parents of all legal rights and obligations with respect to the child. The second is a "stepparent adoption", which constitutes the only exception to the general rule that an adoption divests both of the child's parents of all legal rights and duties relating to the child. This exception applies only when custodial parent is married to the adopting stepparent. Adoption of T.K.J., 931 P.2d 488 (Colo. App. 1996); In re D.S.L., 18 P.3d 856 (Colo. App. 2001).
Reading the plain language of this section in harmony with other statutes relating to adoption, children of same-sex couple whose parents were not married and whose parents did not intend to relinquish or terminate custody of children were not available for adoption. Adoption of T.K.J., 931 P.2d 488 (Colo. App. 1996).
Procedure mandatory. The procedure prescribed in subsection (1) cannot be ignored. Foley v. Carnesi, 123 Colo. 533, 232 P.2d 186 (1951).
Compliance with the provisions of the adoption statute is mandatory. Allen v. Huffman, 135 Colo. 1, 307 P.2d 802 (1957).
"One year" in former subsection (1)(e)(II) (now subsection (1)(b)(II)) means the consecutive 12-month period immediately preceding the filing of the petition for stepparent adoption. In re R.H.N., 673 P.2d 805 (Colo. App. 1983); In re R.H.N., 710 P.2d 482 (Colo. 1985).
Responsibility of state to protect child's best interests. In an adoption proceeding, not only the custody, support, and education of a minor is involved, but one or both the parents may be deprived of their rights as parents. In such cases the state has an obligation to see that the best interests of the child and its welfare are served by the decree of adoption. Clerkin v. Geisendorfer, 137 Colo. 139, 323 P.2d 633 (1958).
The primary consideration in adoption proceedings is the welfare of the child, and secondly the rights of the parents. Moreau v. Buchholz, 124 Colo. 302, 236 P.2d 540 (1951).
Except when it is essential and of paramount necessity in the best interests of the child itself to provide otherwise, the law recognizes and enforces the right to the custody of their own children which nature gives to parents. Allen v. Huffman, 135 Colo. 1, 307 P.2d 802 (1957).
In a valid adoption proceeding, the natural relationship of the parents is superseded by an artificial relationship, and courts should act with caution and circumspection in such proceedings, exerting every effort commensurate with the welfare of the child to prevail upon the natural parents to accept and fulfill their duties toward their child. Smith v. Welfare Dept., 144 Colo. 103, 355 P.2d 317 (1960).
Parental rights (now parent-child legal relationship) must yield to interest and welfare of child. Stjernholm v. Mazaheri, 180 Colo. 352, 506 P.2d 155 (1973); In re Petition of J.D.K., 37 P.3d 541 (Colo. App. 2001).
As child is ward of state. The initiation of any proceedings in a court in which the rights, status, and welfare of an infant may be affected immediately establishes the infant's relation to the court as that of its ward. Smith v. Welfare Dept., 144 Colo. 103, 355 P.2d 317 (1960).
The power of the state to sever the ties between parent and child should be exercised with extreme care and only when the evidence clearly establishes the necessity of so doing. People in Interest of S.S.T., 38 Colo. App. 110, 553 P.2d 82 (1976).
In assessing whether a parent has abandoned a child, the court must examine the totality of the circumstances, viewed in light of the best interests of the child, which assessment must include recognition both that every child is entitled to support and nurturance and that, to preserve parental rights, a parent must give appropriate attention to parental responsibilities, with the primary consideration being the welfare of the child second to the rights of the parents. In re Petition of J.D.K., 37 P.3d 541 (Colo. App. 2001).
Where mother abandoned the child and did not have a relationship with the child, the court cannot benefit the best interests of the child by considering the prospects that the mother, having abandoned a child, may later seek to establish a relationship with the child where there has been no support and nurturance. In re Petition of J.D.K., 37 P.3d 541 (Colo. App. 2001).
A stepparent adoption proceeding is not based on a societal responsibility to improve a child's situation. The best interest of the child is only one of the factors to be considered in evaluating a petition in such a proceeding. People in Interest of S.S.T., 38 Colo. App. 110, 553 P.2d 82 (1976).
A parent-child relationship may not be destroyed and a new one created by adoption solely because an official of the state may believe the child's welfare and the stepparent's convenience will be served by such actions. People in Interest of S.S.T., 38 Colo. App. 110, 553 P.2d 82 (1976).
Where a petition for stepparent adoption is before the court, the court may consider the natural parent's past conduct and other relevant considerations in making a determination as to whether it is unlikely that the natural parent will make future support payments on a regular and continuous basis. E.R.S. v. O.D.A., 779 P.2d 844 (Colo. 1989).
A stepparent adoption proceeding, like all other adoption proceedings, is concluded by a final decree of adoption. It is only when the final decree is entered that a natural parent is divested of all rights and obligations with respect to the child. People in Interest of S.M.O., 931 P.2d 572 (Colo. App. 1996).
A child is not available for adoption within the meaning of paragraph (f) of subsection (1), without the consent of both natural parents when both parents are living and the identity and whereabouts of both parents are known or ascertainable by due diligence. In re the Petition of S.O., 795 P.2d 254 (Colo. 1990).
Natural father's motion to set aside stepparent adoption was properly denied where father knowingly, intelligently, and voluntarily consented to his child's adoption by signing a waiver that was written in plain, clear, and unambiguous language. Father's claim that his consent was based on an understanding that he would receive visitation rights was insufficient to overcome the written consent and evidence that the father was sufficiently informed by court clerk as to the consequences of signing consent form. In re the Petition of S.O., 795 P.2d 254 (Colo. 1990).
Parent's incarceration. Incarceration is not a per se justification for failure to pay child support. The fact that a parent has been incarcerated for any or all of the 12-month period immediately preceding the filing of the petition is one factor to be considered by the court in making its determinations. In re R.H.N., 673 P.2d 805 (Colo. App. 1983); In re R.H.N., 710 P.2d 482 (Colo. 1985).
Determination of whether reasonable support was paid must be predicated on a party's financial circumstances rather than on a rigid interpretation of a support order entered at a prior time. In re R.H.N., 678 P.2d 1070 (Colo. App. 1984).
But parents are not excused from their obligation to support their children merely because their incomes are small. Although incarceration is a factual circumstance that the court may consider in deciding what level of support is reasonable, incarceration does not totally excuse a parent's obligation to provide some child support. In re R.H.N., 710 P.2d 482 (Colo. 1985).
Once court has determined that a natural parent has failed to provide child support during 12-month period preceding filing of petition under former subsection (1)(e)(II) (now subsection (1)(h)(II)), the court must look beyond the 12-month period to determine whether there is any likelihood that natural parent will provide child support. In re R.H.N., 710 P.2d 482 (Colo. 1985).
Whether a parent has failed to provide "reasonable support" is question of fact to be determined by the trial court on a case by case basis. In re F.J.H., 628 P.2d 159 (Colo. App. 1981); In re R.H.N., 710 P.2d 482 (Colo. 1985).
And parental rights not terminated whenever parent fails to provide support. This section does not permit the termination of parental rights (now parent-child legal relationship) whenever a parent fails to provide the amount of support specified under a decree for a period of one year. In re F.J.H., 628 P.2d 159 (Colo. App. 1981).
Mistaken belief on support obligation considered in ruling on failure to provide support. While a divorced parent's support obligation is not legally suspended by the other parent's violation of the visitation provisions in a custody decree, a mistaken belief to this effect is a factual circumstance which the trial court may consider in ruling on the question of the failure to provide reasonable support without cause in a proceeding which involves the termination of a parent-child legal relationship. In re F.J.H., 628 P.2d 159 (Colo. App. 1981).
Because of the harshness of permanently terminating parental rights, (now parent-child legal relationships) strict compliance with this section is required. Petition of T.C.H. v. J.M.S., 190 Colo. 246, 545 P.2d 1357 (1976); In re F.J.H., 628 P.2d 159 (Colo. App. 1981).
Substantial compliance with the statutory provisions is essential and must appear of record. People in Interest of S.S.T., 38 Colo. App. 110, 553 P.2d 82 (1976).
Burden of statutory adoption is same on all citizens. Chavez v. Shea, 185 Colo. 400, 525 P.2d 1148 (1974).
Exclusive method of adoption. Except in a very limited and unique situation, the only method of legal adoption under the laws of Colorado is pursuant to the children's code. Chavez v. Shea, 185 Colo. 400, 525 P.2d 1148 (1974).
A juvenile court has exclusive jurisdiction in adoption proceedings, but such jurisdiction does not extend to ousting a district court of jurisdiction in habeas corpus proceedings involving the unlawful restraint of an infant. Johnson v. Black, 137 Colo. 119, 322 P.2d 99 (1958).
But court cannot determine custody apart from adoption. In adoption proceedings, where for lack of jurisdiction or failure to meet statutory requirements, the effort to adopt fails, a juvenile court has no power to make an award of custody, nor to determine the relative rights of natural parents or of persons seeking to adopt a child. Johnson v. Black, 137 Colo. 119, 322 P.2d 99 (1958).
Parent's abandonment of child is question of intent. Lack of mental capacity may be cause for failure to provide support and the presumption that an insanity adjudication results in the continuation of a state of mental incapacity applies in a proceeding under this section. Petition of D.L.M., 703 P.2d 1330 (Colo. App. 1985).
Adoption and abandonment proceedings distinguished. The question of abandonment is one of the elements involved in adoption proceedings, but that does not change adoption proceedings under this article to an abandonment proceeding under § 19-1-104. Johnson v. Black, 137 Colo. 119, 322 P.2d 99 (1958).
An adjudication in a habeas corpus proceeding involving custody of a minor child is not an adjudication of abandonment as defined in the adoption statute, nor as used in the dependent and neglected child statute since a district court has no jurisdiction in abandonment proceeding. Johnson v. Black, 137 Colo. 119, 322 P.2d 99 (1958).
Section may not be supplemented or supplanted by action in dependency. This section provides within itself sufficient means and authority to accomplish its purpose, and it may not be supplemented or supplanted by an action in dependency. People in Interest of S.S.T., 38 Colo. App. 110, 553 P.2d 82 (1976).
A petition in dependency may not be converted into a proceeding for stepparent adoption by the actions either of the parties, the referee, or the trial court. People in Interest of S.S.T., 38 Colo. App. 110, 553 P.2d 82 (1976).
And procedures are not interchangeable. Since a petition in dependency concerns different matters and fulfills a different purpose than a proceeding for a stepparent adoption, procedures applicable to one may not be used to accomplish the ends of the other. People in Interest of S.S.T., 38 Colo. App. 110, 553 P.2d 82 (1976).
For the distinction between notice required by § 19-3-103 and that required by this section, see People in Interest of S.S.T., 38 Colo. App. 110, 553 P.2d 82 (1976).
Colorado courts have not recognized cultural adoption as being legal adoption. Chavez v. Shea, 185 Colo. 400, 525 P.2d 1148 (1974).
Equitable adoption for purposes of intestacy. Where there is "an oral contract to adopt a child, fully performed except that there was no statutory adoption", the child could be held equitably adopted for purposes of intestacy. The court has never applied the doctrine to factual situations other than those involving succession to an estate. Chavez v. Shea, 185 Colo. 400, 525 P.2d 1148 (1974).
Trial court's findings supported by evidence binding on appeal. Where the record contains evidence which supports the findings of the trial court that it is not in the best interest of the child to proceed with adoption, those findings are binding on appeal. In re J.A.A. v. C.R., 618 P.2d 742 (Colo. App. 1980).
Applied in Board of Control of State Home v. Mulertz, 60 Colo. 468, 154 P. 742 (1916); People in Interest of K.S., 33 Colo. App. 72, 515 P.2d 130 (1973).
II. CONSENT AND AVAILABILITY WITHOUT CONSENT.
Law reviews. For note, "A Compilation of Consent Provisions of Adoption Statutes", see 24 Rocky Mt. L. Rev. 359 (1952). For comment on White v. Davis (163 Colo. 122, 428 P.2d 909 (1967)), see 40 U. Colo. L. Rev. 151 (1967).
This section applies simply to consent and not to waiver, and, in view of the expressed intent of the general assembly to give the natural parents protection from hurried and coerced decisions to give up their child, the meaning of this section cannot be extended to include waiver of notice. Thus, the notice required may not be waived by a minor parent. Foley v. Carnesi, 123 Colo. 533, 232 P.2d 186 (1951).
General assembly has wide discretion in determining when and under what conditions child may be adopted without consent of natural parents. Stjernholm v. Mazaheri, 180 Colo. 352, 506 P.2d 155 (1973).
Parent has no absolute right to child under any and all circumstances. Stjernholm v. Mazaheri, 180 Colo. 352, 506 P.2d 155 (1973).
The determination that a child is "available for adoption" is only a preliminary step toward the replacement of the child's natural parent with one who appears to be more willing and able to provide the care, support, and training necessary for the child's proper development. People in Interest of S.S.T., 38 Colo. App. 110, 553 P.2d 82 (1976).
Objecting parent must show willingness to assume obligations. While a natural parent's rights may not be disregarded, expressed public policy declares that a parent seeking to prevent the adoption of his natural child by a stepparent may not stand upon his parental rights without demonstrating a willingness to assume parental obligations. People in Interest of S.S.T., 38 Colo. App. 110, 553 P.2d 82 (1976).
Failure to support and abandonment separate grounds. The children's code specifies that failure to support without cause is a separate and independent ground from that of abandonment for declaring a child available for adoption so that if sufficient proof on either or both grounds is submitted to the court, a judgment based thereon will not be disturbed. Karkanen v. Valdesuso, 33 Colo. App. 47, 515 P.2d 128 (1973).
This section does not require that abandonment and nonsupport must both be shown to terminate parental rights (now parent-child legal relationship). Buder v. Reynolds, 175 Colo. 28, 486 P.2d 432 (1971).
Prior court order mandating child support is not a prerequisite to a finding that a natural parent has failed without cause to provide child support. Accordingly, a child could be adopted without the natural father's consent where the natural father had failed to provide any child support for over a year preceding the filing for stepparent adoption, the evidence suggested that he would not pay child support in the future, and all procedural requirements of this section had been met. In re I.R.D., 971 P.2d 702 (Colo. App. 1998).
In assessing whether a parent has abandoned a child, the court must examine the totality of the circumstances viewed in light of the best interests of the child, and mother's single phone call made during the year prior to the filing of the petition for adoption would not preclude a finding of abandonment. In re Petition of J.D.K., 37 P.3d 541 (Colo. App. 2001).
Termination of parental rights (now parent-child legal relationship) constitutional. Requiring only a showing that the natural parent has failed without cause to provide reasonable support for a child for one year or more, when termination of a natural parent's rights is sought in a stepparent adoption, does not violate the natural parent's constitutional rights. Buder v. Reynolds, 175 Colo. 28, 486 P.2d 432 (1971).
Consent is necessary in all adoptions, since without valid consents courts are without jurisdiction to enter decrees of adoption. Batton v. Massar, 149 Colo. 404, 369 P.2d 434 (1962).
Minor parent may give consent. Under this section, the minority of a natural parent is not a bar to such parent's consent to adoption. Batton v. Massar, 149 Colo. 404, 369 P.2d 434 (1962).
A mother's consent to the adoption is necessary unless she has forfeited her rights. Graham v. Francis, 83 Colo. 346, 265 P. 690 (1928).
When the petition in adoption was filed, there was no valid order of dependency. Without such a valid order the consent of the mother was essential, and not being filed with that petition, the court was without jurisdiction to enter the decree of adoption, and its jurisdiction was no greater because of the subsequent order of dependency based on a new petition. The adjudication of dependency entered subsequent to the filing of the petition in adoption could not give vitality to the adoption petition. Storey v. Shumaker, 131 Colo. 131, 279 P.2d 1057 (1955).
Unverified consent ineffective. Where the written consent of the natural parent is not subscribed and sworn to as required by this section, a decree of adoption will not be sustained. Allen v. Huffman, 135 Colo. 1, 307 P.2d 802 (1957).
Consent valid in absence of fraud, coercion, or misrepresentation. A mother may not avoid the consequences of her voluntary acts in consenting to the adoption of her children, on the ground that she did not realize the seriousness and finality of the paper she was signing, in the absence of fraud, coercion, or misrepresentation. Batton v. Massar, 149 Colo. 404, 369 P.2d 434 (1962).
Consent required where divorce decree specifically relieved father of duty to support child. T.C.H. v. J.M.S., 190 Colo. 246, 545 P.2d 1357 (1976).
After relinquishment, parental consent unnecessary. If there has been a relinquishment, then in proceedings for the adoption of the relinquished child, the agency to which the child has been relinquished is the only one that can consent. Batton v. Massar, 149 Colo. 404, 369 P.2d 434 (1962).
Consent is not required where the parent has abandoned the child. Neville v. Bracher, 94 Colo. 550, 31 P.2d 911 (1934).
And such parent not entitled to notice of adoption. Where the mother abandons and deserts her child, she has no right to receive notice of the child's adoption. Smith v. Welfare Dept., 144 Colo. 103, 355 P.2d 317 (1960).
Notice of adoption proceedings under this section need not be given where a valid relinquishment has been made, such relinquishment divesting the natural parents of all legal right in their child. Smith v. Welfare Dept., 144 Colo. 103, 355 P.2d 317 (1960).
Under this section, no notice of an adoption proceeding is required to be given parents who have relinquished or lost their rights to the custody of their children by prior court action. Olsen v. Davidson, 142 Colo. 205, 350 P.2d 338 (1960).
Hearing on adequacy of notice required. Where the motion to vacate the adoption decrees claims no notice whatsoever and further alleges that in support of an order authorizing service by publication the procurer of the order made a false representation that he was unaware of the whereabouts of the natural father, the inherent seriousness of such allegations require an evidentiary hearing to determine whether the due process requirements in the adoption proceedings were met. White v. Davis, 163 Colo. 122, 428 P.2d 909 (1967) (decided under former § 4-1-16, C.R.S. 1963).

19-5-204. Venue.
Statute text
A petition for adoption shall be filed in the county of residence of the petitioner or in the county in which the placement agency is located.
History
Source: L. 87: Entire title R&RE, p. 806, § 1, effective October 1.
Annotations
Editor's note: This section was contained in a title that was repealed and reenacted in 1987. Provisions of this section, as it existed in 1987, are similar to those contained in 19-1-105 as said section existed in 1986, the year prior to the repeal and reenactment of this title.

19-5-205. Adoption decree of foreign country approved.
Statute text
(1) (a) A petition seeking a decree declaring valid an adoption granted by a court of any country other than the United States of America may be filed at any time by residents of the state of Colorado.
(b) The petition shall contain all information required in section 19-5-207 (2); except that the court shall not require the petition to contain or be accompanied by the written consent described in section 19-5-207 (1), the written home study report described in section 19-5-207 (2) (a), the fees described in section 19-5-207.5 (4), or a written legal memorandum with specific references to the applicable law of the foreign country.
(2) The court shall issue a decree declaring valid an adoption granted by a court of competent jurisdiction or other authorized individual or entity of a country other than the United States of America upon a finding that:
(a) At the time the petition is filed, the petition contains a verified statement that at least one of the adopting parents is a citizen and resident of the state of Colorado or other evidence that at least one of the adopting parents is a citizen and resident of the state of Colorado;
(b) The original or a certified copy of a valid foreign adoption decree, together with a notarized translation, is presented to the court; and
(c) The child is either a permanent resident or a naturalized citizen of the United States. A photocopy of the child's resident alien card issued by the immigration and naturalization service of the United States department of justice, or any successor entity, shall be sufficient evidence that the child is either a permanent resident or a naturalized citizen of the United States.
(2.5) The adopting parties filing a petition pursuant to this section shall not be required to be represented by an attorney.
(3) Any decree issued pursuant to this section shall have the same legal effect as any decree of adoption issued by the court.
History
Source: L. 87: Entire title R&RE, p. 806, § 1, effective October 1. L. 97: (1)(b) and (2) amended and (2.5) added, p. 1162, § 5, effective July 1. L. 99: (1)(b) amended, p. 1024, § 5, effective May 29.
Annotations
Editor's note: This section was contained in a title that was repealed and reenacted in 1987. Provisions of this section, as it existed in 1987, are similar to those contained in 19-4-107.5 as said section existed in 1986, the year prior to the repeal and reenactment of this title.
Annotations
ANNOTATION
Annotations
Law reviews. For article, "Lawful Permanent Residence and Citizenship for the Adopted Foreign Child", see 15 Colo. Law. 2207 (1986).

19-5-205.5. Nonpublic agency interstate and foreign adoptions - legislative declaration - authority for department to select agencies.
Statute text
(1) The general assembly finds that timely processing of adoptions is in the best interests of the children being adopted. It is therefore the intent of the general assembly to expedite permanency for those children who are being adopted. It is the purpose of this section to promote timely processing of nonpublic agency interstate and foreign adoptions while increasing the department of human services' capacity to utilize existing staff to perform other child welfare functions.
(2) (a) The department is authorized to select nonpublic, licensed child placement agencies authorized to handle adoptions or nonpublic agencies that meet the qualifying criteria to be licensed child placement agencies pursuant to article 6 of title 26, C.R.S., and any implementing rules or regulations promulgated by the department for the provision of services to individuals seeking assistance in nonpublic agency interstate or foreign adoption cases pursuant to this part 2. The department shall, by rule, establish qualifying criteria by which such nonpublic agencies shall be selected for this purpose.
(b) The department shall further promulgate rules creating standards by which the department may evaluate the delivery of services by the selected nonpublic agencies and identifying the services and functions to be rendered by the nonpublic agencies selected pursuant to paragraph (a) of this subsection (2) including, but not limited to, the following:
(I) The review of all background information concerning the birth parents and individual case material on the adopting family's assessment;
(II) The review of all legal documents related to the relinquishment or termination of the birth parents' rights;
(III) The review of all birth and medical information;
(IV) The review of correspondence with the immigration and naturalization service in the United States department of justice in foreign adoptions;
(V) The review of the child's social history, legal documents, medical information, and birth certificate in foreign adoption cases in which the child is to be placed in Colorado;
(VI) The provision of relinquishment counseling;
(VII) The promotion of permanent plans for the adopted child;
(VIII) The agency's compliance with federal and Colorado laws, including, but not limited to, the "Interstate Compact on Placement of Children" as set forth in part 18 of article 60 of title 24, C.R.S.;
(IX) The timeliness of the provision of services; and
(X) The overall protection of the child being adopted.
(3) (a) Nonpublic agencies may charge reasonable and necessary fees and costs to defray the direct and indirect expenses associated with the provision of nonpublic agency interstate and foreign adoption services associated with the statutorily required review and approval of interstate and foreign adoptive placements. Pursuant to section 19-5-208 (4), all fees and costs charged for services associated with the review and approval of interstate and foreign adoptions shall be separately specified in the expenses listed for the court's review as required.
(b) The department of human services shall, by rule, establish guidelines for the fees and costs which such nonpublic agencies selected pursuant to subsection (2) of this section may charge for the delivery of such services.
(4) All interstate and foreign adoptions in Colorado made by the court, the county departments of social services, or licensed child placement agencies shall be pursuant to section 19-5-206 (1).
(5) For purposes of this section, "nonpublic agency interstate and foreign adoption" is defined in section 19-1-103 (81).
History
Source: L. 94: Entire section added, p. 1200, § 1, effective July 1. L. 96: (4) amended, p. 84, § 10, effective March 20. L. 97: (2)(a), IP(2)(b), and (2)(b)(I) amended and (5) added, p. 1162, § 6, effective July 1.

19-5-206. Placement for purposes of adoption.
Statute text
(1) No placement of any child legally available for adoption under section 19-5-203 (1) (a), (1) (b), (1) (c), or (1) (g) shall be made for the purposes of adoption except by the court pursuant to section 19-5-104 (2), the county department of social services, or a licensed child placement agency.
(2) (a) Birth parent or parents may designate a specific applicant with whom they may wish to place their child for purposes of adoption. After assessment and approval of the potential adoptive parents and subsequent relinquishment of the child, the court shall grant guardianship of the child to a person or agency described in section 19-5-104 (1) until finalization of adoptive placement. A county department may provide adoption services to birth parents who request designated adoption only in cases in which the county has legal custody of the child prior to the filing of the petition to relinquish. All requirements and provisions of this article pertaining to relinquishment and adoption shall apply to designated adoptions.
(b) The court may waive the assessment and approval requirements of paragraph (a) of this subsection (2) in cases where the birth parent or parents have designated the child's grandparent, aunt, uncle, brother, or sister as the person with whom they wish to place their child for purposes of adoption. The court may proceed to finalize such adoptive placement upon finding that the placement is in the best interests of the child.
(c) The court may waive the assessment and approval of the potential adoptive parents in cases involving kinship or custodial adoption or may determine and order what kind of information or written report it deems necessary, including an abbreviated home study or home evaluation. The court may proceed to finalize such adoptive placement upon finding that the placement is in the best interests of the child.
(3) Consideration given to the racial background of a child legally available for adoption in placing such child with an adopting family shall not delay the placement of the child due to attempts to assure racial resemblance between the child and the adopting family.
History
Source: L. 87: Entire title R&RE, p. 807, § 1, effective October 1. L. 89: (2) amended, p. 938, § 2, effective March 21. L. 94: (2) amended, p. 71, § 1, effective March 15; (3) added, p. 673, § 2, effective July 1. L. 99: (2) amended, p. 1063, § 4, effective June 1.
Annotations
Editor's note: This section was contained in a title that was repealed and reenacted in 1987. Provisions of this section, as it existed in 1987, are similar to those contained in 19-4-108 as said section existed in 1986, the year prior to the repeal and reenactment of this title.
Annotations
ANNOTATION
Annotations
Law reviews. For article, "Adoption Procedures of Minor Children in Colorado", see 12 Colo. Law. 1057 (1983). For article, "Substantive Changes in Adoption and Relinquishment Law in Colorado", see 16 Colo. Law. 2183 (1987).
Annotator's note. The following annotations include cases decided under former provisions similar to this section.
Welfare departments and placement agencies not solely authorized to place adoptive children. Inasmuch as the general assembly has granted the court exclusive jurisdiction over adoptions, has expressly authorized adoptive placement, and has given the court the final and sole responsibility of approving or disapproving adoptions, it would be totally inconsistent to conclude that the welfare department or licensed placement agencies are the sole entities authorized to place a child for adoption following termination of parental rights. People in Interest of M.D.C.M., 34 Colo. App. 91, 522 P.2d 1234 (1974).

19-5-207. Written consent and home study report for public adoptions.
Statute text
(1) When a child is placed for adoption by the county department of social services, a licensed child placement agency, or an individual, such department, agency, or individual shall file, with the petition to adopt, its written and verified consent to such adoption in addition to any notices received or sent pursuant to the terms of the "Interstate Compact on Placement of Children" set forth in part 18 of article 60 of title 24, C.R.S.
(2) In all petitions for adoption, whether by the court, the county department of social services, or child placement agencies, in addition to such written consent, the court shall require a written home study report from the county department of social services, the designated qualified individual, or the child placement agency approved by the state department of human services pursuant to section 19-5-207.5 (2) showing the following:
(a) The physical and mental health, emotional stability, and moral integrity of the petitioner and the ability of the petitioner to promote the welfare of the child; but no physical examination shall be required of any person who in good faith relies upon spiritual means or prayer in the free exercise of religion to prevent or cure disease unless there is reason to believe such person's physical condition is such that he or she would be unable to take care of such child;
(b) Confirmation that the petitioner has participated in adoption counseling if the court deems appropriate. The counseling may address the permanence of the decision, the impact of the decision on the adopting parent and the adopting parent's family now and in the future, and the issues that may arise in the event that the adoptee at some time in the future desires to contact the relinquishing parent.
(c) The physical and mental condition of the child;
(d) The child's family background, including the names of parents and other identifying data regarding the parents, if obtainable;
(e) Reasons for the termination of the parent-child legal relationship;
(f) The suitability of the adoption of this child by this petitioner and the child's own disposition toward the adoption in any case in which the child's age makes this feasible; and
(g) The length of time the child has been in the care and custody of the petitioner.
(2.5) (a) (I) In all petitions for adoption, whether by the court, the county department of social services, or child placement agencies, in addition to the written home study report described in subsection (2) of this section, the court shall require the county department of social services, the designated qualified individual, or the child placement agency to conduct a criminal history records check for any prospective adoptive parent.
(II) For purposes of fulfilling the criminal history records check required in subparagraph (I) of this paragraph (a), the state board of human services shall promulgate rules concerning petitions for adoption when a child is placed for adoption by the county department of social services or a child placement agency to require each prospective adoptive parent attempting to adopt a child placed for adoption by the county department of social services or a child placement agency to obtain fingerprint-based criminal history record checks through the Colorado bureau of investigation and the federal bureau of investigation. The prospective adoptive parent to whom this subparagraph (II) applies shall be responsible for the cost of the criminal history record checks.
(III) For purposes of fulfilling the criminal history records check required in subparagraph (I) of this paragraph (a), a prospective adoptive parent, other than a prospective adoptive parent specified in subparagraph (II) of this paragraph (a), shall obtain fingerprint-based criminal history record checks through the Colorado bureau of investigation and the federal bureau of investigation. A prospective adoptive parent to whom this subparagraph (III) applies shall be responsible for providing a complete set of fingerprints to the Colorado bureau of investigation and for obtaining the fingerprint-based criminal history record checks. The prospective adoptive parent shall also be responsible for the cost of the criminal history record checks.
(IV) A prospective adoptive parent described in subparagraph (III) of this paragraph (a) shall be responsible for presenting the results of his or her fingerprint-based criminal history record checks to the court for review by the court. The county department of social services or the child placement agency, as may be appropriate, shall report to the court any case in which a fingerprint-based criminal history record check reveals that the prospective adoptive parent who is attempting to adopt a child placed for adoption by a county department of social services or child placement agency was convicted at any time of a felony or misdemeanor in one of the following areas:
(A) Child abuse or neglect;
(B) Spousal abuse;
(C) Any crime against a child;
(D) Any crime, the underlying factual basis of which has been found by the court on the record to include an act of domestic violence, as defined in section 18-6-800.3, C.R.S.;
(E) Violation of a protection order, as described in section 18-6-803.5, C.R.S.;
(F) Any crime involving violence, rape, sexual assault, or homicide; or
(G) Any felony physical assault or battery conviction or felony drug-related conviction within, at a minimum, the past five years.
(b) No person convicted of a felony offense specified in subparagraph (IV) of paragraph (a) of this subsection (2.5) shall be allowed to adopt a child.
(c) In addition to the fingerprint-based criminal history record check, the county department of social services, the individual, or the child placement agency conducting the investigation shall contact the state department of human services to determine whether the prospective adoptive parent or parents have been found to be responsible in a confirmed report of child abuse or neglect.
(d) The state board of human services shall promulgate rules setting forth the procedures for the fingerprint-based criminal history record check and the report to the court described in paragraph (a) of this subsection (2.5).
(3) In proposed relative adoptions, the court shall review the report prepared pursuant to subsection (2) of this section. The court may order further assessment if the court deems it necessary.
(4) Any party to the adoption proceeding may be entitled to see the report required by subsection (2) of this section; except that the names of parents and adoptive parents and any means of identifying either shall not be made available except upon order of the court.
(5) to (7) (Deleted by amendment, L. 99, p. 1018, § 1, effective May 29, 1999.)
(8) If a court orders a county department of social services to counsel a birth parent concerning relinquishment of a child pursuant to the provisions of sections 19-5-103 and 19-5-104, the county department shall charge a fee to meet the full cost of the counseling.
(9) If the child is being placed in an adoptive home by a licensed child placement agency, such agency shall file an affidavit with the court stating that the agency's license is in good standing with the department. A licensed child placement agency involved in an adoption proceeding pursuant to this article shall immediately notify the court in writing of any suspension, revocation, or denial of its license or of any disciplinary action taken against the agency by the state of Colorado. Failure of the agency to provide such notification shall be a class 3 misdemeanor punishable by a fine of five thousand dollars. The department shall, by rule, adopt a mechanism by which a child placement agency shall notify the court of any disciplinary action against the agency.
History
Source: L. 87: Entire title R&RE, p. 807, § 1, effective October 1. L. 89: (1) amended, p. 939, § 3, effective March 21. L. 94: (5) and (6) amended, p. 2688, § 212, effective July 1. L. 97: Entire section amended, p. 1163, § 8, effective July 1. L. 98: (2.5) added and (6) amended, p. 1423, §§ 10, 11, effective July 1. L. 99: IP(2), (2.5)(a), and (5) to (7) amended, p. 1018, § 1, effective May 29. L. 2001: (2.5) amended, p. 851, § 13, effective June 1. L. 2003: (2.5)(a) amended, p. 1016, § 29, effective July 1; (2.5)(a) amended, p. 1407, § 13, effective January 1, 2004. L. 2005: (2.5) amended, p. 584, § 1, effective May 26.
Annotations
Editor's note: (1) This section was contained in a title that was repealed and reenacted in 1987. Provisions of this section, as it existed in 1987, are similar to those contained in 19-4-109 as said section existed in 1986, the year prior to the repeal and reenactment of this title.
(2) Amendments to subsection (2.5)(a) by House Bill 03-1117 and House Bill 03-1211 were harmonized.
(3) Section 3 of chapter 165, Session Laws of Colorado 2005, provides that amendments to subsection (2.5) shall take effect only if House Bill 05-1264 is enacted and becomes law, the final fiscal impact statement prepared by the legislative council staff reflects that the estimated decrease in state cash fund revenues resulting from House Bill 05-1264 is equal to or greater than the estimated increase in state cash fund revenues resulting from House Bill 05-1093, and the staff director of the joint budget committee files written notice with the revisor of statutes of that fact. House Bill 05-1264 was enacted and became law, and on June 27, 2005, the staff director of the joint budget committee filed written notice with the revisor of statutes that the final fiscal impact statement prepared by the legislative council staff reflects that the estimated decrease in state cash fund revenues resulting from House Bill 05-1264 is greater than the estimated increase in state cash fund revenues resulting from House Bill 05-1093.
Annotations
Cross references: For the legislative declaration contained in the 2001 act amending subsection (2.5), see section 1 of chapter 241, Session Laws of Colorado 2001. For the legislative declaration contained in the 2003 act amending subsection (2.5)(a), see section 1 of chapter 196, Session Laws of Colorado 2003.
Annotations
ANNOTATION
Annotations
Am. Jur.2d. See 2 Am. Jur.2d, Adoption, §§ 65, 93, 111.
C.J.S. See 2 C.J.S., Adoption of Persons, §§ 46, 53.
Annotator's note. The following annotations include cases decided under former provisions similar to this section.
Agency alone can consent after relinquishment. If there has been a relinquishment, then in proceedings for the adoption of the relinquished child, the agency to which the child has been relinquished is the only one that can consent. Batton v. Massar, 149 Colo. 404, 369 P.2d 434 (1962).
Proof of abandonment does not assure adoption for the persons seeking to adopt. They may not qualify as adoptive parents because of lack of proof of financial ability, lack of moral qualities, or numerous other deficiencies. Johnson v. Black, 137 Colo. 119, 322 P.2d 99 (1958).

19-5-207.3. Placement of sibling groups.
Statute text
(1) When a child is placed for adoption by the county department, if the child is part of a sibling group, as defined in section 19-1-103 (98.5), the county department shall include in the adoption report prepared for the court, the names and current physical custody and location of any siblings of the child who are also available for adoption; except that the names of children, parents, caretakers, and adoptive parents and any means of identifying such persons shall not be made available to any party to the adoption proceeding except upon order of the court or as otherwise permitted by law.
(2) If the child is part of a sibling group, the county department shall make thorough efforts to locate a joint placement for all of the children in the sibling group who are available for adoption. If the county department locates an appropriate, capable, willing, and available joint placement for all of the children in the sibling group, it shall be presumed that placement of the entire sibling group in the joint placement is in the best interests of the children. Such presumption may be rebutted by a preponderance of the evidence that placement of the entire sibling group in the joint placement is not in the best interests of a child or of the children.
(3) If the child is part of a sibling group, as defined in section 19-1-103 (98.5), and is being placed for adoption by a child placement agency in either a circumstance involving siblings who are the result of a multiple birth or a circumstance in which a parent has relinquished parental rights to the children to a child placement agency, the child placement agency shall make thorough efforts to locate a joint placement for all of the children in the sibling group who are available for adoption. If the child placement agency locates an appropriate, capable, willing, and available joint placement for all of the children in the sibling group, it shall be presumed that placement of the entire sibling group in the joint placement is in the best interests of the children. Such presumption may be rebutted by a preponderance of the evidence that placement of the entire sibling group in the joint placement is not in the best interests of a child or of the children. If an entire sibling group is not placed together in an adoptive placement, the child placement agency shall place as many siblings of the group together as possible, considering their relationship and the best interests of each child.
(4) Consideration of the placement of children together as a sibling group shall not delay the efforts for expedited permanency planning or permanency planning in order to achieve permanency for each child in the sibling group.
History
Source: L. 2000: Entire section added, p. 477, § 7, effective July 1. L. 2003: (2) and (3) amended, p. 2628, § 10, effective June 5.

19-5-207.5. Legislative declaration - standardized home studies - adoptive family resource registry - rules.
Statute text
(1) Legislative declaration. (a) (I) The general assembly hereby finds that there are a growing number of children in the legal custody of the county departments of social services who are the victims of physical or sexual abuse, neglect, or abandonment and who are awaiting permanent placement in safe, loving, and nurturing adoptive homes. The general assembly further finds that with the expedited permanency procedures that have been established and with the enactment of legislation implementing the federal "Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997", Public Law 105-89, it is anticipated that the number of children available for adoption will continue to increase dramatically and that there will be a corresponding increased need to identify statewide those families that are willing and qualified to adopt these needy children.
(II) The general assembly finds that, although the county departments of social services have made admirable efforts in assessing and reporting on the qualifications of families interested in adopting, there is a need to make the valuable resource of such qualified families more available and accessible to all counties in the state in order to satisfy the growing need for suitable adoptive families.
(b) Accordingly, the general assembly determines that it is appropriate and desirable for the department to aid the county departments of social services in their efforts to achieve permanency for children in their legal custody who are available for adoption by making accessible to such county departments a statewide adoptive family resource registry of families who are qualified for and desirous of adopting children with special needs. Toward that end, the general assembly further determines that it would be beneficial to such children and families for the department to develop an approved vendor list of qualified home study providers by region, standardized investigation criteria, and minimum uniform adoptive home study report standards in order to achieve more timely adoptive placements, to reduce the burden associated with the adoption process, and to avert the possibility of failed adoptions.
(2) Approved vendor lists for home studies. (a) In order to achieve greater access to qualified families seeking to adopt children, to expedite permanency placement for children available for adoption, and to obtain reliable, high-quality assessments of families that can result in permanent and healthy placements, the department shall develop an approved vendor list of county departments, individuals, and child placement agencies qualified to prepare the home study reports in public adoptions as required by section 19-5-207 (2).
(b) (I) On or before January 1, 2000, the department shall issue a public request for applications from county departments of social services, individuals, and child placement agencies desirous of conducting investigations and preparing written home study reports for prospective public adoptions in specified counties or geographic regions. The department shall review the applications it receives and shall determine which applicants meet the qualifying criteria identified by the state board of human services pursuant to subparagraph (II) of this paragraph (b). Each county department of social services, individual, or child placement agency that meets the qualifying criteria shall be placed on the approved vendor list of home study report providers.
(II) The state board of human services shall promulgate rules identifying the qualifying criteria that county departments of social services, individuals, and child placement agencies must meet in order to qualify as an approved vendor pursuant to this paragraph (b) for the purpose of conducting adoptive investigations and preparing home study reports. All county departments of social services, qualified individuals, and child placement agencies that submit applications to the department and that meet the qualifying criteria shall be selected to perform home studies and, once such county departments, individuals, or agencies have been approved by the department pursuant to this paragraph (b), they shall be available to perform home studies in the specified county or region.
(c) All qualified county departments of social services, individuals, and child placement agencies approved by the department to conduct home studies pursuant to paragraph (b) of this subsection (2) shall prepare their home study reports in compliance with the minimum uniform standards prescribed by rule of the state board as described in subsection (3) of this section and any other additional criteria and standards established by a particular county pursuant to paragraph (b) of subsection (3) of this section.
(d) Each qualified county department of social services, individual, or child placement agency approved by the department may promote the adoption of available children through a public information campaign directed at educating and informing the public about the need for safe and healthy adoptive families. Regional educational campaigns shall be encouraged.
(e) All qualified county departments of social services, individuals, and child placement agencies approved by the department pursuant to this subsection (2) may participate in the statewide training provided by the department.
(3) Standards for home studies. (a) The state board of human services shall promulgate rules identifying the criteria for the investigation and the minimum uniform standards for the home study reports with which the qualified county departments of social services, individuals, or child placement agencies approved by the department shall comply. The criteria shall include, but shall not be limited to:
(I) The quality standards that the county department of social services, the individual, or the child placement agency must achieve;
(II) The time frames within which the county department of social services, the individual, or the child placement agency must complete the investigations and home study reports; and
(III) The capacity of the county department of social services, the individual, or the child placement agency to assess the abilities of prospective adoptive families to meet the needs of a child with special needs.
(b) Nothing in this section shall prohibit a county department of social services from establishing additional criteria and standards that a county department of social services, an individual, or a child placement agency shall meet in preparing a home study report.
(4) Fees for investigations and home studies. (a) (I) Any person who, by his or her own request or by order of the court as provided in section 19-5-209, is the subject of a home study report and investigation conducted pursuant to section 19-5-207 by a county department of social services, an individual, or a child placement agency shall be required to pay, based on an ability to pay, the cost of such report and investigation.
(II) In public adoptions, the state board of human services shall promulgate rules establishing the maximum amount that a county department of social services, an individual, or a child placement agency may charge a prospective adoptive family for the investigation, criminal records check, and home study report required pursuant to section 19-5-207.
(III) The county department of social services may waive the fee established pursuant to this subsection (4) if the fee poses a barrier to the adoption of a child for whom a county department of social services has financial responsibility.
(b) (I) In addition to the fee specified in paragraph (a) of this subsection (4), if the county department of social services has not placed a child available for a public adoption with a family who is the subject of an investigation and home study report after six months, then the county shall refer the family and the home study report for such family to the adoptive family resource registry established pursuant to subsection (5) of this section if there is written consent pursuant to subparagraph (I) of paragraph (c) of subsection (5) of this section. Prior to referral of a prospective adoptive family to the adoptive family resource registry, the prospective adoptive family shall be assessed and shall pay a nonrefundable administrative fee in an amount to be determined by rule of the state board of human services. A family shall not be assessed the fee described in this paragraph (b) if the family is not referred to the adoptive family resource registry.
(II) The department or the contractor selected by the department to administer the adoptive family resource registry shall collect the administrative fee established by rule of the state board of human services pursuant to subparagraph (I) of this paragraph (b) and apply the revenue from said fees to offset the costs incurred for the administration of the adoptive family resource registry.
(III) Nothing in this paragraph (b) shall be construed to prevent a county from referring a family to the adoptive family resource registry before the six month period has lapsed.
(5) Adoptive family resource registry. (a) Subject to available funds as specified in subparagraph (III) of paragraph (b) of this subsection (5), the department shall establish a statewide adoptive family resource registry that county departments of social services may access to determine the availability of qualified families seeking to adopt a child in the custody of a county department of social services. The department is authorized to contract with a public or private entity for the provision of this service.
(b) (I) The executive director of the department is authorized to accept and expend on behalf of the state any funds, grants, gifts, or donations from any private or public source for the purpose of establishing the statewide adoptive family resource registry; except that no gift, grant, or donation shall be accepted if the conditions attached thereto require the expenditure thereof in a manner contrary to law.
(II) The executive director of the department is authorized to apply for a federal waiver, if necessary, to authorize the use of federal grant moneys to implement this section.
(III) No general fund moneys shall be expended for the establishment of the adoptive family resource registry. The adoptive family resource registry shall be established only upon the receipt of sufficient grants, gifts, and donations pursuant to subparagraph (I) of this paragraph (b).
(c) (I) No home study report, or any other information concerning a person interested in a public adoption shall be submitted to the adoptive family resource registry without such person's written consent.
(II) The state board of human services shall promulgate rules specifying the limited amount of nonidentifying data concerning a person interested in a public adoption that shall be available to county departments of social services on the internet through the adoptive family resource registry.
(III) The state board of human services shall promulgate rules identifying the standards and procedures with which the department or the contractor selected by the department to administer the adoptive family resource registry shall comply in order to preserve the confidentiality and privacy of the prospective adoptive family as much as possible.
History
Source: L. 99: Entire section added, p. 1019, § 2, effective May 29.
Annotations
ANNOTATION
Annotations
Law reviews. For article, "Achieving Safe, Permanent Homes for Colorado Children", see 31 Colo. Law. 37 (October 2002).

19-5-208. Petition for adoption.
Statute text
(1) The petition for adoption shall be filed not later than thirty days after the date on which the child is first placed in the home of the adoptive applicants for the purpose of adoption unless the court finds that there was reasonable cause or excusable neglect for not filing the petition. The court shall then fix a date for the hearing.
(2) Every petition for adoption of a child shall be verified by the petitioner and shall be entitled substantially as follows: "In the matter of the petition of .......... for the adoption of a child." It shall contain:
(a) The name, date and place of birth, race, and place of residence of each petitioner, including the maiden name of the adopting mother, and the date of marriage, if any, of the petitioners;
(b) The name, date and place of birth, and place of residence, if known by the petitioner, of the child to be adopted;
(c) The relationship, if any, of the child to the petitioner;
(d) The full name by which the child shall be known after adoption;
(e) The full description of the property, if any, of the child;
(f) The names of the parents of the child, and the address of each living parent, if known to the petitioner;
(g) The names and addresses of the guardian of the person and the guardian of the estate of the child, if any have been appointed;
(h) The name of the agency or person to whom the custody of the child has been given by proper order of court;
(i) The length of time the child has been in the care and custody of the petitioner;
(j) Names of other children, both natural and adopted and both living and dead, of the adopting parents;
(k) The residence and occupation of each petitioner at or about the time of the birth of the child.
(2.5) (a) Pursuant to the provisions of section 19-1-126, the petition for adoption shall:
(I) Include a statement indicating what continuing inquiries the county department of social services or child placement agency has made in determining whether the child who is the subject of the proceeding is an Indian child;
(II) Identify whether the child is an Indian child; and
(III) Include the identity of the Indian child's tribe, if the child is identified as an Indian child.
(b) If notices were sent to the parent or Indian custodian of the child and to the Indian child's tribe, pursuant to section 19-1-126, the postal receipts, or copies thereof, shall be attached to the petition for adoption and filed with the court or filed within ten days after the filing of the petition for adoption, as specified in section 19-1-126 (1) (c).
(3) If the adoption placement is made by the county department of social services or a child placement agency, the information required in paragraphs (b) and (f) of subsection (2) of this section shall not be included in the petition but shall be transmitted to the court as part of the home study report required in section 19-5-207.
(4) The petition shall be accompanied by a standardized affidavit form prescribed by the judicial department disclosing any and all fees, costs, or expenses charged or to be charged by any person or agency in connection with the adoption.
(5) In all stepparent, custodial, and kinship adoptions, the petition shall contain a statement informing the court whether the prospective adoptive parent was convicted at any time by a court of competent jurisdiction of a felony or misdemeanor in one of the following areas: Child abuse or neglect; spousal abuse; any crime against a child; any crime, the underlying factual basis of which has been found by the court on the record to include an act of domestic violence, as defined in section 18-6-800.3, C.R.S.; violation of a protection order, as described in section 18-6-803.5, C.R.S.; any crime involving violence, rape, sexual assault, or homicide; or any felony physical assault or battery. In addition, the petitioner shall attach to the petition a current criminal history records check paid for by the petitioner.
(6) In all custodial and kinship adoptions, the petition shall contain a statement that the petitioner has consulted with the appropriate local county department of social services concerning the possible eligibility of the petitioner and the child for temporary assistance for needy families (TANF), medicaid, subsidized adoption and other services or public assistance administered by the county department of social services.
History
Source: L. 87: Entire title R&RE, p. 808, § 1, effective October 1. L. 97: (4) amended, p. 1165, § 9, effective July 1. L. 99: (3) amended, p. 1025, § 8, effective May 29; (5) and (6) added, p. 1063, § 5, effective June 1. L. 2002: (2.5) added, p. 788, § 9, effective May 30. L. 2004: (5) amended, p. 328, § 1, effective July 1.
Annotations
Editor's note: This section was contained in a title that was repealed and reenacted in 1987. Provisions of this section, as it existed in 1987, are similar to those contained in 19-4-110 as said section existed in 1986, the year prior to the repeal and reenactment of this title.
Annotations
Cross references: For the legislative declaration contained in the 2002 act enacting subsection (2.5), see section 1 of chapter 217, Session Laws of Colorado 2002.
Annotations
ANNOTATION
Annotations
Am. Jur.2d. See 2 Am. Jur.2d, Adoption, § 114.
C.J.S. See 2 C.J.S., Adoption of Persons, §§ 81, 82.
Law reviews. For article, "One Year Review of Criminal Law and Procedure", see 36 Dicta 34 (1959). For article, "The Adoption of Children in Colorado", see 37 Dicta 100 (1960). For article, "Adoption Procedures of Minor Children in Colorado", see 12 Colo. Law. 1957 (1983). For article, "Colorado Moves Toward Full Compliance With Federal Indian Child Welfare Act", see 31 Colo. Law. 77 (November 2002).
Annotator's note. The following annotations include cases decided under former provisions similar to this section.
Trial court may reduce claimed attorney fees when they are excessive. People in Matter of K.M.K., 780 P.2d 43 (Colo. App. 1989).
The status of the record at the time the petition for adoption is filed determines the steps to be taken, the consents required, and the persons to be served with citation or notice. Storey v. Shumaker, 131 Colo. 131, 279 P.2d 1057 (1955) (decided under former CSA, C. 4, § 11).

19-5-209. Petition - written home study reports.
Statute text
(1) Except for stepparent adoptions, kinship adoptions, custodial adoptions, and those cases in which placement for adoption has been made by the court, if a petition for the adoption of a child is not accompanied by the written consent and home study report of the qualified county department of social services, individual, or a licensed child placement agency approved by the state department of human services pursuant to section 19-5-207.5 (2), the court shall order the county department of social services, individual, or licensed child placement agency to make an investigation and file a written home study report substantially in the form outlined in section 19-5-207 (2), including a recommendation as to whether the adoption should be decreed.
(2) In adoptions where a child placement agency or county department has legal guardianship during the interval between initial placement and the final order of adoption, the child placement agency or county department shall supervise the placement with prospective adoptive parents and the child. The court, after notice to all parties in interest and hearing thereon, may, for good cause, terminate said placement if, at any time prior to the final decree of adoption, it appears to the court that said adoption is not in the best interest of the child.
History
Source: L. 87: Entire title R&RE, p. 809, § 1, effective October 1. L. 99: (1) amended, p. 1023, § 3, effective May 29; (1) amended, p. 1064, § 6, effective June 1.
Annotations
Editor's note: (1) This section was contained in a title that was repealed and reenacted in 1987. Provisions of this section, as it existed in 1987, are similar to those contained in 19-4-111 as said section existed in 1986, the year prior to the repeal and reenactment of this title.
(2) Amendments to subsection (1) by House Bill 99-1218 and House Bill 99-1299 were harmonized.
Annotations
ANNOTATION
Annotations
C.J.S. See 2 C.J.S., Adoption of Persons, § 53.
Law reviews. For article, "Substantive Changes in Adoption and Relinquishment Law in Colorado", see 16 Colo. Law. 2183 (1987).

19-5-210. Hearing on petition.
Statute text
(1) A hearing on the petition for adoption shall be held on the date set or the date to which the matter has been regularly continued.
(1.5) Except in stepparent, custodial, or kinship adoptions, the court shall issue a certificate of approval of placement, placing the child's custodial care with prospective adoptive parents pending final hearing on the petition for adoption, if it appears to the court that the placement for adoption is in the best interest of the child.
(2) In stepparent, custodial, or kinship adoptions, the court shall hold a hearing on the petition as soon as possible. In all other adoptions, the court shall hold a hearing on the petition no sooner than six months after the date the child begins to live in the prospective adoptive parent's home, unless for good cause shown that time is extended or shortened by the court. At the hearing held on the petition, the court shall enter a decree setting forth its findings and grant to the petitioner a final decree of adoption if it is satisfied as to:
(a) The availability of the child for adoption;
(b) The good moral character, the ability to support and educate the child, and the suitableness of the home of the person adopting such child;
(b.5) The criminal records check of the prospective adoptive parent as reported to the court by the county department of social services or the child placement agency pursuant to section 19-5-207 (2.5) or the information provided to the court pursuant to section 19-5-208 (5) does not reveal a criminal history described in 19-5-207 (2.5) (a);
(c) The mental and physical condition of the child as a proper subject for adoption in said home;
(d) The fact that the best interests of the child will be served by the adoption; and
(e) If the child is part of a sibling group, whether it is in the best interests of the child to remain in an intact sibling group. If the county department or child placement agency locates an appropriate, capable, willing, and available joint placement for all of the children in the sibling group, it shall be presumed that placement of the entire sibling group in the joint placement is in the best interests of the children. Such presumption may be rebutted by a preponderance of the evidence that placement of the entire sibling group in the joint placement is not in the best interests of a child or of the children. The judge shall review the family services plan document regarding placement of siblings.
(3) The former name of the child shall not be stated in the final decree of adoption.
(4) If, after the hearing, the court is not satisfied as to the matters listed in subsection (2) of this section, the petition for adoption may be either continued or dismissed in the discretion of the court. The court shall not grant the decree of final adoption if it determines that the prospective adoptive parent was convicted at any time by a court of competent jurisdiction of a felony in one of the following areas: Child abuse or neglect; spousal abuse; any crime against a child; or any crime involving violence, rape, sexual assault, or homicide, excluding other physical assault or battery. For stepparent, kinship, or custodial adoptions, in addition to not granting a decree of final adoption in circumstances involving the felony convictions listed in this subsection (4), the court shall not grant the decree of final adoption if it determines that the prospective adoptive parent was convicted of a felony for physical assault or battery that was committed within the past five years.
(5) (a) Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (b) of this subsection (5), all hearings with reference to adoption shall be closed to the public and, in the discretion of the court, to any child who is the subject of adoption and who is under twelve years of age, but the court may interview the child whenever it deems it proper.
(b) Upon motion by any party to an adoption or upon the court's own motion, the court may order that an adoption hearing be opened to the public or to the child who is, or the children who are, the subject of the adoption if the court finds that opening the hearing is in the best interests of the child who is, or the children who are, the subject of the adoption hearing and the court finds that the potential adoptive parents have consented to an open hearing.
(6) In a stepparent adoption, in addition to issuing a final decree of adoption, the court shall enter an order terminating the other parent's parental rights. In a custodial or kinship adoption, in addition to issuing a final decree of adoption, the court shall enter an order terminating the parental rights of the child's parents.
(7) In cases involving the adoption of a child who is part of a sibling group, but who is not being adopted with his or her siblings, in addition to issuing a final decree of adoption, if the adoptive parents are willing, the court may encourage reasonable visitation among the siblings when visitation is in the best interests of the child or the children. The court shall review the record and inquire as to whether the adoptive parents have received counseling regarding children in sibling groups maintaining or developing ties with each other.
History
Source: L. 87: Entire title R&RE, p. 809, § 1, effective October 1. L. 97: IP(2) amended, p. 1165, § 10, effective July 1. L. 98: (2) and (4) amended, p. 1423, § 12, effective July 1. L. 99: Entire section amended, p. 1064, § 7, effective June 1. L. 2000: (2) amended and (7) added, p. 478, § 8, effective July 1. L. 2003: (2)(e) amended, p. 2628, § 11, effective June 5. L. 2005: IP(2) and (5) amended, p. 94, § 4, effective March 31.
Annotations
Editor's note: This section was contained in a title that was repealed and reenacted in 1987. Provisions of this section, as it existed in 1987, are similar to those contained in 19-4-112 as said section existed in 1986, the year prior to the repeal and reenactment of this title.
Annotations
ANNOTATION
Annotations
Am. Jur.2d. See 2 Am. Jur.2d, Adoption, §§ 117-120.
C.J.S. See 2 C.J.S., Adoption of Persons, §§ 93-102.
Law reviews. For article, "The 1951 Amendments to the Relinquishment and Adoption Laws", see 28 Dicta 227 (1951). For article, "One Year Review of Domestic Relations", see 34 Dicta 108 (1957). For article, "The Adoption of Children in Colorado", see 37 Dicta 100 (1960). For article, "Adoption Procedures of Minor Children in Colorado", see 12 Colo. Law. 1057 (1983).
Annotator's note. The following annotations include cases decided under former provisions similar to this section.
Substantial compliance with statutory requirements necessary. These proceedings are statutory and as they affect substantial rights there must be a substantial compliance with the provisions of the legislative enactment. Such a compliance must appear of record and before acting on a petition in adoption the trial court should ascertain that the consents and notices necessary to confer jurisdiction were filed. Storey v. Shumaker, 131 Colo. 131, 279 P.2d 1057 (1955) (decided under former CSA, C. 4, § 15).
Standard for determining custody, guardianship, and adoption is "best interests and welfare" of the child. People in Interest of A.D., 706 P.2d 7 (Colo. App. 1985).
Weight to be accorded to testimony and opinions of child psychiatrist and social worker is within sound discretion of the trier of fact. People in Interest of A.D., 706 P.2d 7 (Colo. App. 1985).
Concerns of unmarried parents who relinquished their rights are relevant to the court's consideration of placement with the grandparents. People in Interest of A.D., 706 P.2d 7 (Colo. App. 1985).
Trial court's findings supported by evidence binding on appeal. Where the record contains evidence which supports the findings of the trial court that it is not in the best interest of the child to proceed with adoption, those findings are binding on appeal. In re J.A.A. v. C.R., 618 P.2d 742 (Colo. App. 1980).
In determining whether termination and adoption would be in the best interests of the child, the court may consider, among other factors: Family stability; the present and future effects of adoption, including the detrimental effects of termination; the child's emotional ties to and interaction with the parties; the child's adjustment to the living situation; the child's age; and the mental and physical health of the parties, and where trial court's factual determinations concerning these factors are supported by the evidence, they will not be disturbed. In re Petition of J.D.K., 37 P.3d 541 (Colo. App. 2001).

19-5-211. Legal effects of final decree.
Statute text
(1) After the entry of a final decree of adoption, the person adopted shall be, to all intents and purposes, the child of the petitioner. He shall be entitled to all the rights and privileges and be subject to all the obligations of a child born in lawful wedlock to the petitioner.
(1.5) An employer who permits paternity or maternity time off for biological parents following the birth of a child shall, upon request, make such time off available for individuals adopting a child. If the employer has established a policy providing time off for biological parents, that period of time shall be the minimum period of leave available for adoptive parents. Requests for additional leave due to the adoption of an ill child or a child with a disability shall be considered on the same basis as comparable cases of such complications accompanying the birth of such a child to an employee or employee's spouse. Any other benefits provided by the employer, such as job guarantee or pay, shall be available to both adoptive and biological parents on an equal basis. An employer shall not penalize an employee for exercising the rights provided by this subsection (1.5). The provisions of this subsection (1.5) shall not apply to an adoption by the spouse of a custodial parent.
(2) The parents shall be divested of all legal rights and obligations with respect to the child, and the adopted child shall be free from all legal obligations of obedience and maintenance with respect to the parents.
(2.5) The child shall be eligible for enrollment and coverage by any medical or dental insurance held by the prospective adoptive parents if, and on such a basis as, such coverage would be available to a child naturally born to the prospective adoptive parents.
(3) Nothing in this part 2 shall be construed to divest any natural parent or child of any legal right or obligation where the adopting parent is a stepparent and is married to said natural parent.
History
Source: L. 87: Entire title R&RE, p. 810, § 1, effective October 1. L. 88: (1.5) added, p. 759, § 1, effective April 13. L. 93: (1.5) amended, p. 1638, § 26, effective July 1. L. 97: (2.5) added, p. 1165, § 11, effective July 1. L. 99: (2) amended, p. 1065, § 8, effective June 1.
Annotations
Editor's note: This section was contained in a title that was repealed and reenacted in 1987. Provisions of this section, as it existed in 1987, are similar to those contained in 19-4-113 as said section existed in 1986, the year prior to the repeal and reenactment of this title.
Annotations
ANNOTATION
Annotations
Analysis
I. General Consideration.
II. Inheritability of Adopted Child.

I. GENERAL CONSIDERATION.
Am. Jur.2d. See 2 Am. Jur.2d, Adoption, §§ 141-146.
C.J.S. See 2 C.J.S., Adoption of Persons, §§ 103, 136.
Law reviews. For article, "Ten Years of Domestic Relations in Colorado -- 1940-1950", see 27 Dicta 399 (1950). For article, "The 1951 Amendments to the Relinquishment and Adoption Laws", see 28 Dicta 227 (1951). For case comment, "Adoptive Sibling Marriage in Colorado: Israel v. Allen (195 Colo. 263, 577 P.2d 762 (1978))", see 51 U. Colo. L. Rev. 135 (1979).
Annotator's note. The following annotations include cases decided under former provisions similar to this section.
Purpose of section. The legislative intent is to make the law affecting adopted children in respect to equality of inheritance and parental duties in pari materia with that affecting natural children. Quintrall v. Goldsmith, 134 Colo. 410, 306 P.2d 246 (1957).
The general assembly intended to give an adopted child the legal status of a lineal descendant of the adopting parent or parents, and a child by adoption has the same legal status as a natural child. People ex rel. Dunbar v. White, 144 Colo. 212, 355 P.2d 963 (1960); Wright v. Wysowatcky, 147 Colo. 317, 363 P.2d 1046 (1961); People v. Estate of Murphy, 29 Colo. App. 195, 481 P.2d 420 (1971).
In passing the adoption statutes, the general assembly intended to place the adopted child in the family in the same position as a natural child. In re Ashlock, 629 P.2d 1108 (Colo. App. 1981).
Section liberally construed. While courts were formerly inclined to regard adoption statutes as in derogation of the common law and therefore to be strictly construed, the humanitarian purposes of such statutes came to be recognized, and courts afford them a more liberal construction. Wright v. Wysowatcky, 147 Colo. 317, 363 P.2d 1046 (1961).
Definition of adoption. Adoption has been defined as the act by which relations of paternity and affiliation are recognized as legally existing between persons not so related by nature. Graham v. Francis, 83 Colo. 346, 265 P. 690 (1928).
Adoption, in legal contemplation, is an act by which the parties thereto establish the relationship of parent and child between persons not so related by nature, and which, in many respects, severs the natural relations existing between the child and its parents, although in a narrower sense it is restricted to the act of the person taking the child. Johnson v. Black, 137 Colo. 119, 322 P.2d 99 (1958).
Change of custody follows from valid adoption decree. One of the legal effects of an adoption is to divest the natural parents of their custodial rights and to grant such rights to the adoptive parents. This change of custody follows as a natural consequence of a valid adoption decree. Johnson v. Black, 137 Colo. 119, 322 P.2d 99 (1958).
The contesting natural parent is by a decree of adoption divested of all parental rights and obligations. Clerkin v. Geisendorfer, 137 Colo. 139, 323 P.2d 633 (1958).
The adoption statute deprives the natural parents of their rights and obligations to their natural children after adoption. People v. Estate of Murphy, 29 Colo. App. 195, 481 P.2d 420 (1971).
After decree of adoption, natural parents are under no legal obligation to support child. Truitt v. Indus. Comm'n, 31 Colo. App. 166, 499 P.2d 621 (1972).
General rule as reflected in this section is that an adoption decree terminates the parental rights and duties of child's natural parents and grants those rights and duties to adoptive parents. Singular exception to general rule as set forth in section applies only in cases when adopting parent is married to natural parent. Thus, express statements of limitation must be read to exclude from adoption statute's reach all other possible exceptions not listed. Adoption of T.K.J., 931 P.2d 488 (Colo. App. 1996).
A stepparent adoption proceeding, like all other adoption proceedings, is concluded by a final decree of adoption. It is only when the final decree is entered that a natural parent is divested of all rights and obligations with respect to the child. People in Interest of S.M.O., 931 P.2d 572 (Colo. App. 1996).
Husband's obligation to his adopted children rests upon him in no different way than if the children were of his own blood. In re Ashlock, 629 P.2d 1108 (Colo. App. 1981).
Parent was not divested of child support obligation based on payments that accrued prior to a final adoption decree. In addition, father was denied equitable relief from child support obligation where record did not reflect evidence of representations upon which the father relied or that an evidentiary hearing was requested. In re Murray, 790 P.2d 868 (Colo. App. 1989).

II. INHERITABILITY OF ADOPTED CHILD.
Law reviews. For note, "The Right of Inheritance of Adopted Children in Colorado", see 23 Rocky Mt. L. Rev. 191 (1950). For note, "Adoption and Intestacy in Colorado", see 26 Rocky Mt. L. Rev. 65 (1953).
Inheritance is a statutory and not a vested right. Quintrall v. Goldsmith, 134 Colo. 410, 306 P.2d 246 (1957).
A legally adopted child is to all intents and purposes the child and legal heir of the person so adopting him or her, entitled to all the rights and privileges, and subject to all the obligations of a child of such person begotten in lawful wedlock; but upon the decease of such person and the subsequent decease of such adopted child without issue, the property of such adopting parent shall descend to his or her next of kin, and not to the next of kin of such adopted child. Quintrall v. Goldsmith, 134 Colo. 410, 306 P.2d 246 (1957).
This section clearly declares a child by adoption to have the same legal status as a natural child born to the adopting parent or parents. People ex rel. Dunbar v. White, 144 Colo. 212, 355 P.2d 963 (1960); Wright v. Wysowatcky, 147 Colo. 317, 363 P.2d 1046 (1961).
After adoption the adopted child becomes the heir of his adoptive parents as though born to them in lawful wedlock, and his natural parents are cut off and neither they nor their lineage may inherit from the adopted child. As to his adoptive parents, the child becomes subject to all rights and obligations of a child born in lawful wedlock. The relation thus established can be nothing less than that of parent and child. To say that such status is less or different from the parent and child relationship would do violence to the clear legislative intent to create unity in the family. Wright v. Wysowatcky, 147 Colo. 317, 363 P.2d 1046 (1961).
Section confers ordinary rights of inheritance. The laws permitting the adoption of children confer on them simply the ordinary rights of inheritance. In re Schmidt's Will, 85 Colo. 28, 273 P. 21 (1928).
Legally adopted children are entitled to inherit as fully as children of the foster parents begotten in lawful wedlock. Quintrall v. Goldsmith, 134 Colo. 410, 306 P.2d 246 (1957).
It does not affect the power of the adoptive parent to dispose of his property by will, but the adoptive parent may deprive himself of the power thus to dispose of his property by a contract binding him to give the adopted child a certain share of his property. In re Schmidt's Will, 85 Colo. 28, 273 P. 21 (1928).
A testator cannot by will disinherit an adopted child contrary to the specific prohibition of the decree of adoption. Neville v. Bracher, 94 Colo. 550, 31 P.2d 911 (1934).
An agreement not to disinherit is supported by the consideration of the acquirement by the adoptive parents of the child's love and affection, her filial obligations to them, a change in domestic relationship, the consent of the surviving natural parent to forever relinquish his paternal rights, and the child's forfeiture of her rights which she enjoyed before the adoption proceedings. In re Schmidt's Will, 85 Colo. 28, 273 P. 21 (1928).
The right of inheritance conferred by statute is a reciprocal one, because it depends upon a relation that is created by the adoption under our statute. The adopted child inherits from the adoptive parent. The relation of parent and child having been thus created, the right of the adoptive parent to inherit is the same as was or would have been that of the natural parent. Wright v. Wysowatcky, 147 Colo. 317, 363 P.2d 1046 (1961).
Adoption decree which incorporated statutory language similar to language in this section terminated only the adopted child's obligations to her natural father but not her right to inherit from him; therefore, the child was the heir of her intestate natural father regardless of the validity of her adoption. Matter of Estate of Bomareto, 757 P.2d 1135 (Colo. App. 1988).
A twice adopted child cannot inherit from his first adoptive parents unless such parents have died prior to the second adoption or unless he is readopted by his own natural parents where there is a second adoption by strangers. A child cannot logically be the adopted child of more than one set of adoptive parents at a time. Quintrall v. Goldsmith, 134 Colo. 410, 306 P.2d 246 (1957).

19-5-212. Copies of order of adoption - to whom given.
Statute text
(1) If the court enters an order of adoption, certified copies shall be given to the adopting parents, the person or agency consenting to the adoption, and the state registrar.
(2) The court or the adopting parents or their legal representative shall send to the state registrar an application for a birth certificate, signed by the adoptive parents. The state registrar shall thereupon issue a new birth certificate to the child, as provided in section 25-2-113, C.R.S.
(3) If the child was born outside of Colorado, copies of the order of adoption and application for birth certificate shall be sent to the state registrar of the state of birth and to the registrar of vital statistics in this state. If the application for a birth certificate is denied by the state registrar in the state of birth, the adopting parents may return to the registrar in this state and apply to him to issue a new certificate of birth. The state registrar shall issue a birth certificate upon satisfactory evidence that the adopting parents, after good-faith effort, were unable to obtain a new certificate of birth from the state of birth.
History
Source: L. 87: Entire title R&RE, p. 810, § 1, effective October 1.
Annotations
Editor's note: This section was contained in a title that was repealed and reenacted in 1987. Provisions of this section, as it existed in 1987, are similar to those contained in 19-4-114 as said section existed in 1986, the year prior to the repeal and reenactment of this title.
Annotations
ANNOTATION
Annotations
Law reviews. For article, "The 1951 Amendments to the Relinquishment and Adoption Laws", see 28 Dicta 227 (1951). For article, "Adoption Procedures of Minor Children in Colorado", see 12 Colo. Law. 1057 (1983).

19-5-213. Compensation for placing child prohibited.
Statute text
(1) (a) No person shall offer, give, charge, or receive any money or other consideration or thing of value in connection with the relinquishment and adoption, except attorney fees and such other charges and fees as may be approved by the court.
(b) No person, other than an adoption exchange whose membership includes county departments and child placement agencies, a licensed child placement agency, or a county department, shall offer, give, charge, or receive any money or other consideration or thing of value in connection with locating or identifying for purposes of adoption any child, natural parent, expectant natural parent, or prospective adoptive parent; except that physicians and attorneys may charge reasonable fees for professional services customarily performed by such persons.
(c) A child who is placed by a county department in a foster care home operated by a child placement agency shall be deemed, for purposes of payment to the child placement agency, to remain in foster care status for purposes of payment of consideration to the child placement agency until the date that the final decree of adoption is entered or until the date that the child is returned to his or her biological parent's home, unless otherwise negotiated in the contract between the child placement agency and the county department.
(2) Any person who violates the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not less than one hundred dollars nor more than five hundred dollars, or by imprisonment for ninety days in the county jail, or by both such fine and imprisonment.
History
Source: L. 87: Entire title R&RE, p. 811, § 1, effective October 1. L. 2005: (1) amended, p. 970, § 4, effective June 2.
Annotations
Editor's note: This section was contained in a title that was repealed and reenacted in 1987. Provisions of this section, as it existed in 1987, are similar to those contained in 19-4-115 as said section existed in 1986, the year prior to the repeal and reenactment of this title.
Annotations
ANNOTATION
Annotations
C.J.S. See 2 C.J.S., Adoption of Persons, § 28.
Law reviews. For article, "The Adoption of Children in Colorado", see 37 Dicta 100 (1960). For article, "Adoption Procedures of Minor Children in Colorado", see 12 Colo. Law, 1057 (1983).
Trial court may reduce claimed attorney fees when they are excessive. People in Matter of K.M.K., 780 P.2d 43 (Colo. App. 1989).

19-5-214. Limitation on annulment of adoption - best interests standard.
Statute text
(1) No final decree of adoption shall be attacked by reason of any jurisdictional or procedural defect after the expiration of ninety days following the entry of the final decree; except that, in cases of stepparent adoption, no final decree of adoption shall be attacked by reason of fraud upon the court or fraud upon a party, whether or not there is a jurisdictional or procedural defect, after the expiration of one year following the entry of the final decree of adoption.
(2) When a final decree of adoption is attacked on any basis at any time, the court shall consider the best interests of the child, taking into account the factors set forth in section 14-10-124, C.R.S. The court shall sustain the decree unless there is clear and convincing evidence that the decree is not in the best interests of the child.
History
Source: L. 87: Entire title R&RE, p. 811, § 1, effective October 1. L. 94: Entire section amended, p. 752, § 5, effective April 20; entire section amended, p. 1198, § 2, effective May 19.
Annotations
Editor's note: (1) This section was contained in a title that was repealed and reenacted in 1987. Provisions of this section, as it existed in 1987, are similar to those contained in 19-4-116 as said section existed in 1986, the year prior to the repeal and reenactment of this title.
(2) Amendments to this section in House Bill 94-1042 and Senate Bill 94-5 were harmonized.
Annotations
ANNOTATION
Annotations
Am. Jur.2d. See 2 Am. Jur.2d, Adoption, § 151.
C.J.S. See 2 C.J.S., Adoption of Persons, § 134.
Law reviews. For article, "One Year Review of Domestic Relations", see 34 Dicta 108 (1957). For article, "One Year Review of Domestic Relations", see 38 Dicta 84 (1961). For comment on White v. Davis (163 Colo. 122, 428 P.2d 909 (1967)), see 40 U. Colo. L. Rev. 151 (1967).
Annotator's note. The following annotations include cases decided under former provisions similar to this section.
Purpose of section. This section serves the beneficial purpose of curing technical defects which do not affect the basic rights of the parties and guaranteeing to adopting parents the undisturbed relationship with the child, which was one of its legislative intents. White v. Davis, 163 Colo. 122, 428 P.2d 909 (1967).
Parties assuming the responsibilities of adoptive parents are entitled to assurance that upon adopting a child they are not also adopting a law suit. Smith v. Welfare Dept., 144 Colo. 103, 355 P.2d 317 (1960).
Sufficiency of notice. Where a father was serving in the Navy and had notice of a dependency proceeding, his right to contest adoption decrees is barred by this section which limits the right to challenge a valid decree to two years after entry. Olsen v. Davidson, 142 Colo. 205, 350 P.2d 338 (1960).
Although the record reveals service by publication, where the adequacy or sufficiency of such notice was strongly challenged by motion to vacate which alleged that in support of an order authorizing service by publication the procurer of the order made a false representation that he was unaware of the whereabouts of the natural father, it was a proper matter for evidentiary hearing by the lower court to determine whether the due process requirements in the adoption proceedings were met. White v. Davis, 163 Colo. 122, 428 P.2d 909 (1967).
Validity of consent. Where the record is devoid of any evidence of fraud, coercion, undue influence, misrepresentation, or misconduct on the part of the adopting parents or their attorney, and there is nothing to indicate that the mother was lacking in understanding as to the consequences of her consent to the adoption of her children, a finding by the trial court that at the time of signing the consent the mother did not realize the seriousness and finality of her act was insufficient to set aside the decrees of adoption. Batton v. Massar, 149 Colo. 404, 369 P.2d 434 (1962).
Applied in In re Adoption of P.H.A., 899 P.2d 345 (Colo. App. 1995).
19-5-215. Records. (Repealed)
History
Source: L. 87: Entire title R&RE, p. 811, § 1, effective October 1. L. 89: Entire section amended, p. 943, § 4, effective March 27. L. 90: Entire section repealed, p. 1012, § 8, effective July 1.
Annotations
Editor's note: This section was contained in a title that was repealed and reenacted in 1987. Provisions of this section, as it existed in 1987, are similar to those contained in 19-4-104 as said section existed in 1986, the year prior to the repeal and reenactment of this title.

19-5-216. Increased access for adoption - study.
Statute text
(1) (a) The department shall examine and evaluate the process of adoptive placements of children in the legal custody of the county departments of social services and identify those aspects of the process that may be improved to achieve the ultimate goal of permanency for the greatest number of children in safe and healthy adoptive homes. In conducting this analysis, the department should consider, but need not be limited to, the following:
(I) The best means by which to increase county accessibility to qualified families seeking to adopt and the best means by which to achieve placement of children available for adoption with such families;
(II) Whether further automation would be conducive to the achievement of permanency of children;
(III) The need for centralization of information;
(IV) The benefits of additional standardization;
(V) The resources of other interested entities or foundations that may be available to support public adoptions;
(VI) The programs and systems developed by other states to achieve maximum access and expedited permanency for children in safe and healthy adoptive homes; and
(VII) The methods used to reduce the number of disruptions in adoptive homes.
(b) (I) The executive director of the department is authorized to accept and expend on behalf of the state any funds, grants, gifts, or donations from any private or public source for the purpose of implementing this section; except that no gift, grant, or donation shall be accepted if the conditions attached thereto require the expenditure thereof in a manner contrary to law.
(II) The executive director of the department is authorized to apply for a federal waiver, if necessary, to authorize the use of federal grant moneys to implement this section.
(2) Repealed.
History
Source: L. 99: Entire section added, p. 1024, § 4, effective May 29. L. 2002: (2) repealed, p. 882, § 20, effective August 7.

PART 3
ACCESS TO ADOPTION INFORMATION

19-5-301. Legislative declaration.
Statute text
(1) The general assembly hereby finds and declares that adult adoptees, adoptive parents, biological parents, and biological siblings should have a qualified right of access to any records regarding their or their child's adoption or the adoption of their offspring or siblings and that such a qualified right must coexist with the right of such parties to privacy and confidentiality. The general assembly also finds that an adult adoptee, his biological or adoptive parent, or his biological sibling may desire to obtain information about each other at different points in time. Furthermore, the general assembly finds that confidentiality is essential to the adoption process and that any procedure to access information which relates to an adoption must be designed to maintain confidentiality and to respect the wishes of all involved parties.
(2) (a) It is the purpose of this part 3 to establish a confidential process whereby adult adoptees and adoptive parents who desire information concerning their or their child's adoption and biological parents and siblings who desire information concerning an adult adoptee may pursue access to such information.
(b) The general assembly further finds and declares that the purpose of establishing the confidential process set forth in this part 3 is to create a pool of individuals who the courts and interested parties may call upon to initiate a search for a biological relative. It is not the intent of the general assembly that such process shall be construed as the regulation of an occupation or profession.
History
Source: L. 89: Entire part added, p. 940, § 1, effective March 27.
Annotations
ANNOTATION
Annotations
Actual controversy between adverse parties must exist if a court is to sua sponte address the constitutionality of a statute. Juvenile court's ruling that this part 3 is unconstitutional was impermissible exercise of judicial authority since the issue was raised on behalf of unidentified parties that were not before the court on court's own motion in order to create a controversy that it then proceeded to decide. In re Tomlinson, 851 P.2d 170 (Colo. 1993).

19-5-302. Definitions. (Repealed)
History
Source: L. 89: Entire part added, p. 941, § 1, effective March 27. L. 96: Entire section repealed, p. 85, § 11, effective March 20.
Annotations
Cross references: For definitions, see § 19-1-103.

19-5-303. Commission created - duties.
Statute text
(1) There is hereby created in the department the adoption intermediary commission, referred to in this section as the "commission", that shall consist of thirteen members. The commission shall exercise its powers and perform the duties and functions specified by this part 3 as if the same were transferred to the department by a type 1 transfer, as such transfer is defined in article 1 of title 24, C.R.S. Representation and appointment of such members shall be as follows:
(a) Three members shall represent the judicial department and shall be appointed by the chief justice or his or her designee;
(b) Two members shall represent the department and shall be appointed by the executive director of such department or his or her designee;
(c) Three members shall represent licensed adoption agencies and shall be appointed by a representative of a private adoption agency. Such representative shall be selected by the executive director of the department.
(d) Three members shall represent either adoptees, adoptive parents, biological parents of adoptees, or biological siblings of adoptees and shall be selected by the executive director of the department;
(e) Two members shall represent confidential intermediaries and shall have completed training as confidential intermediaries. Such members shall be appointed by the executive director of the department.
(2) The commission shall have responsibility for:
(a) Drafting a manual of standards for training confidential intermediaries and licensed child placement agencies that perform searches and contact persons pursuant to section 19-5-305 (3) (b) (III);
(b) Monitoring confidential intermediary training programs and child placement agencies with search and consent programs to ensure compliance with the standards set forth in the manual, with authority to approve or deny such programs based upon compliance with such standards;
(c) Maintaining an up-to-date list of persons who have completed training as confidential intermediaries or as persons who conduct searches for child placement agencies and communicating such list to the judicial department.
(3) The commission shall adopt its own rules of procedure, shall select a chairman, a vice-chairman, and such other officers as it deems necessary, and shall keep a record of its proceedings. The commission shall meet as often as necessary to carry out its duties, but in no instance shall it meet less than annually. The commission may seek input from confidential intermediary organizations in carrying out its duties.
(4) The commission shall be voluntary and shall not receive per diem payments.
History
Source: L. 89: Entire part added, p. 941, § 1, effective March 27. L. 91: IP(1) amended, p. 890, § 14, effective June 5. L. 93: (4) amended, p. 657, § 3, effective July 1. L. 94: IP(1) and (1)(b) to (1)(d) amended, p. 2689, § 213, effective July 1. L. 97: (1) amended, p. 1166, § 12, effective July 1. L. 2000: (1) and (2) amended, p. 1373, § 5, effective July 1. L. 2005: (2)(c) amended, p. 767, § 31, effective June 1; (2)(c) amended, p. 993, § 5, effective July 1.

19-5-304. Confidential intermediaries - confidential intermediary services.
Statute text
(1) (a) Any person who has completed a confidential intermediary training program that meets the standards set forth by the commission shall be responsible for notifying the commission that his or her name should be included on the list of confidential intermediaries to be maintained by the commission and made available to the judicial department. The commission shall adopt rules to determine when and under what conditions the name of a confidential intermediary shall be removed from the list available to the judicial department.
(b) Once a person is included on such list, he or she shall be:
(I) Authorized to inspect confidential relinquishment and adoption records and post-adoption records upon motion to the court by the following persons:
(A) An adult adoptee;
(B) An adoptive parent, custodial grandparent, or legal guardian of a minor adoptee;
(C) A biological parent or an adult biological sibling or half-sibling of an adult adoptee;
(D) An adult descendant of the adoptee or the adoptive parent, spouse of an adoptee, adult stepchild, or adopted adult sibling of an adoptee with the notarized written consent of the adult adoptee;
(E) A biological grandparent of an adoptee with the notarized written consent of the biological parent. No written consent is required if the biological parent is deceased.
(F) The legal representative of any of the individuals listed in sub-subparagraphs (A) to (E) of this subparagraph (I);
(II) Available, subject to time constraints, for appointment by the court to act as a confidential intermediary for any of the parties listed in subparagraph (I) of this paragraph (b).
(2) (a) Any of the parties listed in subparagraph (I) of paragraph (b) of subsection (1) of this section, any of whom are eighteen years of age or older, may file a motion, with supporting affidavit, in the court where the adoption took place, to appoint one or more confidential intermediaries for the purpose of determining the whereabouts of such individual's unknown relative or relatives; except that no one shall seek to determine the whereabouts of a relative who is younger than eighteen years of age. The court may rule on said motion and affidavit without hearing and may appoint a trained confidential intermediary.
(b) The court-appointed confidential intermediary shall make a diligent search of the adoption records and post-adoption records in an effort to find the sought-after relative. If the confidential intermediary successfully locates the relative sought, the confidential intermediary shall provide that relative with the opportunity to:
(I) Consent to or to refuse to allow contact by the person seeking contact;
(II) Fill out a contact preference form and updated medical history statement as prescribed in section 19-5-305 (1.5);
(III) Consent to or refuse to authorize disclosure of the adoption records to the person seeking such access.
(2.5) For purposes of paragraph (b) of subsection (1) of this section and subsection (2) of this section, "legal guardian" shall not include a governmental entity of any foreign country from which a child has been adopted or any representative of such governmental entity.
(3) Any information obtained by the confidential intermediary during the course of his or her investigation shall be kept strictly confidential and shall be utilized only for the purpose of arranging a contact between the individual who initiated the search and the sought-after biological relative or for the purpose of obtaining consent for the release of adoption records.
(4) (a) When a sought-after biological relative is located by a confidential intermediary on behalf of the individual who initiated the search, the confidential intermediary shall obtain consent from both parties that they wish to personally communicate with one another.
(b) Contact shall be made between the parties involved in the investigation only when consent for such contact has been received by the court.
(c) If consent for personal communication is not obtained from both parties, all relinquishment and adoption records and any information obtained by any confidential intermediary during the course of his or her investigation shall be returned to the court and shall remain confidential.
(5) All confidential intermediaries shall inform both the requesting biological relative and the sought-after biological relative of the existence of the voluntary adoption registry set forth in section 25-2-113.5, C.R.S.
(6) Any person acting as a confidential intermediary who knowingly fails to comply with the provisions of subsections (3) and (4) of this section commits a class 2 petty offense and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of five hundred dollars.
History
Source: L. 89: Entire part added, p. 942, § 1, effective March 27. L. 97: (1) and (2) amended, p. 1166, § 13, effective July 1. L. 99: (1)(b), (2), (3), and (4)(c) amended and (2.5) added, p. 1131, § 3, effective July 1. L. 2000: (1) and (2) amended, p. 1368, § 2, effective July 1. L. 2005: (2) amended, p. 984, § 1, effective July 1.
Annotations
ANNOTATION
Annotations
Actual controversy between adverse parties must exist if a court is to sua sponte address the constitutionality of a statute. Juvenile court's ruling that this part 3 is unconstitutional was impermissible exercise of judicial authority since the issue was raised on behalf of unidentified parties that were not before the court on court's own motion in order to create a controversy that it then proceeded to decide. In re Tomlinson, 851 P.2d 170 (Colo. 1993).

19-5-305. Access to adoption records - contact with parties to adoption - contact preference form and updated medical history statement.
Statute text
(1) Legislative declaration. The general assembly finds that on May 20, 1949, the general assembly amended Colorado law to provide that all adoption records in existence on that date and those records that came into existence after that date were to be sealed and thereby maintained confidential from the public. Thereafter, in 1967, the general assembly acted to preserve the anonymity of the birth parents, the child, and the adoptive parents in adoption actions. However, as a result of these changes, many adoptees were unable to make informed medical decisions, determine genetic consequences of certain medical and reproductive decisions, and enjoy the benefits relating to knowledge about one's family history. In 1989, the general assembly enacted a process by which parties to an adoption could attempt contact with one another through a confidential intermediary. Thereafter, in 1999, the general assembly enacted legislation that allowed for limited access to certain adoption records by persons involved in the adoption. The general assembly hereby determines that it is appropriate to allow access to certain adoption information by the parties to the adoption proceeding and the adoptee, but not by the public at large. In 2005, the general assembly determined that it would be beneficial to the members of the adoption triad to allow each birth parent the opportunity to indicate a preference regarding future contact, including the opportunity to authorize the release of the original birth certificate and to authorize the release of his or her own contact information, and to provide a method to make information about medical history available to the adoptee. In addition, the general assembly found that a delayed implementation of the access to a birth parent's contact information would allow members of the adoption triad to avail themselves of resources to address issues that may arise from searching for or reuniting with biological relatives or from making decisions not to pursue contact or information.
(1.5) Contact preference and updated medical history statements - authorizations to release of the original birth certificate. (a) The state registrar shall prescribe and make available to any birth parent named on an original birth certificate in the records of the state registrar a contact preference form on which the birth parent may state a preference regarding contact by an adult adoptee, an adult descendant of an adoptee, or a legal representative of the adoptee or descendant. The contact preference form shall allow the birth parent to voluntarily include the birth parent's contact information and shall provide the birth parent with options to indicate a preference regarding whether the birth parent would prefer or not prefer future contact with the adoptee or adult descendant of the adoptee or a legal representative of the adoptee or descendant and, if contact is preferred, whether the birth parent would prefer contact directly or through a confidential intermediary or a child placement agency. The contact preference form shall also include an option for the birth parent to authorize the release of the original birth certificate. An authorization to release may be exercised and submitted to the state registrar at any time after January 1, 2006. The contact preference form shall also indicate that the birth parent can change his or her contact preference form by notifying the state registrar in writing.
(b) The state registrar shall also prescribe an updated medical history statement, that a birth parent may submit, with the completed contact preference form, to the state registrar. Such medical history statement shall be a brief narrative statement written by the birth parent indicating medical information about the birth parent or other biological relatives. Such medical history statement shall indicate that the birth parent is waiving confidentiality of any medical information supplied in the statement with respect to the adoptee, an adult descendant of an adoptee, or a legal representative of such person and to the state registrar or his or her designees. The birth parent may submit additional updated medical history statements to the state registrar no more frequently than every three years, unless there is a significant change in medical history.
(c) The contact preference forms and updated medical history statements shall be maintained in the records of the state registrar and shall be accessible to the adult adoptee, the adult descendant of the adoptee, or the legal representative of the adoptee or descendant, who submits a written application form, proof of identity, and an explanation of the person's relationship to the adoptee, if applicable.
(d) In developing the contact preference form and the updated medical history statement, the state registrar shall consult with and obtain input from the adoption intermediary commission.
(e) When the state registrar receives a contact preference form or an updated medical history statement or both from a birth parent, the state registrar or the state registrar's authorized designee shall match the contact preference form and the updated medical history statement, if applicable, with the adoptee's sealed original birth certificate, and shall update its records to indicate that a birth parent has filed a contact preference form or an updated medical history statement or both with the state registrar. The state registrar is authorized to verify the submission of a contact preference form or an updated medical history statement and to provide a copy of a contact preference form to a confidential intermediary appointed pursuant to section 19-5-304 or to a designated employee of a child placement agency who is searching pursuant to subparagraph (III) of paragraph (b) of subsection (3) of this section.
(f) The state registrar shall designate certain employees to process, maintain, allow inspection of, and make copies of contact preference forms and updated medical history statements and to prepare and issue noncertified copies of the unaltered original birth certificates as authorized in this section.
(g) The state registrar shall accept contact preference forms and updated medical history statements on and after January 1, 2006.
(2) Determination of accessibility of records and contact. Subject to the provisions of subsection (4) of this section, the accessibility of adoption records, in addition to inspection authorized by a court upon good cause shown pursuant to section 19-1-309, and the ability of a party to the adoption proceeding or the adoptee to contact the adoptee or another party, shall be governed by the following provisions based upon the date on which the adoption was finalized:
(a) Adoptions finalized prior to September 1, 1999. (I) (A) Except to the extent disclosure is made in designated adoptions and except for an original birth certificate that is obtained through the provisions of paragraph (d) of this subsection (2), all adoption records, as that term is defined in section 19-1-103 (6.5), relating to adoptions finalized prior to September 1, 1999, shall remain confidential, and the names of the parties thereto and the name of the adoptee shall remain anonymous if the adoption was finalized on or after July 1, 1967. Such adoption records shall be accessible by any of the parties listed in section 19-5-304 (1) (b) (I) through the appointment of a confidential intermediary pursuant to section 19-5-304 who successfully obtains consent from the person sought to release such adoption records or by mutual consent of the reunited parties upon proof of identification or as otherwise provided by law.
(B) (Deleted by amendment, L. 2000, p. 1369, 3, effective July 1, 2000.)
(II) (Deleted by amendment, L. 2005, p. 985, § 2, effective July 1, 2005.)
(b) Adoptions finalized on or after September 1, 1999. (I) (A) Adoption records. All adoption records, as that term is defined in section 19-1-103 (6.5), relating to adoptions finalized on or after September 1, 1999, shall be open to inspection and available for copying by an adult adoptee, an adoptive parent of a minor adoptee, a custodial grandparent of a minor adoptee, or the legal representative of any such individual. In addition, all those records described in section 19-1-103 (6.5) (a) (I), (6.5) (a) (II), (6.5) (a) (IV), and (6.5) (a) (V), relating to adoptions finalized on or after September 1, 1999, shall be open to inspection and available for copying by an adoptee's adoptive grandparent or by an adult descendant of an adoptee or the adoptive parent with the notarized written consent of the adult adoptee or the minor adoptee's adoptive parent. In addition, all those records described in section 19-1-103 (6.5) (a) (I), (6.5) (a) (II), (6.5) (a) (IV), and (6.5) (a) (V), relating to adoptions finalized on or after September 1, 1999, shall be open to inspection and available for copying by an adult sibling of an adult adoptee, an adoptee's spouse, or the legal representative of any such individual upon notarized written consent of the adult adoptee. No other person or entity shall have access to such records except as otherwise provided by law.
(B) (Deleted by amendment, L. 2000, p. 1369, 3, effective July 1, 2000.)
(C) Prior written statements of birth parents. Notwithstanding the provisions of sub-subparagraph (A) of this subparagraph (I), the adoption records shall not be open for inspection or available for copying with respect to any identifying information concerning a birth parent if such birth parent has previously provided the court and the child placement agency, if applicable, with a signed and notarized written statement, within three years after the final order of relinquishment or termination specifying that such parent wishes the identifying information concerning that parent to remain confidential. The written statement shall remain in the court's and the child placement agency's relinquishment or termination file unless later withdrawn by the parent. The birth parent submitting such a written statement may also submit to the court and to the child placement agency a letter of explanation that shall be released to the adoptee at the time that the adoptee makes a request for inspection of the adoption records. No child placement agency shall be liable to any person for the failure of a birth parent to submit such a written statement to the court. The child placement agency shall make reasonable efforts to notify any and all birth parents who executed a statement, pursuant to this sub-subparagraph (C), of the option to submit a contact preference form and an updated medical history statement as provided in subsection (1.5) of this section.
(II) Contact. For adoptions finalized on or after September 1, 1999, contact by an adult adoptee, an adoptive parent of a minor adoptee, or an adult descendant of the adoptee or the adoptive parent with a birth parent or biological relative may be attempted at any time directly or through another person or agency including, but not limited to, a confidential intermediary appointed pursuant to section 19-5-304 or an employee of a child placement agency trained to perform a search pursuant to subparagraph (III) of paragraph (b) of subsection (3) of this section; except that contact with a birth parent who has previously provided a written statement to the court and to the child placement agency as described in sub-subparagraph (C) of subparagraph (I) of this paragraph (b) or who has filed a contact preference form, indicating a preference to be contacted through a confidential intermediary, may be attempted through a confidential intermediary appointed pursuant to section 19-5-304.
(III) For adoptions finalized on or after September 1, 1999, a birth parent shall have access to adoption records and contact with the adoptee or the adoptive family as otherwise provided by law.
(c) Deceased parties. (I) Notwithstanding paragraphs (a), (b), and (d) of this subsection (2), if it is determined:
(A) That the birth parent is deceased, then the person seeking the information, whether he or she is the adult adoptee, the adoptive parent of a minor adoptee, or the legal representative of any such individual, shall be allowed access to the adoption records. If one of the birth parents is deceased and the other birth parent is living but is nonconsenting then access to the records shall be permitted as provided in this paragraph (c) without the name of the nonconsenting birth parent. In addition, an adoptee's adoptive grandparent, an adult descendant of an adult adoptee, an adoptee's spouse, or the legal representative of any such individual shall be allowed access to those records described in section 19-1-103 (6.5) (a) (I), (6.5) (a) (II), (6.5) (a) (IV), and (6.5) (a) (V) if such person seeking the information has the notarized written consent of the adult adoptee or the adoptive parent if the adoptee is a minor.
(B) That the adoptee is deceased, then the person seeking the information, whether he or she is the adoptive parent, an adult descendant of the adoptee, or the legal representative of any such individual shall be allowed access to the adoption records. In addition, an adoptee's adoptive grandparent, an adult descendant of the adoptive parent, an adoptee's spouse, or the legal representative of any such individual shall be allowed access to those records described in section 19-1-103 (6.5) (a) (I), (6.5) (a) (II), (6.5) (a) (IV), and (6.5) (a) (V).
(II) (Deleted by amendment, L. 2000, p. 1369, 3, effective July 1, 2000.)
(d) Access to original birth certificates for adoptions finalized prior to September 1, 1999. (I) This paragraph (d) applies to adoptions finalized in this state prior to September 1, 1999.
(II) On and after January 1, 2007, the following persons may apply to the state registrar for a noncertified copy of the unaltered original birth certificate of an adoptee who was born in this state or whose adoption was finalized in this state or both and whose adoption records have been sealed due to an adoption proceeding:
(A) An adult adoptee who is eighteen years of age or older;
(B) An adult descendant of the adoptee who submits a written explanation of the person's relationship to the adoptee;
(C) An adult birth parent who signed or is named on the original birth certificate;
(D) The legal representative of any of the individuals listed in sub-subparagraphs (A) to (C) of this subparagraph (II).
(III) On and after January 1, 2007, the state registrar shall issue a noncertified copy of the unaltered original birth certificate to any of the persons who are allowed to apply for an original birth certificate pursuant to subparagraph (II) of this paragraph (d), and who submit proof of identity, if:
(A) Both birth parents have filed a contact preference form with the state registrar authorizing the release of the original birth certificate; or
(B) Only one birth parent has filed an authorization to release the original birth certificate prior to January 1, 2007, and the state registrar has not received an authorization to release the original birth certificate from the other birth parent, the state registrar shall issue the original birth certificate to the applicant with the name of the nonconsenting birth parent redacted.
(IV) Between July 1, 2005, and January 1, 2007, there shall be a statewide and national public information campaign conducted pursuant to section 19-5-306 to inform the public about the ability to obtain access to original birth certificates, to inform birth parents about the ability to file a contact preference form and updated medical history statements, to inform birth parents about the ability to authorize the release of an original birth certificate as part of the contact preference form, and to provide resource referrals to members of the adoption triad.
(V) Nothing in this paragraph (d) shall be construed to affect the ability of a member of the adoption triad to obtain access to adoption records, including the original birth certificate, through the appointment of a confidential intermediary, through an employee of a child placement agency trained to perform a search pursuant to subparagraph (III) of paragraph (b) of subsection (3) of this section, through mutual consent of the reunited parties, or through a court order upon good cause shown pursuant to section 19-1-309.
(3) Access to identifying information through child placement agencies. (a) Upon proof of identity of the person submitting the consent form, a licensed child placement agency shall accept and may seek a consent form, as that term is defined in section 19-1-103 (28.5), from an adult adoptee or from either adult adoptee's birth parent or from an adoptive parent of a minor adoptee or from the legal representative of a minor adoptee authorizing the release of identifying information, as that term is defined in section 19-1-103 (63.5), concerning the person submitting the consent form, to the extent such information is available to the child placement agency. If only one birth parent has filed a consent form with the child placement agency, the child placement agency or any succeeding custodian of the records shall provide a copy of the identifying information without the name of and without identifying information about the nonconsenting birth parent.
(b) (I) Upon inquiry by an adult adoptee or an adult adoptee's birth parent or an adoptive parent of a minor adoptee seeking information about another party from a licensed child placement agency, the child placement agency shall be authorized to release identifying information to the inquiring person, upon proof of identity by the inquiring person, if the licensed child placement agency is in possession of a consent form from the party about whom information is sought authorizing such release.
(II) In those circumstances in which a child placement agency has released identifying information pursuant to paragraph (a) of this subsection (3), the child placement agency may attempt to locate at the last known address the person who had originally submitted the consent form and, upon locating such person, advise him or her of the release and provide him or her with the opportunity to fill out a contact preference form and updated medical history statement as prescribed in subsection (1.5) of this section. If the inquiring person also submitted a consent form authorizing the release of identifying information about him or her, the child placement agency may provide such identifying information to the person located.
(III) A child placement agency that accepts a consent form may perform a search for the sought party, subject to the requirement that an employee designated by the child placement agency to perform a search and to contact the sought party shall have completed training that meets the standards set forth by the adoption intermediary commission.
(c) A licensed child placement agency that accepts a consent form may charge a reasonable fee to cover the direct and indirect costs associated with the services provided pursuant to this subsection (3), if a written fee agreement has been signed by the agency and the party submitting the consent form prior to the provision of any service. If a child placement agency charges a fee, then the child placement agency shall make reasonable efforts to locate the person being sought and to release the information the child placement agency obtained to the person located. The licensed child placement agency shall be required to provide a list of names, addresses, and telephone numbers of organizations performing similar services prior to signing any fee agreement with any party submitting a consent form. Information in the post-adoption record is confidential and shall not be disclosed by a licensed child placement agency or any succeeding custodian of the records, or a court except as specifically permitted in this part 3, or as otherwise permitted by law.
(d) The release of any information by a licensed child placement agency pursuant to this subsection (3) shall be subject to the provisions of subsection (4) of this section.
(4) Access to information and contact concerning sibling groups. Notwithstanding the provisions set forth in subsections (1.5), (2), and (3) of this section authorizing access to adoption records and contact with an adoptee, in those circumstances in which one family has adopted two or more siblings, access to the adoption records concerning an adoptee and contact with an adoptee shall not occur until all of the siblings adopted by the family have attained eighteen years of age.
(5) Adult adoptee's restriction on access to records. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (2) of this section, an adult adoptee may, at any time, provide the court that finalized the adoption and the child placement agency with a signed and notarized written statement specifying that such adult adoptee wishes to maintain identifying information concerning that adoptee, other than the original birth certificate, confidential. The written statement shall remain in the court's adoption file unless later withdrawn by the adoptee. Nothing in this subsection (5) shall be construed to affect access to records through the confidential intermediary process.
History
Source: L. 99: Entire section added, p. 1132, § 4, effective July 1. L. 2000: (2)(a)(I)(A), (2)(a)(I)(B), (2)(b)(I)(A), (2)(b)(I)(B), (2)(b)(I)(C), (2)(b)(II), (2)(c), (3), and (5) amended, p. 1369, § 3, effective July 1. L. 2005: Entire section amended, p. 985, § 2, effective July 1.
Annotations
Cross references: For the provisions referring to confidential intermediaries formerly found in subsection (2)(a)(II), see § 19-5-304 (2)(b). (See L. 2005, p. 984.)

19-5-306. Public information campaign.
Statute text
The executive directors of the department of human services and the department of public health and environment, or such executive directors' designees, shall work together to design and implement efforts within existing appropriations to assist in informing the public about the existence and availability of the confidential intermediary process established in this part 3 and the voluntary adoption registry established pursuant to section 25-2-113.5, C.R.S., to inform the public about the change in the availability of adoption records, including birth certificates, and other records related to the adoption process as set forth in section 19-5-305, and to inform birth parents about the opportunity to complete contact preference forms and submit updated medical history statements as set forth in section 19-5-305. Such efforts shall be implemented within existing appropriations on and after July 1, 2005, by disseminating information to the public through child placement agencies and through the use of public service announcements and such other additional means of communication as the executive directors or their designees determine appropriate. The public information campaign shall also provide referral information on community resources that may be available to the adoption triad to assist them in dealing with issues that arise in searches and reunifications with relatives or in deciding not to seek contact or information about relatives. Such resources shall include a variety of sources, including child placement agencies, social workers, therapists and faith-based counselors, and organizations designed to provide support to members of the adoption triad.
History
Source: L. 99: Entire section added, p. 1132, § 4, effective July 1. L. 2005: Entire section amended, p. 993, § 6, effective July 1.

19-5-307. Child placement agency - transfer of records.
Statute text
If a child placement agency terminates its child placement activities, prior to termination of services, the child placement agency shall microfilm or preserve with state-of-the-art record storage methods as prescribed by the department of human services any relevant files on adoptions and transfer them to the division in the department of human services responsible for child care licensing. The state board of human services shall promulgate rules to require child placement agencies to scan adoption records for purposes of transferring them upon termination of child placement activities to the division in the department of human services responsible for child care licensing.
History
Source: L. 2000: Entire section added, p. 1372, § 4, effective July 1. L. 2005: Entire section amended, p. 970, § 5, effective June 2.

PART 4
ACCESS TO NONIDENTIFYING ADOPTION INFORMATION
19-5-401. Definitions. (Repealed)
History
Source: L. 93: Entire part added, p. 655, § 1, effective July 1. L. 94: (4) amended, p. 2689, § 214, effective July 1. L. 96: Entire section repealed, p. 85, § 11, effective March 20.
Annotations
Cross references: For definitions, see § 19-1-103.

19-5-402. Access to nonidentifying information.
Statute text
Any adult adoptee or any adoptive parent may request nonidentifying information about the adoptee or the birth parents of the adoptee from the department. The department shall provide directly to the inquiring adult adoptee or adoptive parent or to the qualified agency selected pursuant to section 19-5-403 the nonidentifying information which is available to the department. The department shall adopt rules governing the disclosure of nonidentifying information.
History
Source: L. 93: Entire part added, p. 656, § 1, effective July 1.

19-5-403. Authority for department to select agencies.
Statute text
The department is authorized to select private, licensed child placement agencies authorized to handle adoptions for the disclosure of nonidentifying information pursuant to this part 4. The department shall, by rule, establish qualifying criteria by which the licensed child placement agencies authorized to handle adoptions shall be selected, which criteria shall include, but shall not be limited to, a requirement that the agencies maintain all information which identifies members of the birth family strictly confidential.
History
Source: L. 93: Entire part added, p. 656, § 1, effective July 1.

 

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