What is Child Welfare Adoption?
Children become adoptable (legally free) when their biological parents’ legal rights are terminated by the Weld County District Court. Parental rights are terminated as a result of child abuse, child neglect, or abandonment; after all other avenues have been exhausted. Parents may also choose to voluntarily give up their parental rights; this process is called "relinquishment." The end result is the same: The biological parents no longer have any legal rights to the children.
After both biological parents' rights have been terminated, the child is deemed "legally free", and he or she may be adopted. Single adults and married couples are allowed to adopt children in Colorado per state law; unmarried and same-sex couples can also petition to adopt after one member of the couple has already finalized a child’s adoption. Adoptive parents are granted all legal rights to the child, just as if the child had been born to them. All potential adoptive parents must go through an extensive process, including a thorough home study, personal interviews, and fingerprint background checks.
Generally, the Department promotes adoption by the child’s current foster parent(s) or caregiver(s); however, in some situations, this is not possible. Sometimes the foster parents are unable to adopt the child (for a variety of reasons), or the child’s special needs require that he/she participate in extended treatment or other therapeutic interventions before he/she will be ready for adoption. Our Adoption Unit works diligently to find appropriate adoptive homes for legally free children, utilizing many different resources to find the best match for the child. Caseworkers access information regarding possible adoptive families from many different agencies both inside and outside Colorado. Once an adoptive family has been selected and the child has been placed in their home, the caseworker provides the adoptive family with resources and supportive services. The Department also assists the adoptive family by helping them navigate the court process until the adoption is finalized.
After finalization, the Department offers Post-Adoption Support Services to all the families who have adopted through Weld County