What is Adoption?

Adoption is the permanent placement option with which most people are familiar. Children and youth become available for adoption after a Judge has terminated the rights of the parents or the parents have relinquished their parental rights.

Adoption provides the strongest legal permanent option for a child or
youth. At the adoption hearing the adoptive parent is granted all the legal rights, privileges and responsibilities of parenthood. The foremost benefit to the child is that there is someone who is going to be there as he or she grows to adulthood and beyond. The primary benefits for the adoptive parent are the fulfillment of a desire to raise a child or youth to adulthood and to maintain a lifetime relationship with that individual.

Why Become an Adoptive Parent?

People become adoptive parents for many reasons; usually of a deeply personal nature.

Successful Adoptive Parents Will:

  • Engage with the child in activities the child enjoys
  • Be patient:  Children and youth adopted from our system require time to let go of fear and suspicion. The adoptive parent will need to take many small steps to help the child relearn how
    to trust again.
  • Apply consistent structure and discipline: The adoptive parent will need to learn to not take an adoptive child’s emotional reactions personally. Children who have been
    abused often do not understand the difference between correction and abuse and may act erratic.  The adoptive parent will need to learn to lovingly detach during these times while the child/ youth learns the difference.
  • Be able to focus on the needs of the child:  Some adoptive children may cling to the new parent. Others may appear to separate from the parent and family. The adoptive parent
    will need to learn to recognize the child’s way of protecting self and reinforce those times when the child responds to loving support.
  • Help the adoptive child integrate into the family. The adoptive child begins to integrate into the family as trust is developed with the parent.  The adoptive parent encourages and teaches the child to build trusting relationships with all family
    members.

Become an Adoptive Parent

The process to become an adoptive parent has several steps:

  • Meet the Legal Requirements to become an Foster Care/Adoptive Parent
  • Attend a Foster and Adoptive Parent Information MeetingCall our information line at720-944-4000 to register to attend a Foster and Adoptive Parent Information Meeting.

Become a Certified Foster Parent

Potential adoptive children are placed with you in your home for a minimum of six months prior to the adoption being finalized.  This is to be sure that the relationship is a positive one for you and the child and that you receive the services and necessary training to build a relationship with your child.

If you choose to become an adoptive parent an Adoption
Support W
orker will be assigned to help you through the certification process and answer all your questions.

Legal Requirements to Become an Adoptive Parent

Before a prospective foster parent can become certified he/she must meet some minimal legal requirements:

  • Normally, applicants must be 21 years of age or older and if married, both spouses must be willing to join in the petition for adoption.
  • Stable employment or sufficient source of legal income; Stable living situation;
  • No recent criminal activity or jail time;
  • No recent history of domestic violence or drug or alcohol abuse;
  • Any previous histories of abuse as a child, domestic violence, drug or alcohol abuse, must have been dealt with in professional therapy; Report/s from the therapist will be needed;and
  • No history of crimes against children, sexual assault or certain felony level crimes of violence.