So you’ve decided on adoption, but need to pick an agency. When you search for Colorado agencies, you realize there are dozens of options, so how do you pick the best one? Before you start the researching process, there are some crucial things to consider that will shape your decision and help you make the best choice.
How Do Adoption Agencies in Colorado Work?
Adoption agencies in Colorado assist parents in meeting all the legal requirements for adoption. They also help place a child in an adoptive family’s home. When starting your adoption journey, you’ll want to do your research before committing to an agency. Colorado agencies offer different services and benefits, so the best place to begin is by attending an introductory meeting or calling to get your questions answered. As you start the journey, you may want to keep a list of questions and answers from each of the adoption agencies you research. Then you’ll be able to compare agencies’ services and fees.
Adoption agencies are not all the same, so it’s important to find out what they provide for the agency fee. Different agencies provide different services for specific kinds of adoptions. Part of choosing an agency is knowing what kind of adoption you’ll want to pursue. All adoption agencies in Colorado are licensed by the state’s department of human services. Other things to consider are the agency’s longevity, their reviews from other adoptive parents, adoption philosophy, and the number of placements every year. Cost can also be a factor, so be sure to ask detailed questions about the agency fees, when they need to be paid, and what fees are not covered.
It may be tempting to choose the cheapest agency, but they may not offer the same services. This may be true when an agency does not include a home study or post-placement services. When you need to pay a home study fee on top of your agency fees, this can increase your overall cost. For others, it may be best to go this route depending on which agency is right for you.
Regardless, adoption agencies provide more than just services and a paperwork trail. Their staff can guide you as a mentor on your adoption journey. Emotional support for adoptive parents is a priceless gift to consider when searching for an agency. Get reviews from other parents who have completed an adoption to really determine what their honest experience was. Your agency can provide the support you need to stay focused on the goal and to get through your adoption journey.
Your agency will also make sure that you meet your requirements, including paperwork, legal requirements, and agency requirements for your adoption. When it comes to a domestic adoption, they will facilitate the placement of children in your home. Some agencies work directly with birth mothers and will show your profile to birth parents. They make sure that your paperwork meets state standards and legal requirements.
Types of Adoptions
One of the first choices you’ll have to make is the type of adoption you want to pursue. Most agencies will typically want you to choose the type of adoption since the process varies depending on the program. Adoption agencies in Colorado provide services for many different types of adoptions including domestic, international, and foster adoption.
Domestic adoption, also known as private infant adoption, involves adopting a baby in the U.S. through a private adoption agency. Part of domestic adoption involves going through a home study and becoming matched with an expectant birth mother. Some agencies will help you find a birth mother who has chosen adoption and other times, you will need to connect with a birth parent on your own. On Adoption.com, Parent Profiles allow hopeful adoptive parents to connect with birth parents online. Once the baby is born, the birth mother will sign consent papers to place the baby in your care. Then you will pursue finalization of your adoption through the legal system. Keep in mind that birth mothers cannot sign their consent forms before the baby is born.
International adoption is the process of adopting a child from overseas. These children typically live in an orphanage or a foster home. International adoption begins with a home study just like domestic and foster adoption. After all the paperwork is completed you prepare a dossier and may be required to travel to your child’s birth country. Because your agency must be licensed for the country you’re adopting from, you need to make sure that the agency is meeting the requirements for the Universal Accreditation Act which mandates federal accreditation requirements for adoption.
Besides meeting federal requirements, adoptions must also meet state requirements. These may include requirements for age, marital status, income, or health. International adoptions will have additional country requirements and will need to complete the required paperwork from the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services. Although your child’s adoption may be finalized in their home country, you will want to readopt your child once you bring them home to Colorado.
For those interested in foster adoption you can adopt either from a private agency or from a county child-placing agency. To begin the process of any foster adoption, you may want to call your county department. If you are interested in adopting a child younger than 5 years old, a private agency is probably your best choice.
Although children who are waiting for placement are available for adoption because their parental rights have been relinquished, not all foster children are able to be adopted. The goal of foster care is reunification with biological parents. This goal brings added risk to your adoption situation since some children will eventually return to their parents. However, if parental rights are terminated, a child may become available for adoption. If you are fostering a child when those rights are relinquished, you may be able to adopt your foster child.
Many foster children in Colorado range in age from 2 to 18 years old. Often they are older than 5, may have trauma or special needs, or may be part of a sibling group. Children in foster care are often placed in temporary foster homes because they have experienced abuse, neglect, or other family issues. Your adoption agency can provide help and support for understanding how to parent children who have been through trauma, abuse, or neglect.
Requirements for Adoptive Parents in Colorado
There are no restrictions in Colorado on who can adopt based on race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or marital status. Every state creates its own adoption regulations, although agencies may provide additional restrictions beyond these. Parents in Colorado must be at least 21 years old to adopt, can be single or married (but must adopt jointly if married), and will need to pass a background check. You will not be allowed to adopt if you have felony convictions for homicide, crimes against children, drug abuse, sexual assault, or other crimes of battery or abuse.
There are few restrictions for adoptive parents. For instance, you can live in a house or apartment as long as you have room for a child. You do not need to own a home. You can work outside the home and must have sufficient income to support a child. You will need to show that your health enables you to physically care for a child. In addition, you must meet all requirements by the state of Colorado for ongoing training.
In addition, foster parents need to meet other regulations, including attending the foster care program orientation, submitting an application, attending foster parent training classes, and participating in a comprehensive foster family assessment.
Home Studies in Colorado
Colorado adoption agencies also provide home studies for hopeful adoptive parents. A home study is a written report about your family, history, emotional stability, employment, health, finances, background, and home. You will also need to get a background check as part of your adoption process. A licensed caseworker will walk your family through the process of interviews and paperwork, a home visit, medical history, referrals, and collecting family information. In Colorado, the home study process is completed using the Structured Analysis Family Evaluation instrument. It provides a framework for interviewing the parents and children residing in the home. If your adoption agency does not provide home studies for your adoption, you may need to hire a licensed caseworker to complete your home study.
When you adopt a child over state lines, you will need to meet all the requirements of the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children, which governs the process of moving children placed in foster care or adoption across state lines. Your adoption agency will help you meet these requirements before a child is placed in your home.
Additionally, you cannot use a third party or adoption facilitator to adopt in Colorado. An attorney can only be used to help with communication between agencies.
Parental rights must be terminated in order for a child to be placed in your home. If you’re pursuing a domestic infant adoption in Colorado, this can happen anytime after a baby is born. If a birth parent is placing the child for adoption, the parent must get counseling from a county department of social services or licensed child-placing agency and petition the juvenile court.
Fees for Adoption Agencies in Colorado
Fees for adoption agencies vary widely depending on services and the adoption program. Domestic adoption typically varies from $20,000 to $40,000 and usually includes your home study and post-placement visits. It usually does not include attorney or legal fees, nor does it include medical exams or fingerprinting.
According to Colorado law, you may provide birth parent expenses related to the legal expenses of adoption or the living expenses of the mother. Be sure to check with your adoption agency before providing birth parent expenses to ensure you are following the law.
The cost of foster adoption is very affordable but is largely influenced by whether you use a private agency or the county department. Private Colorado agencies can also place a waiting foster child in your home and provide adoption licensing services for a fee of $1,800 to $3,500.
International adoption costs will largely be determined by country fees, travel expenses, and other costs associated with international adoption. Home studies generally range from $2,000-$4,000. Country fees vary widely. Some countries require travel to your child’s birth country and even a short stay in the country. Travel fees are typically an additional cost on top of your agency and country fees. Check with your agency regarding what expenses are involved in the process of international adoption.
Adoption Agencies in Colorado
There are dozens of adoption agencies to choose from in Colorado. To find out more about Colorado adoption agencies, you may want to consider looking at our adoption agencies listed on our directory. Contact the adoption agency directly with any questions you have regarding their services.
Some of the adoption agencies and child placement agencies in Colorado are included below. To find contact information for each of these agencies, check this Colorado list of adoption agencies.
- A Family in Bloom
- A Love Beyond Borders
- A New World
- AAC Adoption
- Adopt Triad Counselors
- Adoption Choices of Colorado
- Adoption Dreams Come True
- Adoption Options
- All About Adoption Services
- Angeldance International
- Ariel Clinical Services
- Bridges Child Placement Services
- Chinese Children Adoption International
- Colorado Christian Services
- Courage Community Foster Care
- Creative Adoption
- Denver Area Youth Services
- Embraced by Grace
- Griffith Centers for Children
- Hand in Hand International
- Hope and Home
- Hope’s Promise
- Journey’s Inc.
- Kid’s Crossing
- Family Resource Network
- Lutheran Family Services
- Maple Star Colorado
- Mount Saint Vincent
- New Start Youth Services
- Parker Personal care Home
- Sample Supports
- Savio House
- Smith Agency
- Special Kids Special Families
- Specialized Alternative for Family and Youth
- Top of the Trail
- WhimSpire Child Placement Agency
If you have questions or need support through the adoption journey, check out our parenting forums.