Is My Child Available for Adoption By a Second Parent?

By Carrie Eckstein

Before an adoption of a child, the Court has to determine by clear and convincing evidence whether or not the child is available for adoption under CRS §19-5-203. This could be determined because the second parent’s parental rights have been terminated in a dependency and neglect case, a parent may voluntarily relinquish rights when there is an adoption filed, there could be a death of one parent, or the Court has to find a parent “intended to abandoned the child” as the parent either 1) has not provided financial support for a year, OR 2) has not had contact with the child for a hearing. The “year” period is the 12-month period immediately preceding the filing for termination of parental rights and the petition for adoption.

In determining whether financial support has or has not been provided to the child, the Court looks to the following considerations. Did the parent:

  1. “Pay regular and reasonable support;”
    1. Regular means “consistent support over a period of time.” Reasonable “is what ordinary parents would need to spend for the care of their children under their individual circumstances.”
  2. “For the care of the child,”
    1. As child support is the right of the child, “the support must go to the children’s daily care and cannot be used for expenditures made for the parent.”
  3. “According to that parent’s means.”
    1. Taking into the “understanding that parents have different resources available and that courts should consider a parent’s means when scrutinizing the reasonableness of the payments.”

See In the Interest of Minor Children BABY A and BABY B, 363 p.3D 193 (2015) (PDF).

When the Court determines if a parent intended to abandon the child based on a lack of contact for a year, the Court looks to a totality of circumstances. The Court determines if a parent’s actions and also words demonstrate the intent to abandon a child.

Uniting families is a privilege. At The Harris Law Firm we take pride in our adoption cases. If you would like to speak to us about a step-parent, second-parent, kinship, or guardianship adoption, please give us a call at (303) 622-5502 to speak with a member of our firm, or fill out our online form to start out with a free case evaluation today.

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