Before the adoption of a child, the Court must determine by clear and convincing evidence that the child is available for adoption under CRS §19-5-203. This can be based on one of the following: the second parent’s parental rights have been terminated in a dependency and neglect case, a parent voluntarily relinquished their rights when there is an adoption filed, or the death of one parent. Additionally, the Court may find that a parent abandoned the child if the parent has not provided financial support for a year or more or has not had contact with the child for an extended amount of time. 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:
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.”
As child support is the right of the child, Courts find that child support must go to the child’s daily care and not personal expenditures for the parent.
This means that Courts take into consideration that parents have different resources available to them and the Court should consider a parent’s individual means when looking at the reasonableness of the payments.
See In re the Interest of Minor Children Baby A and Baby B, 363, P.3d 193 (Colo. 2015).
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 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 case evaluation today.