Colorado Adoption Laws and Policies


Any individual 21 years or older, a minor with court approval, an individual jointly with a living spouse unless legally separated.


Can adoptive parents advertise for birth parents? In practice, yes.

Can out-of-state residents finalize an adoption? Yes, if using state-licensed agency. No interstate adoption can take place without using an agency in Colorado.

Can adopting parents use an adoption facilitator or another paid intermediary? Yes, only if from a county department or child placement agency or a licensed child placement agency. Physicians and attorneys may charge reasonable fees for customary professional services.

What birth parent expenses may be paid, and in what time period? Medical, legal, counseling and pregnancy-related expenses approved by the court.

Is there a putative father registry? No.

When can consent to adoption be granted? May be given pre-birth, but may not be submitted to court until 4 days after birth.

When does consent become irrevocable? If consent is revoked, is return to birth parent automatic? Upon filing in the courts and an order being signed by the Judge in Colorado. The birth parents must show fraud or duress within 90 days of placement to revoke consent. If relinquishment is revoked, the court bases custody on the child’s best interest.

Are post-adoption contact agreements legally enforceable? No.


Is a foreign adoption decree automatically recognized by the state? Not addressed in state statutes.

Can parents readopt in this state? Is it mandatory? Yes, parents may petition to the court to validate an intercountry adoption. The court will issue a decree if one of the adopting parents is a U.S. citizen and state resident, if a valid foreign adoption decree is presented to the court, and if the child is either a permanent resident or a naturalized citizen of the United States.

When will a U.S. birth certificate be issued? On receipt of a petition that includes proof of the physical and mental health, emotional stability, and moral integrity of the adopting parent or parents, a certified copy of the final decree of adoption, and the probable DOB and place of birth and parentage of the child.


Are adoption subsidies available? When do they start and how long do they last? Yes, adoption subsidies are available to a special needs child as defined by at least one of the following: 7 years or older, member of a sibling group of 2 or more children, has or is at high risk of developing a physical, mental, emotional, or developmental disability, hereditary factors as diagnosed by a professional, ethnic or minority background that affects the likelihood of placement. Adoption subsidies begin at adoption placement.

Where can I learn more about the process of adopting a child from foster care in Colorado? 


Program Manager: Constance Vigil

1575 Sherman Street
2nd Floor
Denver, CO 80203-1714
Phone: (303) 866-3209
Fax: (303) 866-5563



Who may access non-identifying information? For adoptions finalized prior to September 1, 1999, access to the adoption record is available through a confidential intermediary who must obtain consent from the parties before the release of information. For adoptions finalized on or after September 1, 1999, all adoption records shall be open to the following people:

  1. The adoptee who is age 18 or older.
  2. The birth parents.
  3. The adoptive parent, custodial grandparent, or legal guardian of a minor adoptee.
  4. An adult descendant of an adoptee or the adoptive parent, with the written consent of the adoptee.
  5. The adoptee’s spouse, adult stepchild, or adopted adult sibling, with the consent of the adoptee.
  6. The birth grandparent with consent of the birth parent.
  7. The legal representative of any of the above listed persons.
  8. A former foster child who may or not have been adopted, who is age 18 or older, and who is searching for a birth sibling who is also age 18 or older, who may or may not have been adopted and who may or may not have been in foster care.

Who may access identifying information? Any of the parties listed above may file a motion with the court to appoint a confidential intermediary to determine the whereabouts of such individual’s unknown relative or relatives. No one shall seek to determine the whereabouts of a relative who is younger than age 18.

Can adoptees obtain their original birth certificates? Yes, an authorization to release may be exercised and submitted to the State Registrar.

DISCLAIMER: The state laws and policies outlined above are offered to readers only for general information and do not constitute legal advice. Furthermore, the state laws were accurate at the time of compilation, but The Current Initiative cannot guarantee that there have been no subsequent changes or revisions to the laws. Please do not rely on the information above without first consulting an adoption attorney licensed in your state. Updated in November 2014.