Park County Combined Courts closed on 7/11/2024

Adoption
Adoption

Adoption by Family Member

These standard instructions are for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice about your case. If you choose to represent yourself, you are bound by the same rules and procedures as an attorney.

Adoption by a Family Member Forms

Colorado Judicial Branch has compiled all forms required for Adoption by a Family Member.

About Adoption by a Family Member

Adoption by a family member is when a grandparent, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, or other relative takes a child into their home to raise them. The following relatives may adopt a child in an adoption by family member:

  • Grandparent
  • Aunt or uncle
  • Brother or sister
  • Other relative, such as a cousin or half brother or sister

The child should be under 18 years old. You must have approval from the court if the child is between the ages of 18 and 21. You must be 21 years or older to adopt a family member. If you aren't 21 years old, you must have the permission of the court to submit the paperwork for the adoption by family member.

Criteria for Adoption by a Family Member

The child must have been living with the family member wanting to adopt a child for one year. When the petition for adoption is filed, the child must be living in the State of Colorado or under the jurisdiction of a court in Colorado for at least 6 months. The child must not be part of a pending dependency and neglect case.

The child must be legally available for adoption, which means one of the following is true:

  • A court has ended the parent-child legal relationship
  • A court has approved voluntary relinquishment of the parent-child legal relationship, meaning a parent has agreed to give up their rights as a parent
  • If the parents are deceased, a court-appointed guardian has given written and verified consent
  • Written and verified consent signed by the parents

Preparing to Adopt a Child as a Family Member

You will need to get both a federal and state fingerprint-based criminal history record check for yourself and any other person wanting to adopt the child, such as your husband or wife. You and anyone else adopting the child will also need a TRAILS background check through your local Department of Human Services.

Law enforcement agencies are no longer required to provide fingerprinting for civil cases. Some law enforcement agencies will refer you to Colorado Application Background Services (CABS).

The criminal history check must be done 90 days before the filing of the adoption paperwork.

Complete TRAILS Background Check

Information about this background check may be found on the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) website. This background check looks for any child abuse cases. You must pay a fee.

A person convicted of a felony offense that involves child abuse, a crime of violence, or a felony offense involving unlawful sexual behavior shall not be allowed to adopt a child.

Forms and Paperwork Required

Download and fill out the Adoption by a Family Member forms using the forms link above. If you are planning to adopt more than one child, you will need a packet for each child.

Paperwork Tips

Tips for completing JDF 505 Petition for Kinship Adoption:

  • You are the petitioner.
  • Check the box that identifies your relationship to the child to be adopted in the first paragraph.
  • If you are married, your spouse will be petitioner 2 in Information about the Petitioners.
  • You may need to read the Indian Child Welfare Act to complete the section on facts concerning the child.
  • Follow the prompts to complete the form.

Tips for completing JDF 454 Verified Statement of Fees Charged:

  • Follow the prompts to complete the form.
  • You will fill in any fees that you have paid relating to this adoption. If you didn't pay a fee in a particular category, you may fill in the number 0.

Tips for completing JDF 511 Consent to Adoption - Child Over Twelve Years of Age:

  • Use this form only if the child you are adopting is over 12 years old.
  • Only complete the top portion of the form above the Consent to Adoption title.
  • The remainder of the forms should be filled out by the child if he or she is over 12 years old.

Tips for completing JDF 514 Notice of Hearing:

  • Only complete the top portion of the form above the Notice of Hearing title.

Tips for completing JDF 520 Petition to Terminate the Parent-Child Legal Relationship:

  • Follow the prompts to complete the form.
  • The respondent(s) are the birth parents.

Tips for completing JDF 510 Consent to Adoption - Non-Custodial Parent:

  • Use this form only if the birth parents agree to the adoption.
  • Each birth parent should complete their own consent.
  • You must provide a complete copy of the Petition for Adoption, Petition to Terminate the Parent-Child Legal Relationship, and Notice of Hearing to the non-custodial parents in order for the birth parents to fully complete the consent.

Tips for completing JDF 507 Waiver and Acceptance of Service:

  • Use this form only if the parent(s) agree to the adoption.
  • Only complete the top portion of the form above the Waiver and Acceptance of Service title.
  • Check the box next to Waiver and Acceptance of Service if the birth parent(s) decide that they don't want or need to be served with a copy of the legal custody adoption paperwork.
  • Each birth parent should complete a copy of this form.
  • This form should be signed in front of the clerk at the court.

How to Submit Paperwork to the Court

  1. Decide where (which courthouse) to deliver your paperwork. Your adoption by family member paperwork should be given to the district court in the county where you live or in the county where the adoption agency is located, if you are using an adoption agency. 
  2. Give the court the completed forms and the following background check results:
    • Report results from fingerprint-based FBI background check
    • Report results from fingerprint-based CBI background check
    • Report results from TRAILS background check through the Colorado Department of Human Services
  3. Pay the filing fee. If you do not think you can afford the filing fee, fill out form JDF 205 Motion to File Without Payment and Supporting Financial Affidavit and JDF 206 Finding and Order Concerning Payment of Fees to request a waiver of the filing fee, or visit our File Without Payment section for complete information.

Adoption by Family Member Filing Fees

Adoption Petition$167.00
Juvenile Party Response$192.00

After Paperwork Is Filed

If you didn't set up a hearing date when you gave your paperwork to the court, you should receive a notice from the court about the date and time of the adoption hearing. You need to come to the court for the hearing.

On Your Court Date

Be on time or early for your court hearing.

Have all of your information, completed paperwork, exhibits (affidavits, etc.), and any other evidence with you. Evidence can include a copy of the information that tells the court why you should be allowed to adopt the child. Organize and label each piece of evidence as exhibits that you can share with the judge.

If you are the Petitioner, label your exhibits with numbers starting with 1.

If you are the Respondent, label your exhibits with letters starting with A.

Make copies of your exhibits for the other person in the case and for the judge. You will have to pay for any copies that the courthouse staff makes for you.

Turn off your cell phone and respect everyone in the courtroom. Refer to the judge as "Your Honor" or "Judge".

During the Adoption Hearing

The Petitioner(s) will tell the judge why the judge should end the parent-child relationship and allow the Petitioner(s) to adopt the child.

The Respondent(s) tell the judge why their relationship with the child should or shouldn't end and why the Petitioner(s) should or shouldn't be allowed to adopt the child.

Focus on the facts. Present any exhibits to the judge and call witnesses to provide important information about your case.

Ask your witnesses questions so that they can testify.

If the other person has an attorney, the attorney may object to or ask the judge to ignore exhibits and witnesses that you try to bring up in your case.

Paperwork Required for the Adoption Hearing

Download and fill out the following forms:

  • JDF 521 Finding of Fact and Decree Pursuant to § 19-5-203, C.R.S.
  • JDF 522 Final Decree of Adoption
  • Report of Adoption: This is a Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment form. This form must be accessed from the Department of Public Health's website.

Tips for completing JDF 521 Finding of Fact and Decree:

  • Only complete the top portion of the form above the Finding of Fact and Decree title.
  • The court will complete the remainder of the form, and the judge will sign, usually at the hearing.
  • Make 1 copy of this form so you will have 1 original and 1 copy.

Tips for completing JDF 522 Final Decree of Adoption:

  • Only complete the top portion of the form above the Final Decree of Adoption title.
  • The court will complete the remainder of the form, and the judge will sign, usually at the hearing.
  • Make 3 copies of this form so you have 4 of the forms, 1 original and 3 copies.

Tips for completing the Report of Adoption:

  • There are sections on the form for you to complete and sections on the form for your attorney to complete, if you have one. Contact the Department of Public Health if you have questions about this form.
  • Do not sign the form. The clerk at the court will sign the form after the adoption hearing.
  • Make 2 copies of the form.

After the Adoption Hearing

The judge will sign the original and copies of JDF 521 Finding of Fact and Decree and JDF 522 Final Decree of Adoption, possibly on the day of the adoption. The court will certify 2 to 3 copies of the Final Decree. You will pay a fee for certifying documents.

The certified documents are for:

  • You
  • The Department of Public Health and Environment so you can request a new birth certificate
  • Your attorney, if you have one

The court will certify the Report of Adoption and send it to the Department of Public Health, Office of the State Registrar of Vital Statistics. You will complete more paperwork and pay a fee with the Office of the State Registrar of Vital Statistics for the new birth certificate.