The Surrendering of Parental Rights in Colorado

By Cindy Chung

Before adoptive parents can adopt a baby or child, Colorado state laws generally require a surrender of parental rights by the birth parents. Colorado adoption laws include requirements for the surrender of parental rights through an adoption consent. The specific requirements can vary depending on the marital status of the birth parents.

Legal Significance of Surrendering Parental Rights

A surrender of parental rights, also known as a relinquishment in Colorado, allows another party to take custody of a child and proceed with an adoption. State law terminates a birth parent's rights after a court-approved relinquishment. After the relinquishment, the birth parent no longer has custody rights and support obligations. However, the child remains the birth parent's heir by law until another person adopts the child.

Surrender of Rights by Birth Mother

In general, a birth mother must agree to surrender her parental rights in Colorado before an adoptive parent can adopt the child. A birth mother can surrender her rights to a licensed adoption agency or to the adoptive parents directly. However, a birth parent can lose her parental rights through an involuntary termination of parental rights by a Colorado court after a finding of unfitness as a parent or parental abandonment of the child. If the state has already terminated the mother's rights, she does not need to take additional steps to surrender her child for adoption.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More

Surrender of Rights by Birth Father

Colorado paternity laws determine a father's rights. In general, a birth father with parental rights must surrender them before the child's adoption can occur. A married man generally has presumed rights to children born during marriage to his wife. However, an unmarried father may need to establish himself as the baby's presumed father to preserve his right to disagree with the birth mother's adoption consent. An unmarried father may have parental rights if he agreed to include his name on the child's birth certificate after the child's birth or he signed a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity.

Procedures for Surrender of Parental Rights

Colorado state law sets the required procedures for an adoption consent by the birth parents. The birth parent must usually participate in pre-adoption counseling by a licensed adoption agency or county department of social services. After counseling, the birth parent may surrender parental rights by filing a Petition for Relinquishment with the local Colorado juvenile court. The petition must include both birth parents' names, if both have parental rights to surrender, child's name and names of any other involved parties such as the prospective adoptive parents. The juvenile court reviews the petition and may set a court hearing. If the court approves the relinquishment, the court transfers custody rights to the adoptive parent, adoption agency or county department of social services.

Revocation After the Surrender of Parental Rights

If a birth parent surrenders a child for adoption but later changes her mind, Colorado adoption law allows a limited period of time for a change of heart. A parent can ask the court to revoke the adoption consent within 90 days of the court order for relinquishment, but the parent must give clear and convincing evidence that fraud or duress was the cause of her decision to relinquish her parental rights.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More
Parental Custody Rights to a Newborn Child in Albuquerque, New Mexico



Related articles

Can I Change My Baby's Last Name After Birth in New York State?

Traditionally, when a woman married, she took on her husband's surname. The couple then passed on the surname to any children they have. Today, however, parents have the option to break from tradition and give their new baby the mother's maiden name, a hyphenated last name or a combination surname. Fortunately, if the baby’s new surname doesn't fit, his parents can legally change it. New York law gives parents the right to change a child's last name at any time, provided both parents are in agreement about the change.

Power of Attorney for Minor Children

A power of attorney for a minor child allows a parent to designate another adult to make decisions for his child without giving up parental or custodial rights. The power of attorney is temporary and can be given by either a parent or guardian. The adult who receives the decision-making authority is called the agent or attorney-in-fact. As a formal legal document, the power of attorney must satisfy state law in how it is written and signed.

Michigan Child Custody Laws & Moving Restrictions

Relocation plans often result in conflict between divorced parents if one parent wants to move away with the children. As part of a parental relocation, known as a change of residence in Michigan, a parent may need to obtain court approval before moving. In some cases, the other parent may ask the court to restrict the move. However, some moves do not require court approval.

Get Divorced Online

Related articles

How to Absolve Parental Rights in Ohio When Parents Are Divorced

Ohio courts typically split custody between divorcing parents in a manner they feel is best for the children. Though ...

Terminating Father's Rights in Michigan

The termination of a father's rights is a legal process that severs all ties the father has to the child. The father ...

How to Change a Child's Last Name in Virginia

A parent can change the name of her child in Virginia through the Virginia circuit court of the county the child ...

Giving Up Parental Rights Through Adoption & Getting Your Kids Back

As a birth parent of a child being offered for adoption, you can change your mind, cancel your relinquishment of ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED