2021 Colorado Code
Title 19 - Children's Code
Article 5 - Relinquishment and Adoption
Part 2 - Adoption
§ 19-5-210. Hearing on Petition

Universal Citation: CO Code § 19-5-210 (2021)
  1. A hearing on the petition for adoption shall be held on the date set or the date to which the matter has been regularly continued. (1.5) Except in stepparent, second parent, custodial, or kinship adoptions, the court shall issue a certificate of approval of placement, placing the child's custodial care with prospective adoptive parents pending final hearing on the petition for adoption, if it appears to the court that the placement for adoption is in the best interest of the child.
  2. In stepparent, custodial, or kinship adoptions, the court shall hold a hearing on the petition as soon as possible. In all other adoptions, the court shall hold a hearing on the petition no sooner than one hundred eighty-two days after the date the child begins to live in the prospective adoptive parent's home, unless for good cause shown that time is extended or shortened by the court. At the hearing held on the petition, the court shall enter a decree setting forth its findings and grant to the petitioner a final decree of adoption if it is satisfied as to:
    1. The availability of the child for adoption;
    2. The good moral character, the ability to support and educate the child, and the suitableness of the home of the person adopting such child;

      (b.5) The fingerprint-based criminal history record checks of the prospective adoptive parent as reported to the court by the county department of human or social services or the child placement agency pursuant to section 19-5-207 (2.5) or the information provided to the court pursuant to section 19-5-208 (5) does not reveal a criminal history described in section 19-5-207 (2.5)(a);

    3. The mental and physical condition of the child as a proper subject for adoption in said home;
    4. The fact that the best interests of the child will be served by the adoption; and
    5. If the child is part of a sibling group, whether it is in the best interests of the child to remain in an intact sibling group. If the county department or child placement agency locates an appropriate, capable, willing, and available joint placement for all of the children in the sibling group, it shall be presumed that placement of the entire sibling group in the joint placement is in the best interests of the children. Such presumption may be rebutted by a preponderance of the evidence that placement of the entire sibling group in the joint placement is not in the best interests of a child or of the children. The judge shall review the family services plan document regarding placement of siblings.
  3. The former name of the child shall not be stated in the final decree of adoption.
  4. If, after the hearing, the court is not satisfied as to the matters listed in subsection (2) of this section, the petition for adoption may be either continued or dismissed in the discretion of the court. The court shall not grant the decree of final adoption if it determines that the prospective adoptive parent was convicted at any time by a court of competent jurisdiction of a felony in one of the following areas: Child abuse or neglect; spousal abuse; any crime against a child; or any crime involving violence, rape, sexual assault, or homicide, excluding other physical assault or battery. For stepparent, kinship, or custodial adoptions, in addition to not granting a decree of final adoption in circumstances involving the felony convictions listed in this subsection (4), the court shall not grant the decree of final adoption if it determines that the prospective adoptive parent was convicted of a felony for physical assault or battery that was committed within the past five years.
    1. Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (b) of this subsection (5), all hearings with reference to adoption shall be closed to the public and, in the discretion of the court, to any child who is the subject of adoption and who is under twelve years of age, but the court may interview the child whenever it deems it proper.
    2. Upon motion by any party to an adoption or upon the court's own motion, the court may order that an adoption hearing be opened to the public or to the child who is, or the children who are, the subject of the adoption if the court finds that opening the hearing is in the best interests of the child who is, or the children who are, the subject of the adoption hearing and the court finds that the potential adoptive parents have consented to an open hearing.
  5. In a stepparent adoption, in addition to issuing a final decree of adoption, the court shall enter an order terminating the other parent's parental rights. In a custodial or kinship adoption, in addition to issuing a final decree of adoption, the court shall enter an order terminating the parental rights of the child's parents.
  6. In cases involving the adoption of a child who is part of a sibling group, but who is not being adopted with his or her siblings, in addition to issuing a final decree of adoption, if the adoptive parents are willing, the court may encourage reasonable visitation among the siblings when visitation is in the best interests of the child or the children. The court shall review the record and inquire as to whether the adoptive parents have received counseling regarding children in sibling groups maintaining or developing ties with each other.

History. Source: L. 87: Entire title R&RE, p. 809, § 1, effective October 1. L. 97: IP(2) amended, p. 1165, § 10, effective July 1. L. 98: (2) and (4) amended, p. 1423, § 12, effective July 1. L. 99: Entire section amended, p. 1064, § 7, effective June 1. L. 2000: (2) amended and (7) added, p. 478, § 8, effective July 1. L. 2003: (2)(e) amended, p. 2628, § 11, effective June 5. L. 2005: IP(2) and (5) amended, p. 94, § 4, effective March 31. L. 2007: (1.5) amended, p. 838, § 3, effective August 3. L. 2012: IP(2) amended,(SB 12-175), ch. 208, p. 880, § 142, effective July 1. L. 2018: (2)(b.5) amended,(SB 18-092), ch. 38, p. 432, § 76, effective August 8.


Editor's note:

This section was contained in a title that was repealed and reenacted in 1987. Provisions of this section, as it existed in 1987, are similar to those contained in § 19-4-112 as said section existed in 1986, the year prior to the repeal and reenactment of this title.

Cross references:

For the legislative declaration in SB 18-092, see section 1 of chapter 38, Session Laws of Colorado 2018.

ANNOTATION

Law reviews. For article, “The 1951 Amendments to the Relinquishment and Adoption Laws”, see 28 Dicta 227 (1951). For article, “One Year Review of Domestic Relations”, see 34 Dicta 108 (1957). For article, “The Adoption of Children in Colorado”, see 37 Dicta 100 (1960). For article, “Adoption Procedures of Minor Children in Colorado”, see 12 Colo. Law. 1057 (1983). For article, “Securing the Nonparent's Place in a Child's Life Through Adoption and Adoption Alternatives”, see 37 Colo. Law. 27 (Oct. 2008).

Annotator's note. The following annotations include cases decided under former provisions similar to this section.

Substantial compliance with statutory requirements necessary. These proceedings are statutory and as they affect substantial rights there must be a substantial compliance with the provisions of the legislative enactment. Such a compliance must appear of record and before acting on a petition in adoption the trial court should ascertain that the consents and notices necessary to confer jurisdiction were filed. Storey v. Shumaker, 131 Colo. 131 , 279 P.2d 1057 (1955) (decided under former CSA, C. 4, § 15).

Standard for determining custody, guardianship, and adoption is “best interests and welfare” of the child. People in Interest of A.D., 706 P.2d 7 (Colo. App. 1985).

Weight to be accorded to testimony and opinions of child psychiatrist and social worker is within sound discretion of the trier of fact. People in Interest of A.D., 706 P.2d 7 (Colo. App. 1985).

Concerns of unmarried parents who relinquished their rights are relevant to the court's consideration of placement with the grandparents. People in Interest of A.D., 706 P.2d 7 (Colo. App. 1985).

Trial court's findings supported by evidence binding on appeal. Where the record contains evidence which supports the findings of the trial court that it is not in the best interest of the child to proceed with adoption, those findings are binding on appeal. In re J.A.A. v. C.R., 618 P.2d 742 (Colo. App. 1980).

In determining whether termination and adoption would be in the best interests of the child, the court may consider, among other factors: Family stability; the present and future effects of adoption, including the detrimental effects of termination; the child's emotional ties to and interaction with the parties; the child's adjustment to the living situation; the child's age; and the mental and physical health of the parties, and where trial court's factual determinations concerning these factors are supported by the evidence, they will not be disturbed. In re Petition of J.D.K., 37 P.3d 541 (Colo. App. 2001).


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