The majority of the children that we work with to find adoptive homes are between the ages of 5 and 16 and are from an ethnic/minority origin. Additionally, most of the children have some type of special need, which may include psychological, medical, educational, social, cultural and/or needs related to a history of abuse or neglect. Only those people and families who are able and willing to adopt these children are encouraged to apply. The key in determining if an adoptive home is appropriate for a particular child are the needs of the child and if the adoptive family can meet those needs.
Applicants must 21 years of age or older and if married, both spouses must be willing to join in the petition for adoption.
Other general qualifications for adoptive families/person/s include:
- Stable employment;
- Stable living situation;
- No recent criminal activity or jail time;
- No recent history of domestic violenceor drug or alcohol abuse;
- Any previous histories of abuse as a child, domestic violence, drug or alcohol abuse, must have been dealt with in professional therapy;
- Report/s from the therapist will be needed;
- No history of crimes against children;
- Willing to work hard to stabilize children with special needs due to history of abuse or neglect;
- Willingness to learn non physical forms of discipline;
- Willingness to learn about grief and loss, attachment in children, and child development;
- Willingness to seek out professional help when a child shows signs of difficulty in development or behavior.
The Adoption Process
The first step is to attend a foster and adoptive parent information meeting. A list of the dates for these meetings is available in the Foster and Adoptive Parent Information Meetings 2013 Calendar. Register for a meeting online by clicking here.
Once you have attended this meeting and decided that you want to continue, you will complete the application process, which will include paperwork, home visits, attending trainings, and meeting with caseworkers and the child or children.
Once a child is placed in an adoptive home, the child must be in the home a minimum of six months before the adoption can be finalized. It is important to assess the stability of the child in that home for at least that period of time. The courts must also be in agreement with any time frame. This time is also used to determine if a subsidy for the child is needed. Subsidies can be adjusted to meet the needs of the child. Under no circumstances is a subsidy based on the needs of the adoptive parents. Subsidies are reviewed every three years and are not guaranteed to continue or be initially available. If a subsidy is given for a child it is generally either monetary and/or a Medicaid subsidy. Medicaid eligibility continues for the adopted child until the age of 18.
The Multiethnic Placement Act of 1994 (MEPA ACT) states that agencies may not delay or deny the placement of a child for adoption or into foster care, or otherwise discriminate in making a placement decision, solely on the basis of the race, color, or national origin of the adoptive or foster parent, or the child being adopted. The Act does permit an agency to consider the cultural, ethnic or racial background of the child. The Act also permits considering the capacity of the prospective adoptive parents to meet the needs of a child as one of a number of factors used to determine the best interests of a child. Denver Department of Human Services complies with Federal Law.
In addition, the Department will not deny any person the opportunity to apply to become an adoptive parent based upon religious affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, or economic status.