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Can A Colorado Adoption Be Revoked?

Adoption is a life-changing decision that impacts all parties involved, including biological parents, adoptive parents, and the child. However, despite the careful consideration and legal processes involved in adoption, there are situations in which biological parents may wish to revoke the adoption.

This is a complex and emotionally charged issue that requires a thorough understanding of Colorado adoption laws. In this article, we will explore the topic of biological parents revoking adoptions in Colorado, including the legal rights and responsibilities of all parties involved, the circumstances in which revocation may be possible, and the legal requirements for revoking an adoption in Colorado.

Can A Final Adoption Decree Be Contested In Colorado? 

It is rare for someone to request an adoption annulment, but Colorado law permits the final adoption decree to be contested within 91 days of its issuance. The adopted child, biological parents, and adoptive parents are all eligible to seek an annulment.

“When a final decree of adoption is attacked on any basis at any time, the court shall consider the best interests of the child, taking into account the factors set forth in section 14-10-124, C.R.S. The court shall sustain the decree unless there is clear and convincing evidence that the decree is not in the best interests of the child.

C.R.S. § 19-5-214

Why Would Someone Seek An Adoption Annulment?

Despite the careful consideration and legal processes involved in adoption, there are situations in which an involved party may wish to revoke the adoption. These reasons include:

1. Regaining Parental Rights – When biological parents wish to challenge an adoption in Colorado, it often means that they seek to regain their parental rights. This decision can be motivated by various factors, including changes in their personal circumstances or legal grounds that they believe were not fairly or justly considered during the adoption process. Alternatively, they may argue that the adoption was granted on legal grounds such as coercion, fraud, or misrepresentation.

2. Unable To Provide Care – In some cases, adoptive parents in Colorado may no longer be able to provide the care and support that their adopted child requires, or they may find that the relationship with the child has deteriorated to a point where it is no longer beneficial for either party to continue with the adoption. The adoptive parents may feel that their inability to meet the child’s needs is detrimental to the child’s well-being, or they may find that the child’s behaviors have become too difficult to manage.

3. Seeking Emancipation –It is possible for an adopted child in Colorado to file for emancipation later in life, which would legally grant them adult status before the age of 18. The decision to seek emancipation can be motivated by various reasons, including the desire to regain inheritance from natural parents or to distance themselves from a failing relationship with their adoptive parents. The court will need to ensure that emancipation is in the child’s best interests and not a decision made out of spite or anger. 

Can An International Adoption Be Annulled?

International adoptions are governed by complex laws and regulations, and the legal process for contesting an international adoption differs significantly from domestic adoptions. In cases of international adoption, the legal system of the country where the adoption was finalized generally has exclusive jurisdiction over the matter, and U.S. courts have limited authority to annul or challenge the adoption order.

This means that if an adoption was finalized in another country, the U.S. court system generally cannot annul the adoption. However, there are some limited circumstances in which a U.S. court may be able to intervene in an international adoption. For example, if there is evidence of fraud or coercion in the adoption process, a U.S. court may be able to take action to protect the best interests of the child. Additionally, if the child is brought to the United States and is being abused or neglected by the adoptive parents, a U.S. court may have the authority to intervene and place the child in protective custody.

What Procedural Defects Can Be Used To Appeal An Adoption?

In Colorado, an appeal may be filed for procedural defects that took place during the original adoption hearing. Procedural defects may include a failure to properly notify the natural parent whose parental rights were being terminated or evidence of fraud or coercion in the adoption process. If a procedural defect is identified, it may be possible to file an appeal and challenge the validity of the adoption decree.

However, it is important to note that the burden of proof is on the party challenging the adoption, and clear and convincing evidence must be presented to the court to support the claim of a procedural defect. Consulting with an experienced attorney can help individuals understand their legal options and the requirements for challenging a final adoption decree in Colorado.


The legal process of revoking an adoption in Colorado can be complex and emotionally challenging for all parties involved. While it is possible to challenge a final adoption decree within 91 days in certain circumstances, the burden of proof is high and legal guidance is crucial. Additionally, international adoptions cannot be annulled by U.S. courts except under limited circumstances. Therefore, anyone considering adoption or adoption revocation in Colorado should seek the advice of a qualified attorney with experience in family law. Ultimately, understanding and following legal procedures is essential to protect the best interests of the child and ensure a positive outcome for all involved.

Modern Family Law

Modern Family Law’s team of experienced family lawyers takes a compassionate approach to the practice of family law. Using innovative technology to create an effective and efficient process for our clientele, our attorneys approach each case as a collective effort to find the best long-term solutions for each family. We understand the financial burden a divorce can have on an individual. As such we have created our industry-first SimpleStart™ program, providing people a chance to reduce the amount of money needed upfront to start their case. For more information please give us a call or fill out a short form online to sign up for a free consultation today! Let us make a positive difference in your life. Learn more about adoption in Colorado.

By: MFL Team

Posted April 12, 2023

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