Colorado Revised Statutes Title 19. Children's Code § 19-5-103.5. Expedited relinquishment procedure--children under one year of age--other birth parents--notice--termination

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(1)(a) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 19-5-103 to the contrary, a parent desiring to relinquish his or her child may seek an expedited order terminating his or her parent-child legal relationship without the necessity of a court hearing if:

(I) The child is under one year of age, at the time of filing the petition;

(II) The relinquishing parent is being assisted by a licensed child placement agency or the county department of human or social services in the county where such parent resides;

(III) The requirements of section 19-5-103(1) have been met;  and

(IV) The parent signs an affidavit stating his or her desire to voluntarily relinquish his or her parent-child legal relationship with the child and consenting to a waiver of his or her right to contest a termination of parentage.

(b)(I) The affidavit required to be signed by the parent seeking to relinquish his or her parental rights pursuant to this section must advise the relinquishing parent of the consequences of the relinquishment decision and must further advise the relinquishing parent that he or she is still required to obtain the relinquishment counseling described in section 19-5-103(1)(a) and (2) .  The relinquishing parent must be advised of the opportunity to seek independent counseling.  The affidavit must also advise the relinquishing parent that he or she may withdraw the affidavit anytime after signing it but before the affidavit and petition are filed with the court.  The relinquishing parent may sign the affidavit before the birth of the child.  The relinquishing birth parent may withdraw the affidavit from the child placement agency or county department of human or social services in the county where the parent resides any time after signing it but before the affidavit and petition are filed with the court.

(II) The affidavit shall include the following:

(A) A statement that the petitioner has completed the relinquishment counseling required in section 19-5-103(1) and (2) or understands he or she must complete the counseling prior to entry of the order of termination;

(B) A statement that the child to be relinquished is under one year of age at the time of filing the petition;

(C) A statement that the relinquishing parent's decision is knowing and voluntary and not the result of threats, coercion, or undue influence or inducements;  and

(D) A statement that the relinquishing parent believes the relinquishment is in the best interests of the child.

(III) The relinquishing parent's signature on the affidavit must be witnessed by two witnesses, one of whom is either a representative of the licensed child placement agency with which the relinquishing parent has contracted or a representative of the county department of human or social services in the county where the parent resides, whichever is assisting the parent.  The other witness must not be associated with either the licensed child placement agency or the county department of human or social services in the county where the parent resides, whichever is assisting the parent, and must not be the potential adoptive parent of the child to be relinquished.

(IV) The affidavit shall be notarized and shall be attached to the petition for relinquishment and filed with the court after the birth of the child.  The petition for relinquishment may not be filed until at least four days after the birth of the child.

(c) If the birth parent has signed the affidavit described in this subsection (1) and if it is properly witnessed and notarized and attached to the petition, the court may vacate the hearing required pursuant to section 19-5-103(3) and, upon making the findings set forth in section 19-5-103(7)(a) , shall enter an order of relinquishment, without a hearing, no more than seven business days after the date of the filing of the petition for relinquishment and the accompanying affidavit.

(2)(a) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 19-5-105 to the contrary, in those cases in which a parent seeks to relinquish his or her parent-child legal relationship with a child pursuant to this section, the licensed child placement agency or the county department of human or social services assisting the relinquishing parent shall proceed with filing the petition for termination of the other birth parent's or possible birth parents' parent-child legal relationship and notify pursuant to this section the other birth parent or possible birth parents identified pursuant to section 19-5-105(2) .

(b) Notice of the proceeding pursuant to this section shall be given to every person identified as the other birth parent or a possible birth parent in the manner appropriate under the Colorado rules of juvenile procedure for the service of process or in any manner the court directs;  except that notice shall not be required to be given to a person who has received notice pursuant to section 19-5-103.7 if the person waives the right to contest a termination of parental rights and waives the right to further notice concerning the expedited relinquishment or if the person fails to reply as required pursuant to section 19-5-103.7 .  The notice shall inform the parent or alleged parent whose rights are to be determined that failure to file an answer or to appear within twenty-one days after service and, in the case of an alleged father, failure to file a claim of paternity under article 4 of this title within twenty-one days after service, if a claim has not previously been filed, may likely result in termination of the parent's or the alleged parent's parental rights to the child.  The notice shall also inform the parent or alleged parent whose rights are to be determined that the person has the right to waive his or her right to appear and contest and that failure to appear and contest may likely result in termination of the parent's or the alleged parent's parental rights to the child.  Proof of giving the notice shall be filed with the court before the petition is heard or otherwise acted upon.  If no person has been identified as the birth parent, the court shall order that notice be provided to all possible birth parents by publication or public posting of the notice at times and in the places and manner the court deems appropriate.

(c) The other birth parent or possible birth parents may sign the affidavit of voluntary relinquishment described in subsection (1) of this section.  Such birth parent may sign the affidavit prior to the birth of the child.  If the other birth parent or possible birth parent signs an affidavit of voluntary relinquishment, he or she may withdraw the affidavit from the child placement agency or the county department of human or social services assisting the relinquishing parent any time after signing it but before the affidavit and petition are filed with the court.

(d)(I) The court shall vacate the proceeding and, at the time of the review of the case pursuant to paragraph (c) of subsection (1) of this section, enter an order terminating the parent-child legal relationship of the other birth parent or possible birth parent if the other birth parent or possible birth parent:

(A) Has waived his or her right to contest the termination of parental rights;  or

(B) Has failed to appear and contest or to file an answer to the petition for termination or to file a paternity action within the prescribed twenty-one days following the date of the service, publication, or posting of the notice as provided in the notice pursuant to paragraph (b) of this subsection (2);  or

(C) Has signed the affidavit of voluntary relinquishment described in subsection (1) of this section;  or

(D) Has waived his or her right to notice and right to contest the termination of parental rights pursuant to section 19-5-103.7 .

(II) If the provisions of subparagraph (I) of this paragraph (d) do not apply and the other birth parent or possible birth parent expresses his or her desire to appear and contest the termination of the parent-child legal relationship, the court shall proceed with a hearing on the petition for termination of the other birth parent's parent-child legal relationship.

(3) The licensed child placement agency or the county department of human or social services assisting the relinquishing parent shall not submit the documents referenced in subsections (1) and (2) of this section for judicial review unless a permanent placement for the child has been identified.

(4) The court shall not be bound to enter an order terminating a parent-child legal relationship upon the affidavit of the relinquishing parent pursuant to subsection (1) of this section and the court shall not be bound to enter an order terminating a parent-child legal relationship of the other birth parent or possible birth parents pursuant to subsection (2) of this section, but the court may, upon its own motion, require that a formal hearing be held to determine any or all issues presented by the pleadings.

Cite this article: FindLaw.com - Colorado Revised Statutes Title 19. Children's Code § 19-5-103.5. Expedited relinquishment procedure--children under one year of age--other birth parents--notice--termination - last updated January 01, 2019 | https://codes.findlaw.com/co/title-19-childrens-code/co-rev-st-sect-19-5-103-5.html


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