Colorado Revised Statutes Title 19 Children's Code § 19-5-207 Written consent and home study report for public adoptions--criminal history records check--investigation




(1) When a child is placed for adoption by the county department of social services, a licensed child placement agency, or an individual, such department, agency, or individual shall file, with the petition to adopt, its written and verified consent to such adoption in addition to any notices received or sent pursuant to the terms of the “Interstate Compact on Placement of Children” set forth in part 18 of article 60 of title 24, C.R.S.

(2) In all petitions for adoption, whether by the court, the county department of social services, or child placement agencies, in addition to such written consent, the court shall require a written home study report from the county department of social services, the designated qualified individual, or the child placement agency approved by the state department of human services pursuant to section 19-5-207.5(2) showing the following:

(a) The physical and mental health, emotional stability, and moral integrity of the petitioner and the ability of the petitioner to promote the welfare of the child;  but no physical examination shall be required of any person who in good faith relies upon spiritual means or prayer in the free exercise of religion to prevent or cure disease unless there is reason to believe such person's physical condition is such that he or she would be unable to take care of such child;

(b) Confirmation that the petitioner has participated in adoption counseling if the court deems appropriate.  The counseling may address the permanence of the decision, the impact of the decision on the adopting parent and the adopting parent's family now and in the future, and the issues that may arise in the event that the adoptee at some time in the future desires to contact the relinquishing parent.

(c) The physical and mental condition of the child;

(d) The child's family background, including the names of parents and other identifying data regarding the parents, if obtainable;

(e) Reasons for the termination of the parent-child legal relationship;

(f) The suitability of the adoption of this child by this petitioner and the child's own disposition toward the adoption in any case in which the child's age makes this feasible;  and

(g) The length of time the child has been in the care and custody of the petitioner.

(2.5)(a)(I) In all petitions for adoption, whether by the court, the county department of social services, or child placement agencies, in addition to the written home study report described in subsection (2) of this section, the court shall require the county department of social services, the designated qualified individual, or the child placement agency to conduct a criminal history records check for any prospective adoptive parent or any adult residing in the home.

(II) For purposes of fulfilling the criminal history records check required in subparagraph (I) of this paragraph (a), the state board of human services shall promulgate rules concerning petitions for adoption when a child is placed for adoption by the county department of social services or a child placement agency to require each prospective adoptive parent attempting to adopt a child placed for adoption by the county department of social services or a child placement agency to obtain fingerprint-based criminal history record checks through the Colorado bureau of investigation and the federal bureau of investigation.  The prospective adoptive parent to whom this subparagraph (II) applies shall be responsible for the cost of the criminal history record checks.

(III) For purposes of fulfilling the criminal history records check required in subparagraph (I) of this paragraph (a), a prospective adoptive parent, other than a prospective adoptive parent specified in subparagraph (II) of this paragraph (a), shall obtain fingerprint-based criminal history record checks through the Colorado bureau of investigation and the federal bureau of investigation.  A prospective adoptive parent to whom this subparagraph (III) applies shall be responsible for providing a complete set of fingerprints to the Colorado bureau of investigation and for obtaining the fingerprint-based criminal history record checks.  The prospective adoptive parent shall also be responsible for the cost of the criminal history record checks.

(IV) A prospective adoptive parent described in subparagraph (III) of this paragraph (a) shall be responsible for presenting the results of his or her fingerprint-based criminal history record checks and the results of the fingerprint-based criminal history records checks of any adult residing in the home to the court for review by the court.  The county department of social services or the child placement agency, as may be appropriate, shall report to the court any case in which a fingerprint-based criminal history record check reveals that the prospective adoptive parent who is attempting to adopt a child placed for adoption by a county department of social services or child placement agency or any adult residing in the home was convicted at any time of a felony or misdemeanor in one of the following areas:

(A) Child abuse or neglect;

(B) Spousal abuse;

(C) Any crime against a child, including but not limited to child pornography;

(D) Any crime, the underlying factual basis of which has been found by the court on the record to include an act of domestic violence, as defined in section 18-6-800.3, C.R.S .;

(E) Violation of a protection order, as described in section 18-6-803.5, C.R.S .;

(F) Any crime involving violence, rape, sexual assault, or homicide;  or

(G) Any felony physical assault or battery conviction or felony drug-related conviction within, at a minimum, the past five years.

(a.5)(I) Notwithstanding the provisions of sub-subparagraph (B) of subparagraph (II) of paragraph (b) of this subsection (2.5), a licensed child placement agency or a county placement agency may conduct an investigation of a prospective adoptive parent's background only if the fingerprint-based criminal history records check required pursuant to paragraph (a) of this subsection (2.5) reveals that the prospective adoptive parent was convicted of a felony or misdemeanor at least ten years prior to the application for adoption.

(II) If a licensed child placement agency or a county placement agency conducts an investigation of the prospective adoptive parent, it shall have the opportunity to present its findings to the juvenile court responsible for reviewing the petition for adoption.  The licensed child placement agency or the county placement agency shall provide to the juvenile court responsible for reviewing the petition for adoption:

(A) A certified copy of any criminal court documentation substantiating the disposition of the applicant's felony criminal case;  or

(B) Certified documentation that the court records concerning the felony case have been destroyed or are otherwise unavailable.

(III) Pending the results of the investigation by the licensed child placement agency or the county placement agency and the juvenile court's ruling on the eligibility of the applicant for the placement of a child, the child shall not be placed in the prospective adoptive parent's home if the fingerprint-based criminal history records check revealed that the prospective adoptive parent was convicted at any time of a felony or misdemeanor.

(b)(I) Except as otherwise provided in subparagraph (II) of this paragraph (b), a person convicted of a felony offense specified in subparagraph (IV) of paragraph (a) of this subsection (2.5) may be allowed to adopt a child if:

(A) The applicant has had no further arrests or convictions subsequent to the conviction;

(B) The applicant has not been convicted of a pattern of misdemeanors, as defined by rule of the state board of human services;  and

(C) The court enters a finding consistent with section 19-5-210(2)(d) that the adoption is in the best interests of the child.

(II) A person convicted of a felony offense as described in this subparagraph (II) shall not be allowed to adopt a child if there is:

(A) A felony conviction on the application for adoption that involves child abuse, as described in section 18-6-401, C.R.S .;  a crime of violence, as defined in section 18-1.3-406, C.R.S .;  or a felony offense involving unlawful sexual behavior, as defined in section 16-22-102 (9), C.R.S .;

(B) A felony conviction on the application for adoption that occurred less than five years prior to the application that involved physical assault or battery or a drug-related offense;  or

(C) A felony conviction on the application for adoption that occurred less than ten years prior to the application and involved domestic violence, as defined in section 18-6-800.3, C.R.S .

(c) In addition to the fingerprint-based criminal history records check, the county department of social services, the individual, or the child placement agency conducting the investigation shall contact the state department of human services and the appropriate entity in each state in which the prospective adoptive parent or parents or any adult residing in the home has resided in the preceding five years to determine whether the prospective adoptive parent or parents or any adult residing in the home has been found to be responsible in a confirmed report of child abuse or neglect and shall report such information to the court.  Information obtained from any state records or reports of child abuse or neglect shall not be used for any purpose other than completing the investigation for approval of the prospective adoptive parent.

(d) The state board of human services shall promulgate rules setting forth the procedures for the fingerprint-based criminal history record check and the report to the court described in paragraph (a) of this subsection (2.5).

(3) In proposed relative adoptions, the court shall review the report prepared pursuant to subsection (2) of this section.  The court may order further assessment if the court deems it necessary.

(4) Any party to the adoption proceeding may be entitled to see the report required by subsection (2) of this section;  except that the names of parents and adoptive parents and any means of identifying either shall not be made available except upon order of the court.

(8) If a court orders a county department of social services to counsel a birth parent concerning relinquishment of a child pursuant to the provisions of sections 19-5-103 and 19-5-104 , the county department shall charge a fee to meet the full cost of the counseling.

(9) If the child is being placed in an adoptive home by a licensed child placement agency, such agency shall file an affidavit with the court stating that the agency's license is in good standing with the department.  A licensed child placement agency involved in an adoption proceeding pursuant to this article shall immediately notify the court in writing of any suspension, revocation, or denial of its license or of any disciplinary action taken against the agency by the state of Colorado.  Failure of the agency to provide such notification shall be a class 3 misdemeanor punishable by a fine of five thousand dollars.  The department shall, by rule, adopt a mechanism by which a child placement agency shall notify the court of any disciplinary action against the agency.





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