Skip To Content

What is Child Welfare Adoption?

image of adult hand and child hand in a heart shape.

Children become available for adoption when their biological parents’ legal rights are terminated by the Weld County District Court. Parental rights are terminated as a result of child abuse, child neglect, or abandonment; after all other avenues have been exhausted. Parents may also choose to voluntarily give up their parental rights; this process is called "relinquishment." The end result is the same: The biological parents no longer have any legal rights to the children.


Single adults, married couples, unmarried couples and same-sex couples can petition to adopt children in Colorado per state law. Adoptive parents are granted all legal rights to the child, just as if the child had been born to them. All potential adoptive parents must go through an extensive approval process, including a thorough home study, personal interviews, reference checks and fingerprint background checks.


Generally, the Department promotes adoption by the child’s current foster parent(s) or caregiver(s); however, in some situations, this is not possible. Sometimes the foster parents are unable to adopt the child (for a variety of reasons), or the child’s special needs require that he/she participate in extended treatment or other therapeutic interventions before he/she will be ready for adoption. Our Adoption Unit works diligently to find appropriate adoptive homes for children, utilizing many different resources to find the best match for the child. Caseworkers access information regarding possible adoptive families from many different agencies both inside and outside Colorado. Once an adoptive family has been selected and the child has been placed in their home, the caseworker provides the adoptive family with resources and supportive services. The Department also assists the adoptive family by helping them navigate the court process until the adoption is finalized.


After finalization, the Department offers post finalization support services to all the families who have adopted through Weld County and to families who adopted elsewhere, but reside in Weld County. 

Weld County's waiting kids

Weld County Department of Human Services has custody of many legally-free children and teens who are still waiting for a forever family. Because these young people have suffered abuse and/or neglect in their past, some have complex medical, intellectual, developmental or emotional/behavioral issues. All of them deserve the safety, stability and support of a loving family.

Meet our legally-free young people by clicking on a photo below:

Meet Alexis  Meet Janie

Please note, only families who already have a home study are eligible to adopt from Weld County. If you are interested in our waiting kids, you can learn about them and the adoption process by emailing or by calling (970) 400-6472.

National Adoption Day

National Adoption Day

In the United States, there are more than 123,000 children in foster care who need permanent, loving families, and many have been waiting years to get adopted. But there is hope. On National Adoption Day, an unprecedented number of courts in 400 communities in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam will open their doors to finalize the adoptions of thousands of children from foster care, and to celebrate all families who adopt. Every year on National Adoption Day, a collective national effort to raise awareness of children waiting in foster care to find permanent homes and loving families.


In Colorado alone, more than 400 children in foster care are waiting to find families they can call their own. It is unacceptable that any child should not have the opportunity for a safe, loving and permanent home. Weld County residents can make a difference in the life of a child.

Visit for more information.