Downtown Larimer Office: (303) 872-0084
East Denver Office: (303) 407-0453

Who is the Legal Parent?

Questions of who a legal parent may seem straight forward: Either you’re mom and dad by birth or you’re not.

However, there are situations where biology is not necessarily the determining factor. Colorado Revised Statutes §19-4-105 sets out a number of factors that create what is a presumption of paternity or maternity that include:

– Genetic test confirmation

– Consenting to being put on the birth certificate after an attempted marriage (that may be or has been invalidated)

– Birth of the child during a marriage or within 300 days of the relationship ending (by annulment, death, divorce, or other declaration that the marriage was invalid)

– Taking the child into your home and holding them out as your own child regardless of marital status

– Acknowledgement of paternity in writings filed with the court or registrar of vital statistics

With the exception of genetic testing, Colorado law applies these presumptions to both alleged mothers and fathers where practicable, presumably as a sign of the evolving nature of what is considered a family unit in the American mainstream culture.

Any one person may meet one or more of these presumptions and the law does not rank one presumption as the ultimate winner on its own. The decision ultimately comes down to questions of what is in the best interest of the child and what decision best conforms to the intent of the legislature.

It is possible for a biological parent to lose their legal status and rights if they have simply abandoned the child and there is a step-parent ready and willing to adopt the child. At that point a biological parent may consent to their rights being taken or have a hearing for the court to make that determination.

If you have questions about your status as a non-biological parent, please contact our office at or call 303-872-0084 for a consultation.

Disclaimer: The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only, and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information contained in this post should be construed as legal advice from Muhaisen & Muhaisen, LLC. or the individual author, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information included in, or accessible through, this Post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction