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Colorado couple denied adoption due to medical marijuana use

When it comes to matters of child custody, courts in Colorado and across the U.S. generally make the decision that is in the best interests of the child. However, the legalization of medical marijuana in our state may become a factor in some of these decisions. A couple who recently pursued adoption of their great-granddaughter ended up being denied because of their use of medical marijuana.

The couple had been caring for their great-granddaughter for five months. The baby was placed with a foster family after her mother attempted to take her to the father's house to live. The couple started the adoption process and was negotiating with the foster family about the transfer of their great-granddaughter at the time their adoption request was denied.

They had been upfront about their medical marijuana use all along and claimed that it was never an issue until recently. The great-grandfather even sought out advice from the El Paso County Department of Human Services as to how to properly secure the marijuana. The head of DHS states that there is no policy denying child custody to medical marijuana users; however, there was a directive issued in 2010 against foster parents who use it.

The county has placed children in the homes of medical marijuana users in the past, so the couple in this case may wish to pursue their legal options for restarting the adoption process. Custody decisions in Colorado emphasize the well-being and safety of the child, so anyone facing a similar issue needs to be communicative about his or her medical marijuana use. Being proactive and seeking assistance when needed can go a long way toward resolving thorny adoption and child custody issues.

Source:, "Couple claims they were denied custody because of medical marijuana use," Andy Koen, July 9, 2013

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