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Everything You Need to Know About CORE Training in Colorado

By: Lisa Johnson

Published On: Apr 17, 2018

Everything You Need to Know About CORE Training in Colorado

CORE Training, a Colorado state law requirement, is mandated by law for those choosing to adopt; 13 topics needed to be completed within 16 hours by the prospective parents. As part of the Home Study Process, CORE training is required for all adoptive families to complete before the placement of a child, unless an exception is made by the adoption agency.

If an applicant is adopting for a second time, the CORE training does not need to be repeated if it was documented and completed during the first adoption.

What are the 13 topics introduced to adoptive parents?

1. Attachment/bonding

This topic informs the adoptive parents about the techniques and methods of how to create healthy bonds with the baby when he/she arrives in your home. Skin on skin contact is an example of a technique taught at this seminar.

2. Loss and grief issues for all parties of the adoption

Adoption is surrounded with issues of loss and grief on all sides. Learning to accept and validate feelings of hardship around issues of infertility, self-worth, and abandonment is crucial to your successful adoption. CORE training provides tools and new frameworks to see these issues in. Helping others feel felt and heard are invaluable tools to practice.

3. Adoption as a lifelong issue for all parties of the adoption

This topic helps adoptive parents realize that adoption is permanent. It is a lifelong process for everyone to work through and with, and it may not be easy. CORE training helps prepare prospective parents with techniques and coping methods throughout the process.

4. Key concepts of child growth/development

As a parent, there are special milestones that need to be made aware of for developing a healthy baby. This seminar teaches adoptive parents what to look for and how to apply these lessons in real life. For example, the importance of a child’s first steps or a child’s first time reading.

5. Boundary setting and discipline

A hard part of parenting is knowing when to say yes or no to your child. This topic encompasses answers to those questions; a book titled “Beyond Consequences, Logic, and Control: A Love Based Approach to Helping Children With Severe Behaviors” by B. Bryan Post and Heather T. Forbes explores these topics and answers all questions regarding boundary setting and discipline.

6. Parenting a child of a different cultural or racial background, infancy through adulthood

Adopting a child that has a different cultural or racial background can be a part of the adoption process that takes a while to understand, process, and accept. CORE training provides ideas to stay connected with this aspect of being an adoptee. Some techniques include keeping a circle of friends that are adopted so your child feels there is something in common with someone else, or visiting support groups for adopted children.

These books also help you and your child to honor his/her culture and your culture.

7. Disclosure issues including the accuracy of birth family history information, discussion with the children, sharing information with others

An important part of adoption is acknowledging that the birth parents of your child may not have presented the most accurate or valid information regarding their past. Family history is a key component linking the adoptee to their birth parents. It is important to know how to talk about family history and medical history with the adoptee. Studies show adoptee place a great deal of significance on where they came from, by remaining open and letting their curiosity be okay we can help create a positive relationship to their own history.

8. Understanding adoption laws/procedures, including termination of birth parents rights, the expedited relinquishment process and administrative notice for presumed birth father

The legal portion of CORE training explains the termination of parental rights (done in court), the expedited relinquishment process (filing with courts 4 days after the birth of the baby/final orders signed by the judge 7-10 business days after case is filed), and the birth father termination process.

9. Ongoing contact or communication with birth family and/or significant individuals, if applicable

This topic of CORE training explains the different kind of adoptions offered – semi-open adoptions and open adoptions. Semi-open adoption refers to a relationship with the birth parents that involves some communication, but nothing personal or confidential provided. An open adoption refers to a closer relationship with the birth parents, allowing them to meet and get to know the child.

10. Possible current and/or future uses of community resources, including help with parenting techniques

With several resources offered, explaining the mechanisms to attend to your child, this topic emphasizes how to provide a community to help your child grow. A particular book that truly has helped many parents is titled “Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew” by Sherrie Eldridge

11. Medical and health issues including shaken baby syndrome, parental substance abuse, relevant environmental issues and genetic risks

This important topic within CORE training helps parents learn about medical and health issues with children. This includes pre/postnatal impact of substances (used by birth mother) on infants and children. Certain facts about birth mothers include: the rate of current illicit drug use among pregnant women aged 15-44 was 5.4% across 2012 and 2013; pregnant women use alcohol and other drugs less than non-pregnant women of their same age. Risk factors and predispositions are explained here as well.

12. Expectations of adoption and the adoption process

Handling the expectations of adoption is key part of becoming an adoptive parent. This topic goes into depth explaining what will happen at the hospital, the grief and emotions that happen, and what to expect as a future parent.

13. Basic care and supervision appropriate to the age of the child

Parenting styles are honed in during this last part of CORE training. A book referenced and utilized to help parents is “Making Sense of Adoption” by Lois Ruskai Melina

Although these 13 topics are required by Colorado law, CORE training teaches and answers more questions (not required by law) for adoptive parents.

Some questions include:

  • What to wear at the hospital?
  • What to do when you meet birth parents?
  • What is ICPC?
  • What is finalization?

As part of CORE training, 4 guest speakers come to talk to the adoptive parents. A birth mother has a Q&A, an adoptive mother speaks, a nurturing newborn representative instructs parents on how to take care of a newborn, and an adult adoptee comes in for Q&A.

CORE training goes above and beyond to make sure adoptive parents are prepared and ready for their baby.


  • $650 per couple for CORE training (16 hours/13 topics)
  • $650 (if single parent)

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