Adoption in Minnesota: What You Need to Know
Adopting a child can involve a series of very complicated, expensive court proceedings and other requirements, including intense background checks, personal interviews, and being matched with a particular child through an adoption agency. It is never advised to begin a legal process as serious as adoption without taking the time to seek out an experienced adoption attorney in Minneapolis, MN to represent you. As a family law matter, the adoption process is regulated at the state level in Minnesota. While the intricacies in adoption law are incredibly important to realize, the life changing emotional aspect of becoming a parent through adopting a child into your family should not be overlooked.
The state of Minnesota permits any person to be adopted, including adults. Anyone who is 14 years or older is required to consent to their adoption in writing before it can be finalized. In order to adopt a child in Minnesota, you are required to have lived in the state for one year or longer. However, this residency requirement can be reduced or waved by a family court judge, if doing so would clearly be in the child’s best interests.
Most states, including Minnesota, require all prospective adoptive parents to cooperate with an adoption home study and a background check. Minnesota additionally requires a home residency requirement of three months before the adoption can be finalized. This residency requirement can as well be waived by the court, if the judge sees fit.
Understanding the Basics of Minnesota Adoption Law
It can be difficult to understand adoption law due to the fact that statutes are usually written in legal jargon. It is important to work with an adoption attorney in Minneapolis, MN, who can provide you with an overview of the laws that affect your case in plain English. Adoption, at its core, is a legal process which transfers all parental rights and responsibilities to a person who is not the biological parent of the individual being adopted. Some of the most common reasons parents choose to adopt a child include:
- The inability to produce a biological child
- The desire to have a child as a same sex couple
- A stepparent who wishes to take on the parental rights and responsibilities of an absent biological parent
- Relatives or foster parents who wish to permanently parent a child in their care
- A pregnant birth mother and a married couple who wish to arrange a direct adoption
In addition to the varying reasons for choosing the adoption process, there are also multiple types of adoption in Minnesota:
- Open Adoption: An open adoption is the most commonly chosen form of adoption for parents in the United States. In an open adoption, identifying and contact information is shared between the biological mother and the adoptive parents. There can be varying levels of contact with the biological mother or parents, the adoptive parents, and the child throughout the child’s life, including phone calls, letter, pictures, emails, and even in-person visits. These parameters are sometimes agreed to before the birth of the child.
- Semi-Open Adoption: A semi-open adoption is very similar to an open adoption, except that it is limited to only the exchange of photos and communication via phone, mail, or email between the biological parents and the adoptive parents. There is no communication between the birth parents and the child.
- Closed Adoption: A closed adoption shares no identifying or contact information between the birth parents and the adoptive parents. The birth mother remains anonymous and there is no form of communication after the adoption is finalized.
Regardless of the type of adoption you choose, there are several common issues that can cause complications in the process:
- Adoptions that cross state or country borders
- Special needs adoptions
- Open adoptions in which the birth parents retain certain parental rights
- Non-traditional adoptions involving a same-sex couple, an unmarried couple, or a single parent
The Need for an Adoption Attorney in Minneapolis, MN
No matter what your involvement is in an adoption proceeding, it’s important to seek help from a qualified adoption lawyer in Minneapolis, MN. An experienced adoption attorney works for you to protect your interests and ensure that you are able to build the family you want. Whether you are a prospective parent or a biological parent, you need a qualified Minneapolis adoption attorney to make sure that you are adequately represented in all legal proceedings.
Adoption can give hopeful parents the ability to create or expand a family and provides loving, supportive adults to non-biological children who need them. However, it is a complex process that can take a very long time. If you are seeking to adopt a child or looking to protect your rights as a birth parent or a stepparent, contact a Minneapolis adoption attorney today.
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