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Adopting a Child: A Guide for Adoptive Families in Minnesota

Adopting a Child: A Guide for Adoptive Families in Minnesota

June 4, 2023

By Johnson/Turner Legal

Adopting a Child: A Guide for Adoptive Families in Minnesota

June 4, 2023

By Johnson/Turner Legal

Learn about the process of adopting a child in Minnesota, its requirements, and the law in our guide. Connect with our Minnesota adoption lawyers today.

At any given time, there are over 100,000 orphaned children across the United States waiting patiently for a loving, permanent family.

Adopting a child is one of the most selfless things a person can do. Rather than adding another child to this cruel world, they give a home to one who already exists. Regardless of the goodness of your heart, you need to be fully versed in how the adoption process works in Minnesota.

Adoption in Minnesota is very similar to the adoption requirements found elsewhere. Keep reading as we discuss Minnesota adoption law and all the little details you should be aware of.

Before Adopting a Child, Be Sure You Are Ready

It goes without saying that a Minnesota adoption can take a long time to finalize. Steps involve working with the adoption agency, local government, and federal government–and in some cases, a foreign government.

This long adoption process is emotionally draining for all involved. Even with the help of a good adoption lawyer, you should not expect things to go much faster than the average. There are established protocols that everyone must obey, regardless of how persuasive a lawyer may be.

Further, you should resolve any personal issues ahead of time. Many couples are dealing with infertility grief and have not come to terms with it. Or, you may have a difficult life situation, such as caring for an elderly family member or overcoming a disease/condition.

Whatever the case, be 100% sure that you are ready to devote all your time and energy to adopting a child. After all, even a biological child would be a major life decision that would require all of your faculties just the same.

Choose Your Type of Adoption

Adoption is not universal. Here are some of the types of adoption you will need to choose from.

Domestic Adoption

This is the most common option that people choose. You will be adopting a child born in Minnesota or the US.

You have two main choices here: adopt with a major agency like American Adoptions, or adopt with a smaller, local agency. The only real difference is that a major agency will be able to handle the entire process for you regardless of where the child was born.

Foster Care Adoption

You may not be up for the idea of adopting a child in the long term. Or, you are more flexible. You are less concerned about the age of the child, if they have any siblings, or if there is the possibility they may be reunited with their biological parents.

Foster children may have additional needs above average, such as mental illness or health conditions. If you plan to open your home periodically to children as a temporary living situation, this is the right choice for you.

International Adoption

You may be less concerned with a child’s background. Perhaps you want to help a severely disadvantaged child. In that case, consider international adoption.

International adoptions tend to be the most complex. You’re dealing primarily with the laws of a foreign country. Depending on the age of the child, you may be adopting a child that already speaks another language.

Fill out the Necessary Paperwork

Now you have decided which type of adoption you will have. It’s time to head to an adoption agency, and we will use American Adoptions as an example.

First, you will fill out a questionnaire. The APQ (Adoption Planning Questionnaire) helps to place you. Then you create an adoption profile and carry out a Minnesota home study.

Once you get approved, you are ready to begin the adoption process in earnest. The agency will begin to field your adoption application and match you with a child.

You may need a lawyer to help you with this process. Hire an adoption lawyer to ensure that all of your paperwork is in order before submission.

Wait for an Opportunity to Appear

As we mentioned in the intro, there are a lot of children circulating in the adoption system. But that doesn’t mean that you will get a match immediately. Adoption agencies consider a wide variety of factors before they eventually pair a child with their adoptive parents.

The process varies wildly from situation to situation. You might wait only a month, but generally speaking, you shouldn’t have to wait longer than a year.

In many cases, you are waiting for a child to be born whose parents put them up for adoption. Parents must wait at least 72 hours before this option become available and they can terminate their parental rights. This is why you may very suddenly get the news that there is a child in need of a home.

Get ICPC Clearance, Post-Placement, and Final Hearing

If you plan to adopt a child from another state than Minnesota, then the ICPC will need to clear it. Then you will need to go through the aforementioned post-placement assessment.

For the final step, you will appear before the juvenile court that has jurisdiction over your area. It is here where a judge will proclaim your parental rights to the child. With this done, you have full legal custody and the child is completely in your care.

Again, you may need a lawyer’s assistance here. Hire an adoption lawyer to make sure the court proceedings go smoothly.

You may choose at this point to have an open adoption. This means that correspondence between the child and their biological parents is allowed. This will happen through the adoption agency, ensuring there is no bad blood or drama that could harm the child’s upbringing.

Get Your Representation with Johnson/Turner

Adopting a child is a massive life decision, made more difficult by adoption agencies and federal regulations. It is a long process that requires a ton of patience and a ton of paperwork. You may need an adoption lawyer to help you through the process, but the process will be worth it.

Johnson/Turner can help you with your adoption, child custody, or divorce-related cases. We offer flat fees, unlike most firms that do only hourly rates. Schedule a guidance call here so we can best assess your situation.


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