Adoption takes many forms in Minnesota, including traditional adoption, open adoption, international adoption, stepparent adoption and grandparent adoption. Each is unique in terms of both the law, and the court process involved in bringing matters to conclusion.

According to the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control, about 6 percent of married women between 15 and 44 struggle with infertility. These women cannot become pregnant after 12 months of unprotected sex. They might seek other alternatives, such as assisted reproduction. If you have decided to pursue assisted reproduction options, either by yourself or with a partner, this brief overview can help you make informed decisions.

•    Superovulation and Intrauterine Insemination. Superovulation and Intrauterine Insemination optimizes the woman’s chances of conception by stimulating the ovaries so that they release more than one egg each cycle. At the same time, the eggs are exposed to more sperm. This process can double or even triple the chances of conception and also increase the risk of a pregnancy with multiples. In

•    Vitro Fertilization. First used in 1978, IVF involves egg fertilization that occurs outside of the body. These babies are sometimes called test-tube babies.

•    Follicle stimulation and monitoring. The woman receives high doses of follicle-stimulating hormones in order to encourage the production of multiple eggs. She gives herself these shots for 10 days and sees the doctor every two to three days for monitoring in order to ensure that the optimal number of eggs develops.

•    Egg Retrieval. A nurse retrieves anywhere from zero to 30 eggs or oocytes from the woman while she is sedated. The eggs are examined by the embryologist and then incubated until the sperm fertilize them.

•    Fertilization and Incubation. The sperm and eggs are then incubated for a few days.

•    Embryo Transfer Procedure. The doctor transfers the embryos to the uterus via a catheter. The mother should rest after the transfer to allow for the implant.
Cryopreservation. The couple might want to freeze the embryos for later use. When they decide to have more children, the lab thaws the embryos, then transferring them to the uterus.

•    Testicular Sperm Extraction. In some cases, the man might not have any sperm in his ejaculate. However, sperm can still be removed from the testicle.

•    Gestational Carrier. A woman might not be able to carry a baby in her uterus, even though her ovaries and eggs function properly. Once IVF is completed, the embryos are then placed in a gestational surrogate, who carries the baby. After birth, the baby belongs to the biological parents. Before hiring a surrogate, all parties should seek legal counsel from an experienced family law attorney.

•    Donor Egg Program (DEP). If the woman cannot produce her own eggs, she might receive them from a donor. After IVF, the eggs undergo fertilization by either a sperm donor or her partner.

•    Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI). In this method, the lab injects a single sperm directly into a mature egg. The process can sometimes be more effective than traditional IVF methods.

The possibility of expanding your family through adoption is exciting, scary, joyful and confusing all at once. When people imagine adopting a young baby or older child, though, they sometimes labor under mistaken ideas about what is actually involved and how adoption works in Minnesota. We wanted to set the record straight.

Many perfectly qualified would-be adoptive parents, for instance, never move forward with the process, because they’re intimidated by the prospect of a home study program or background check. The truth is that this kind of “vetting” does not have to be stressful or consuming.

Perfection: Not Required

Your family does not need to be perfect. During the home study, for instance, the social worker just looks for honesty and signs of a coherent, ethical family that knows how to identify, address and overcome challenges.

Five Misconceptions About Adoption in Minnesota

1.    You do not need to own your residence to qualify to adopt a child. If you rent a house or apartment, you’re still in the running.

2.    You do not need to meet minimum income requirements. If you’re an internet entrepreneur making $25,000 a year working at home, and your husband just started a new job as a school teacher making a modest salary, for instance, you will not be disqualified just because your household income is under some arbitrary cut off.

3.    A criminal background will not necessarily make you ineligible to adopt a child. Check with a qualified family law attorney to learn more if you have questions about specific crimes and their impact on a potential adoption.

4.    Not all adoptions are the same. There are special rules for adopting children aged 14+, for instance. Such an adoption may not need to go through a licensed child-placing agency in Minnesota, whether that agency is private or sanctioned by the government. You can adopt a child under the following conditions as long as he or she is older than 14 and wants to be adopted by you:
a.    A homeless child that you meet while volunteering in a soup kitchen.
b.    A child in foster care who attends the school where you work.
c.    A child, either homeless or in foster care, who attends your religious institution.

 5. You do not necessarily need to bankroll the costs of parenting without help. The courts provide monthly monetary assistance and medical insurance for parents who adopt special needs children, for instance. These payments range from $247 to $337 monthly per child, depending on the age of the child. The courts provide additional funds at four different levels, ranging between $150 and $500, depending on the severity of the disability.