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As an adoptive parent, you could make a positive difference in the life of a child who desperately needs your love and care. Options abound; you can adopt domestically or internationally through an agency. You can adopt your new spouse’s child or get involved with Minnesota’s foster program. No matter which avenue you pursue, you’ll need to abide by local legislation. Not sure where to start? We offer a first look at the Minnesota adoption process below:

Adoption Requirements

Minnesota imposes residency requirements of one year for adoptive parents, although this can occasionally be reduced or even waived if it’s deemed in the best interests of the child. Those who hope to adopt must submit to background checks and take part in home studies; these measures help to determine whether parents are capable of providing the level of care adoptive children need. Stricter requirements may be imposed when adopting through a private agency.

The Role of Consent

Children ages 14 and older can be adopted, but as the Minnesota Rules of Adoption Procedure, they must consent to the adoption. Consent also is critical on the biological parent’s end, although it may not be required for parents who have abandoned their children or have had their rights terminated by the state’s juvenile court. For biological parents under the age of 18, the minor’s parents (the biological grandparents of the adoptive child) may also be required to provide consent.

Foster Care Adoptions

There is a strong need for adoptive parents in Minnesota, where at any time, hundreds or even thousands of children in the foster system may await adoption. As of August, 2018, for example, the Minnesota Department of Human Services(DHS) reported that 1,725 children were under state guardianship, with 820 in immediate need of adoptive families. Costs associated with state guardianship adoption are typically covered through a contract with DHS.

Are you ready to welcome an adopted child into your family? Legal assistance can make all the difference during this often difficult process. Contact the law firm of Barna, Guzy & Steffen, Ltd. today for more information.