Adopting a child is a wonderful experience. However, navigating the process of a Minnesota adoption is often not so wonderful. A good Minnesota adoption lawyer should be able to steer you in the right direction.
In this post, I will talk about the initial adoption requirements for people thinking about starting the adoption process in Minnesota.
(1): the adoptive parent must establish residency in Minnesota. This means that the adoptive parent must physically reside in a state for at least one-year unless the requirement is waived or modified by the court.
(2): assuming the adoptive parent meets the residency requirement, he or she must file a document called an “Adoption Petition” with the court. Also, in certain circumstances, the Adoption Petition should also be filed with an adoption agency or commissioner.
The next steps in the proceeding can be difficult to understand.
The most important aspect of getting the case started is making sure that the correct parties who have an interest in the health of the child or children are provided with “legal notice” of the proceeding.
As an example, the “necessary” parties to the adoption proceeding will usually include the biological parents of the child, an adoption agency, the petitioning adoptive parents and/or a guardian of the child.
Often, the court will not allow an adoption to proceed forward without the approval of an adoption agency. Therefore, an adoption agency may need to be notified and must be allowed to conduct an investigation into the person(s) who are attempting to adopt a child.
Furthermore, the court must find that the adoption is in the best interest of the child. A court must find that the adoption is in the best interest of the child in order to issue and adoption decree and allow the adoptive parent to adopt the child or children. The best interest standard is similar to the standard required for placement of children with a parent in a child custody case.
Determining what is “in the best interest of the child” is a complicated legal concept. Additionally, a qualified adoption attorney should know the best interest of the child standard very well and he or she will know how to convince a judge that the adoption is in the best interest of the child.
If all goes according to plan, the child(ren) will be recognized as the lawful child of the petitioning party. To be sure, that is a great thing.
See Considering Adopting a Child? Know the Initial Steps, Apple Valley Patch, April 16, 2012.