Adoption By City

How to Adopt in Minnesota

Minnesota may be known as the land of 10,000 lakes, but it’s also home families seeking adoption opportunities and resources to begin their journey. Whether you are looking to adopt, looking to place your child for adoption, or searching for information about home studies and where to begin the process, the following information will be your guide to all things adoption in Minnesota.

What you need to know about adopting a baby in Minnesota

To get started on your adoption journey, it is important to understand some of the fundamental aspects and frequently asked question about the process. Here are a few things to know when considering adoption in Minnesota.

What are the laws and requirements for adopting a baby in Minnesota?

Any individual who wants to adopt a child in Minnesota must have lived in the state for at least 1 year unless they are an immediate family member of the adoptee. Prospective Adoptive Parents must be in good mental and physical health, and able to financially support the child.

How much does it cost to adopt a baby in Minnesota?

Expenses related to adoption in Minnesota range widely depending on the type of adoption you decide to pursue. Are you looking to adopt internationally or domestically? Through a private agency or the foster care system? Depending on what you decide, Adoptive Parents may be asked to cover expenses such as:

  • Counseling services for the Birth Mother
  • Medical costs for the Birth Mother and child
  • Legal fees
  • Reasonable expenses related to transportation, meals and living for the Birth Mother
  • Agency fees
  • Other reasonable living expenses for the Birth Mother up to 6 weeks after the child is born

How do you become a Foster Parent in Minnesota?

To become a Foster Parent in Minnesota, you must complete the following steps:

Can you finalize an international adoption in Minnesota?

International adoptions can be finalized in Minnesota as long as the child receives a visa from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services proving the validity of the foreign adoption. The Adoptive Parents then must petition in Minnesota court to change the child’s legal name, receive U.S. birth records and confirm the adoption. Documents including the child’s original birth certificate, passport and visa, adoption decree, and a petition for adoption from the Adoptive Parents will be required during the finalization process.

What is a facilitator and is it legal to use their services for adoption in Minnesota?

An adoption facilitator specializes in matching prospective Adoptive Families with expectant mothers; however, they are usually unlicensed and unregulated.

In Minnesota, it is illegal to use services other than a licensed adoption agency or professional for any adoption related processes, including: child placement, home study, and regulating expenses. The use of advertising for the purpose of adoption is not mentioned in Minnesota’s statues and regulations.

Click here to read about the difference between adoption agencies, attorneys, and facilitators.

What you need to know about placing your baby for adoption in Minnesota

If you are considering placing your child for adoption, understanding how the adoption process works as well as knowing your rights may relieve some of your worry. Here are a few things to know when considering adoption for your child in Minnesota.

Who must consent to an adoption in Minnesota?

In Minnesota, consent to adopt a child must be given by the child’s legal parent or guardian. If the child does not have a legal parent or guardian, consent must be given by the commissioner.

If consent of a Birth Parent under 18 years old is required, their legal guardian must also consent to the adoption process. If the minor Birth Parents are unable or disqualified from giving consent, the consent of their guardians will be required instead.

All adoptees age 14 or older must also give consent to their adoption.

For more information about adoption consent in Minnesota, click here.

When is consent not necessary for adoption in Minnesota?

Consent in a Minnesota adoption is not required by a Birth Parent who:

  • Is not entitled to the notice of adoption proceedings
  • Has abandoned the child
  • Has lost custody of the child through a divorce decree or a decree of dissolution
  • Whose parental rights to the child have been terminated or who has lost custody of a child through a final commitment of the juvenile court or through a decree in a prior adoption proceeding

How and when can Birth Parents consent to adoption in Minnesota?

Adoption consent may be given no earlier than 72 hours after the child is born and may be given not later than 60 days after the child has been placed into the adoptive home.

Consent to adoption must be given in writing and before 2 witnesses. It must also be executed before a representative of the commissioner, the commissioner's agent, or a licensed child placing agency.

All written consents to adoption must give notice of the following:

  • The right to revoke consent under specific conditions
  • That parental rights to a child may be terminated only by an adoption decree or by a court order terminating parental rights
  • The parent may be asked to support the child if they are not adopted
  • The consent doesn’t terminate parental rights necessarily

Can a Birth Parent revoke their consent to adoption in Minnesota?

A Birth Parent may revoke their consent to adoption within 10 working days of the acknowledgement of the consent. After 10 working days, consent becomes irrevocable unless otherwise ordered in court.

What rights do Birth Fathers have in the adoption process in Minnesota?

A man is considered the child’s father, therefore granting him parental rights if:

  • He was married to the child's Birth Mother when the child was born, or the child was born within 280 days after the marriage ended
  • He brings the child into his home and claims the child is his biologically
  • He and the child’s Birth Mother attempted to get married after the child's birth, but the marriage can be declared invalid and:
    • He filed written acknowledgement of his paternity with the State Registrar of Vital Statistics
    • He consented to be named as the father on the child's birth certificate
    • He must support the child by court order
  • He and the child's Birth Mother file a signed acknowledgement of paternity with the State Registrar of Vital Statistics

Minnesota also offers men who believe they may be a biological father the opportunity to be noticed of adoption proceedings with the Minnesota Fathers’ Adoption Registry. If a man registers within 30 days of a child's birth, he will be noticed of proceedings and has the possibility to participate in the decision making.

For more information about Birth Father rights in Minnesota click here.

Home study and Post Placement Requirements in Minnesota

Prospective Adoptive Parents in Minnesota are required to complete a home study before beginning the adoption process and a postplacement assessment after the adoption takes place. Both will assess your ability to provide a safe and stable environment for the child you wish to adopt.

During your Minnesota home study, each Prospective Parent should expect to:

  • Pass a criminal background check
  • Have an assessment of potential parenting skills
  • Prove sufficient financial means to support the child
  • Have an assessment of the level of knowledge and awareness of adoption issues including, matters relating to interracial, cross-cultural, and special needs adoptions, if appropriate
  • Be interviewed about their reason for pursuing adoption

To learn more about the home study process in Minnesota, click here.

Who oversees a home study in Minnesota and who is included in it?

All individuals over 13 years old living in the Prospective Adoptive Home will be included in the home study process conducted by a licensed child-placing agency.

Why would my home study not be approved in Minnesota?

A home study in Minnesota will not be approved if the Adoptive Parents or member of their household has been convicted of a felony at any time for:

  • Spousal abuse
  • Child abuse and neglect
  • A crime against a child, including pornography
  • A crime involving violence, including rape, sexual assault, or homicide

Approval may also be withheld if a background check shows a felony conviction in the past 5 years for physical assault or battery or a drug-related offense.

Is a home study different for stepparent or relative adoptions in Minnesota?

For relative and stepparent adoptions in Minnesota, only a criminal background check will be required for the home study process.

What are the home study requirements for adopting a baby from another state?

Any out-of-home placement of a child outside the State is subject to the provisions of the Minnesota Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children.

What is a post placement requirement and what happens during the process?

A post placement study in Minnesota should take place within the first 90 days of the petition of adoption. It is put in place to ensure the adoption is still in the best interest of the child and that conditions of the Adoptive Family's home have not changed to negatively impact the child. No petition will be granted until the child has lived in their adoptive home for at least 3 months.

The study and post placement report will include the following elements:

  • A recommendation to the court as to whether the petition of adoption should be granted
  • The health and well-being of the child in their new home
  • The level of incorporation of the child into their new home and family
  • The level of incorporation of the child’s ethnic and cultural history, as well as contact with their biological family
  • The adaptation into parenthood by the Adoptive Parents

What are the requirements for a Foster to Adopt placement in Minnesota?

If a Foster Parent wishes to adopt their Foster Child, they must go through the home study process mentioned above. Any home study requirement completed by the Foster Parents while getting their license to foster a child, may also count towards their home study requirements.

Minnesota Adoption Agencies and Professionals

Minnesota is home to some amazing adoption professionals who are ready to get your journey started. Whether you are interested in adopting a child or seeking resources to place your child for adoption, these professionals will guide you through the legal pathways and offer you support throughout your journey:

MN Adopt

612-861-6276

Evolve Adoption and Family Services

952-831-5707

New Horizons Adoption Agency

507-526-3518

Adoption Minnesota

800-444-3443

Children’s Home Society and Lutheran Social Services of Minnesota

651-646-7771

Things to do in Minnesota

If you find yourself in the North Star state awaiting an adoption finalization, you might consider spending some time exploring Minnesota's most popular destinations:

Mall of America in Bloomington

Minneapolis Institute of Art

Gooseberry Falls State Park in Two Harbors

National Eagle Center in Wabasha

Nickelodeon Universe in Bloomington

No matter your decision, we appreciate the time you have taken to read about how to adopt in Minnesota. Adoption Network Law Center wishes you the best of luck and is available to answer any further questions you may have about the adoption process. Call 1-866-602-9541 to speak with one of our amazing team members or visit https://adoptionnetwork.com/ to read more about our services. Whether you’re a soon-to-be Birth Parent or Prospective Adoptive Parent, ANLC wishes you the best on your adoption journey.