Experienced Representation in Stepparent and Second Parent Adoptions
When you marry someone who has children, you may consider legally adopting those children. In addition to giving the children a sense of belonging in your family, formal adoption offers legal benefits as well. In a stepparent or second parent adoption, you want an experienced lawyer to protect your interests and help shepherd you through the process.
I am experienced in handling a wide range of issues related to adoption, including stepparent, second parent and relative adoptions. I understand the emotional impact these matters have and provide responsive, compassionate and thorough representation to individuals and families in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area and throughout the entire state of Minnesota.
Under Minnesota law, a stepparent seeking to adopt minor children must:
I work with stepparents, whether the adoption is uncontested or the biological non-custodial parent is contesting the adoption. Many of my clients come to me shortly after their marriage, but I also handle stepparent adoptions when families have been together for a significant period of time, after the adopting parent and child have had an opportunity to bond.
Second Parent and Same Sex Adoption
In a second parent adoption, a party unrelated by marriage establishes parental rights to a minor child. Second parent adoptions are most commonly used by same sex couples, but can also be beneficial in many other situations. To complete a second parent adoption successfully in Minnesota, you must obtain permission from the court to file the adoption petition. I provide the same services to individuals in second parent adoptions that I do in stepparent adoptions. I have extensive experience in these types of adoptions, having been mentored and trained in adoption by renowned attorney Suzanne Born, who completed the first second parent adoption in Minnesota in 1991. I have completed second parent adoptions in Anoka, Benton, Blue Earth, Brown, Carver, Chisago, Cottonwood, Dakota, Fillmore, Goodhue, Hennepin, LeSueur, Olmsted, Pine, Ramsey, Scott, Sherburne, Stearns, Wabasha, Washington and Wright counties.
Open Adoption/Direct Placement Adoption
If you have made the momentous decision to adopt, you want an experienced lawyer to protect your interests, one who has successfully helped many others experience the joy of bringing children into their homes. I will provide thorough and compassionate counsel as you move through the process.
In Minnesota, as is the case across the United States, the majority of adoptions that do not involve foster care placements are direct placements, also known as an open adoptions or independent adoptions. In this type of adoption, the birth mother chooses a family to adopt a child before or shortly after the child is born. From our law offices in Minneapolis, we have many years of experience handling a wide range of issues related to direct placement or independent adoption.
To complete a direct placement adoption you must have a home study completed by a licensed adoption agency. This is true even if you have connected with a birth mother without the assistance of an agency. The birth mother will need separate legal representation. If the birth mother will be giving birth in another state, you will also need to comply with the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC). If the child is an Indian child, the requirements of the Indian Child Welfare Act and the Minnesota Indian Preservation Act must also be met.
The law in Minnesota requires that the birth mother (and birth father, if present) have separate counsel from the adoptive parents. The birth mother (and father, if involved) must sign a Consent to Adoption form in the presence of two witnesses, generally a social worker and staff at the adoption agency.
If you seek to adopt a child through an open adoption, I will work closely with you to make certain that all legal requirements are met and that all issues are carefully considered and addressed. I will serve as your liaison with the adoption agency. I will work with you to obtain a court order authorizing the hospital to discharge the baby directly to you, and I will also act as your advocate if there are issues that arise during the consent period after the child is born.
For experienced representation in matters related to direct placement adoptions in Minnesota contact my office or call me at 612-217-2137 to schedule a free initial consultation. Together, we will work to protect your interests in this dynamic time for your family.