If you are thinking about adopting child in Minnesota, you will be glad to know that our state has very liberal adoption laws. Bear in mind, however, that the following information applies only to the adoption laws of Minnesota and therefore children adopted through the juvenile division of the Department of Human Services. Private adoption agencies have their own rules and regulations to which you must adhere if you desire to adopt a child through them.
In terms of Minnesota law per se, no requirements exist with regard to any of the following:
- Minimum or maximum age you must be to adopt
- Marital status – single, married (heterosexual or same-sex), divorced or widowed
- Previous felony
- Specific health requirements
- Specific financial requirements
Minnesota does have a residency requirement for prospective adoptive parents. You must have lived in the state for at least one year before adopting unless a court waives that requirement in the best interests of your adoptive child. In addition, if you intend to adopt an older child, (s)he must consent to the adoption if (s)he is 14 years old or older.
You will need to undergo a home study before you can adopt an infant or child. A criminal background check is part of this study and includes FBI fingerprinting. As stated, if you have a previous felony criminal conviction, this does not automatically rule you out as an adoptive parent. Rather, the investigator will consider how long ago you received your conviction, the type of crime and other important factors.
The home study also includes investigation into all aspects of your home environment such as the following:
- Your financial ability to provide for your adoptive child and all other children living in your home
- Your physical health and that of anyone else living with you
- Your maturity, stability and emotional health
- Your commitment, willingness and ability to add a child to your home
Bear in mind that the costs of a domestic adoption can range between $25,000 and $50,000. Adopting a child internationally will cost more, especially considering your travel costs.