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Washington County Family Law Attorneys Help Clients with Adoption

Guiding clients through the adoption process in Washington County, Dakota County, Burnsville, Stillwater and Woodbury, MN

About 2,000 children are adopted in Minnesota every year. Of these, more than a third are stepparent or relative adoptions, and the others include international adoptions, infant adoptions and adoptions of children under state guardianship. In an adoption, the adoptive parents assume all legal rights and responsibilities of the biological parents in connection with the child. All parties — especially the adoptive parents — should have legal representation. At Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A., we are experienced in resolving the issues that arise during the adoption process.

What is the adoption process in Minnesota?

In Minnesota, birth parents, adoptive parents and the courts must take a number of steps before a court can grant an adoption petition. Those steps include:

  • Birth parents —The birth parents must sign a form consenting to the adoption. They cannot sign the consent form until 72 hours after the child’s birth. The form must be signed within 60 days after the child’s placement with the prospective adoptive parents. The consent becomes final 10 business days after the birth parents sign it. During those 10 days, the birth parents can still request the return of the child. On the 11th day, however, the consent becomes irrevocable. If a birth parent refuses to sign a consent to the adoption, it may be possible to terminate that parent’s parental rights to the child.
  • Adoptive parents — The prospective adoptive parents must submit to an adoption home study, conducted by a licensed adoption agency or the county social services department. A home study may not be required if the prospective adoptive parent is a grandparent, sibling, aunt, uncle or stepparent of the child.
  • The courts — Prospective adoptive parents must seek an order from their county’s district court for placement of the child. No formal hearing is required at this point. The court reviews the home study and certain other documents, and decides whether to approve the placement. Within 12 months of the placement, the prospective parents must file a petition for adoption. The court will set a hearing date on the petition.  The child must have lived with the prospective adoptive parents for at least three months before the hearing.  Before the hearing, the agency that supervised the placement must submit its report to the court. At the hearing, the court will grant the adoption if the court determines that the adoption is in the child’s best interest. The records of the adoption are then sealed.

Our experienced family law attorneys keep prospective adoptive parents informed of every step of the adoption process.

What are the financial requirements to adopt a child?

Agencies that are part of the Public/Private Adoption Initiative do not charge fees for adoptions of Minnesota’s waiting children. Additionally, those who adopt children under state guardianship may be reimbursed for out-of-pocket costs up to $2,000. Adoptive parents may also be eligible for a federal tax credit for adoption.

Contact our experienced Minnesota adoption lawyers today

With an office in Oakdale, Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A. serves clients throughout Minnesota including, in Washington County, Dakota County, Burnsville, Eagan and Woodbury, MN. We have more than 50 years of combined experience in helping families overcome legal obstacles. Contact us online, or call us at 651-379-3024.

Our Attorneys
Client testimonials
  • "Tori had a thorough understanding of my situation and made excellent recommendations to resolve my concerns. She was persistent on communication and handled everything in a very timely manner. I would definitely hire her again in the future if needed." - M.K.

  • "With Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A., it is like having a family physician. They are all knowledgeable, thorough, comforting, and the only call I need to make for all my legal needs for many years to come. No matter what the matter, I totally trust their advice and commitment to me and my family." - J.N.

  • "Mary from APH Law helped me thru a difficult divorce. She and the entire staff was there for me every step of the way helping me on what to do next. They listened to what I wanted and helped me achieve what matter the most to me in the divorce settlement." - Dana C.

  • "I chose APH after my initial consultation with Mary. I felt my best interest would be represented. The entire process went excellent, the attorneys and staff communicated effectively and efficiently with me throughout the process as they needed to. Being new to the legal process and verbiage, they walked me and talked me through the next steps and the jargon, I felt completely comfortable and represented. I hope I never have to use legal services again but if I do I will call Mary at APH Law and know that I will be taken care of." - Jeff M.

  • "Divorce is a time of emotion and stress. Mary Pfeifer , My lawyer was professional and compassionate. She was very informative through the process. Her insight helped me in my decisions. She worked hard to obtain a settlement which was fair to both parties. Though, I hope I won't need her help again. It is reassuring to know a good person that is willing to help." - Rod S.

  • "I first came to Ms. Jacquelyn Lutz of Appelhof, Pfeifer and Hart in October of 2016. It was definitely the worst time in my life and she compassionately spoke with me about my options. Ms. Lutz thoroughly explained the laws, statutes, process and what to expect going forward. What was supposed to be one case, turned into three intricate cases that took a huge toll on me and my family. Ms. Lutz represented me in court on all three cases with a vast knowledge of the laws and how to proceed accordingly. During all three cases she kept me informed, calm, gave me resources to utilize, and (most important) gave me a realistic view of what may come next. Ms. Lutz knew each case required a great deal of knowledge and creative thinking on how to legally proceed forward with each case. My family and friends are forever grateful for the amazing representation by Ms. Lutz. I highly recommend Ms. Lutz for anyone needing or considering superb representation for any kind of family law. " - M.H.


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