Adoption is a legal process that gives adoptive parents and adoptees (the persons being adopted) legal rights, benefits, and protections. The person being adopted could be a minor (under the age of 18) or an adult. Adoption cases, including court files and hearings, are confidential and not open to the public or non-parties, except by court order.
There are legal impacts to any adoption, whether it is for a minor or an adult. They affect the person being adopted, the birth family, and the adopting parents. See the FAQs tab for a summary of some of the legal impacts of adoption. It is recommended that you talk to a lawyer
to learn more about these impacts.
Minor (Child) Adoption
The decision to adopt a child can be an exciting and emotional event, but it is also a serious matter because it involves the well-being of a child. Adoption laws are based on the best interests of the child, and certain laws give special protection for children such as the Indian Child Welfare Act. Different types of minor adoptions include:
- Relative adoption (also called "kinship" adoption);
- Step-parent adoption;
- Agency adoption (including children who are wards of the state and children placed through private agencies such as charitable or religious organizations);
- Private adoption (usually arranged between biological parents and adoptive parents, and facilitated by an adoption lawyer); and
- International or intercountry adoption.
An adult adoption is the adoption of a person who is 18 years of age or older. In MN, any adult person may be adopted regardless of where they live.