How Do I...? >
How Do I Adopt?
How to file a Petition for Adoption
The Petition for Adoption may be obtained from a legal publisher, court administration or the licensed adoption agency in which you are involved. Both petitioners must sign and date the petition in the presence of a notary public, where applicable.
Step-parent Adoption Petitions/Consents
A Consent of Birth Mother/Birth Father is needed when applicable. This consent must be signed in the presence of two witnesses and a notary public before filing with the court.
Adult Adoption Petition/Consent (adoptee is over the age of 18)
The consent of the adoptee must be signed and dated in the presence of two witnesses and a notary public. A consent is not needed from the birth mother/birth father.
Validity of Inter-country Adoptions
The adoption of a child by a resident of this state under the laws of a foreign country is valid and binding under the laws of this state if the validity of the foreign adoption has been verified by the granting of an IR-3 VISA for the child by the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service.
What are the forms to be filed?
The petitioner(s) must file with the court the following:
- A petition/application by the adoptive parent(s) requesting that the court issue a Minnesota birth certificate and stating that the adoptive parents completed adoption of the child under the laws of a foreign country and that the adoption is valid in this state. The petition/application must be in the form of a signed, sworn and notarized statement. The following documents must accompany the petition/application.
- A copy of the child’s original birth certificate, if available.
- A copy of the final adoption certificate or equivalent as issued by the foreign jurisdiction.
- A copy of the child’s passport including the United States VISA indicating IR-3 immigration status.
- Certified English translations of any of the documents above that are not written in the English language
- Proposed order/decree confirming the validity of the inter-country adoption which also orders that the Minnesota Department of Vital Statistics issue a Minnesota birth certificate.
- Certificate of adoption
- Minnesota Birth Certificate Application
- Appropriate filing fees
What can I expect after I file the proper documents?
When the Court receives the documents, they are reviewed for accuracy. The documents are then given to a Judge of District Court and reviewed for compliance with the Minnesota Statutes. If acceptable, the same will be approved by the Judge. A clerk of the will process the file and forward the appropriate forms to the petitioners, Minnesota Department of Vital Statistics, and Minnesota Department of Human Services.
- Certificate of Adoption: review this form and note that Section 2 indicates the proper fee to obtain a new/amended birth certificate. Make this check payable to “Treasurer, State of Minnesota”.
- Filing Fee/certified copy fee: Check with your District Court. An additional certified copy fee will be charged to send a certified copy of the decree/order to the Minnesota Department of Vital Statistics.
Where to obtain forms
Court Administration does not have the forms to validate inter-country adoptions at the present time. You will either need to contact a legal publisher or your agency to obtain these forms.
What are the fees?
Filing Fees: To be paid at the time of the case filing.
Certified Copies (Judgement and Decree): To be paid at the hearing.
Minnesota Certificate of Adoption: To be paid at the hearing.
When can I call and obtain a hearing for finalizing the adoption?
In most cases when the court has received all the proper documents from the local social services agency or the licensed adoption agency involved with the adoption, you will be notified by them to call the court for a hearing date and time.
More information regarding the hearing
What to bring to the hearing
Both petitioners and the adoptee must attend the hearing. Family members, friends and cameras are also welcome. Video cameras are at the discretion of each judge. Also, your checkbook will be needed to pay for fees with regard to certified copies and the new/amended birth certificate. Cash cannot be accepted for payment of the amended birth certificate.
Do I have to have a home study completed in a step-parent adoption?
Per Minnesota Statutes, a home study must be completed in step-parent adoptions.
Waiver of the home study
The home study requirement may be waived per Minnesota Statutes 259.41, Subd. 1(b). Please note that the petitioner(s) or their attorney must request said waiver according to the above statute by drafting all of the necessary paperwork.
If the home study has been waived, a background check must still be done per M.S. 259.41, Subd. 3. The probate division will send notification of this to you or your attorney by mail.
Where can I obtain forms?
To view adoption forms that may be printed and filed with District Court, click forms on the left side of this screen. Any forms not listed may be obtained by way of a legal publisher.
Certificate of Adoption (obtain by contacting the District Court or the Minnesota Department of Human Services)
Minnesota Birth Certificate Application (obtain by contacting the District Court or the Minnesota Department of Health).
What if the adoptee is over the age of 14?
If the adoptee is between the ages of 14 – 17 years the adoptee must consent to the adoption in the presence of a representative of the Commissioner of Human Services.
What can I do if I cannot obtain the birth parent’s consent?
If you cannot obtain a consent from the adoptees birth father/mother, it is possible that you will need to terminate their parental rights prior to the adoption being filed. For information on terminating parental rights please contact your legal advisor.
What if I am going to adopt two children?
If you are adopting two or more children who have the same biological parents you may file one Petition for Adoption that includes all the children along with one filing fee. Each adoptee will need to have separate forms for finalizing the adoptions. Those forms are as follows:
Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, Order for Judgment
Judgement and Decree
Certificate of Adoption
Minnesota Birth Certificate Application
If you are adopting two or more children who do not have the same biological parents you must file a separate Petition for Adoption, filing fee and all other forms associated with the adoption for each adoptee.
Minnesota Fathers’ Adoption Registry
Ordering a New Birth Certificate
Self-Help Center Adoption Information
The information contained on this site is not intended as legal advice but as a general guide to explain the legal process.