Minnesota adoption laws


Any individual who has lived in Minnesota for at least 1 year may adopt.

Can LGBT families adopt? Yes, same-sex couples can petition for joint adoption.


Can adoptive parents advertise for birth parents? Yes.

Can out-of-state residents finalize an adoption? No, except if related within 3 degrees or close family friend of child.

Can adopting parents use an adoption facilitator or another paid intermediary? Yes, only the commissioner or a child-placing agency may act as an adoption facilitator. The child’s birth parent may aid in the placement of their child in a preadoptive home, but can’t accept payment.

What birth parent expenses may be paid, and in what time period? Medical, legal, counseling, necessary living (transportation, utilities, phone, meals, lodging. Birthmother must show loss of income or increased expenses due to pregnancy. All payments must be made through agency or attorney. Gifts or educational expenses prohibited. Payments for placement is a misdemeanor. Contract requiring birthmother to reimburse adoptive parent’s expenses if adoption fails is void. Generally 6 weeks postpartum.

Is there a putative father registry? Yes.

When can consent to adoption be granted? 72 hours after birth.

 When does consent become irrevocable? If consent is revoked, is return to birth parent automatic? 10 days after signing. Return is automatic.

Are post-adoption contact agreements legally enforceable? Yes, as long as the agreement is in writing and approved by the court.


Is a foreign adoption decree automatically recognized by the state? Yes, if the decree is issued abiding by the laws of that country. The foreign adoption must be verified by the granting of an IR-3 visa by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Can parents readopt in this state? Is it mandatory? Yes, when the court receives the following: a petition from the adoptive parents stating that the adoption was completed under the laws of a foreign country, a copy of the child’s birth record if possible, a copy of the final adoption certificate or its equivalent, and a copy of the child’s passport including the US visa verifying IR-3 immigration status, as well as certified English translations of any of these documents that are not in English.

When will a U.S. birth certificate be issued? The State Registrar will issue a birth record upon receipt of the decree of adoption, a certificate of adoption, or a certified copy of the decree and evidence given by the Commissioner of Human Services verifying the date and place of birth and parentage if possible.


Are adoption subsidies available? When do they start and how long do they last? Yes, subsidies are available for a special needs child, who is defined as having one of the following: member of a sibling group in which one sibling is older than 15 months, has or is at risk for developing a documented physical, mental, emotional, or behavioral condition. Starts upon adoption finalization.

Where can I learn more about the process of adopting a child from foster care in Minnesota? http://www.dhs.state.mn.us/main/idcplg?IdcService=GET_DYNAMIC_CONVERSION&RevisionSelectionMethod=LatestReleased&dDocName=id_000150

Human Services Building
444 Lafayette Road
St. Paul, MN 55155
(651) 282-3793