Completing Intercountry Adoptions Not Finalized Abroad - Minnesota

Date: May 2019

Requirements for Completing the Adoption

Citation: Ann. Stat. §§ 257.05; 259.22; 259.23; 259.53; 259.57

No person shall bring into the State any child for the purpose of procuring the child's adoption without first obtaining the consent of the Commissioner of Human Services.

Subject to State and Federal laws and rules, licensed adoption agencies and county social services agencies are authorized to certify that the prospective adoptive home of a child brought into the State from another country for the purpose of adoption is a suitable home.

Any person who has resided in the State for 1 year or more may petition to adopt a child or an adult. The petition shall be signed by the petitioner and, if married, by the spouse. The petition shall provide the following information:

  • The full name, age, and place of residence of petitioner and, if married, the date and place of marriage
  • The date of birth of the person to be adopted, if known, and the State and county where born
  • The name of the child's parents, if known, and the guardian if there is one
  • The actual name of the person to be adopted, if known, and any known aliases
  • The name to be given the person to be adopted if a change of name is desired
  • A description and value of any real or personal property owned by the person to be adopted
  • That the petitioner desires that the relationship of parent and child be established between petitioner and the person to be adopted and that the adoption is in the best interests of the person to be adopted

No petition shall be granted until the child has lived 3 months in the proposed home, subject to a right of visitation by the commissioner or an agency or their authorized representatives.

Upon the hearing, if the court finds that it is in the best interests of the person to be adopted that the petition be granted, a decree of adoption shall be made and recorded in the Office of the Court Administrator, ordering that henceforth the person to be adopted shall be the child of the petitioner. In the decree, the court may change the name of the adopted person, if desired.

After the decree is granted for an adopted person who is adopted after a direct adoptive placement ordered by the district court under § 259.47, the court administrator shall immediately mail a copy of the recorded decree to the commissioner.

Required Evidence/Documentation

Citation: Admin. Code § 9560.0150

No child may be brought into Minnesota for adoptive placement into a nonrelative's home unless the commissioner has issued a written consent to importation of the child, pursuant to applicable State law.

The commissioner, upon receipt of all required documentation, shall issue consent or approval for importation when the foreign country allows the child to be exported for the purpose of adoption in the United States.

The following documents are required for the commissioner's consent and approval:

  • An authorized child-placing agency's written confirmation that the family is approved for adoptive placement
  • A document that identifies the child, the child's birth date, birthplace, and parentage
  • Legal documents that demonstrate that the child has been properly released for adoption

Background Studies

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 245C.33

The adoption study must include at least one in-home visit with the prospective adoptive parent. At a minimum, the study must document the following information about the prospective adoptive parent:

  • A background study, as required by § 245C.33, including the following:
    • An assessment of the results of State and Federal criminal background checks to determine if the prospective adoptive parent and any other person older than age 13 living in the home has a felony conviction
    • An assessment of the effect of any conviction or finding of substantiated maltreatment on the capacity of the prospective adoptive parent to safely care for and parent a child
  • A medical and social history and assessment of current health
  • An assessment of potential parenting skills
  • An assessment of ability to provide adequate financial support for a child
  • An assessment of the level of knowledge and awareness of adoption issues, including, where appropriate, matters relating to interracial, cross-cultural, and special-needs adoptions

The adoption study is the basis for completion of a written report. The report must be in a format specified by the commissioner and must contain recommendations regarding the suitability of the subject of the study to be an adoptive parent.

Placement Supervision and Reporting

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 259.53

Upon the filing of a petition for adoption of a child, the court administrator shall immediately transmit a copy of the petition to the Commissioner of Human Services. If the child to be adopted has been placed in the petitioner's home by a direct adoptive placement, the court shall refer the petition to the agency supervising the placement under § 259.47, subd.3(a)(6).

The agency to which the petition has been referred shall conduct a postplacement assessment and file a report with the court within 90 days of receipt of a copy of the adoption petition. The agency shall send a copy of the report to the commissioner at the time it files the report with the court. The assessment and report must evaluate the environment and antecedents of the child to be adopted, the home of the petitioners, and whether placement with the petitioners meets the needs of the child. The report must include a recommendation to the court as to whether the petition should or should not be granted.

In making evaluations and recommendations, the postplacement assessment and report must, at a minimum, address the following:

  • The level of adaptation by the prospective adoptive parents to parenting the child
  • The health and well-being of the child in the prospective adoptive parents' home
  • The level of incorporation by the child into the prospective adoptive parents' home, extended family, and community
  • The level of inclusion of the child's previous history into the prospective adoptive home, such as cultural or ethnic practices

A postplacement adoption report is valid for 12 months following its date of completion.

Effect of Adoption Decree on Parental Rights

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 259.59

Upon adoption, the adopted person shall become the legal child of the adopting persons and they shall become the legal parents of the child with all the rights and duties between them of birth parents and legitimate child. By virtue of the adoption, the adopted person shall inherit from the adoptive parents or their relatives the same as though the adopted person were the natural child of the parents, and in case of the adopted person's death intestate the adoptive parents and their relatives shall inherit the adopted person's estate as if the adopted person had been the child's birth parents and relatives.

After a decree of adoption is entered, the birth parents of an adopted person shall be relieved of all parental responsibilities for the adopted person, and they shall not exercise or have any rights over the adopted person or the adopted person's property. The adopted person shall not owe the birth parents or their relatives any legal duty nor shall the adopted person inherit from the birth parents or kindred.

Obtaining a U.S. Birth Certificate

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 144.218

In proceedings for the adoption of a person who was born in a foreign country, the court, upon hearing evidence presented by the Commissioner of Human Services from information secured at the port of entry or upon evidence from other reliable sources, may make findings of fact as to the date and place of birth and parentage. Upon receipt of certified copies of the court findings and the order or decree of adoption or a certificate of adoption, the State registrar shall register a birth record in the new name of the adopted person. The certified copies of the court findings and the order or decree of adoption or certificate of adoption are confidential and shall not be disclosed except pursuant to court order or § 144.2252. The birth record shall state the place of birth as specifically as possible and that the vital record is not evidence of U.S. citizenship.