Birth Mother Rights in Minnesota

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Under Minnesota law, a woman who gives birth to a child has "parental rights" to the child. These include the right to have the child live with you, to raise the child, and to make decisions about the child's upbringing, including the right to decide to place the child for adoption.

If a birth mother wants to place the child for adoption, she signs a consent to adoption form. Once a birth mother signs a proper consent to an adoption, the law requires that the mother be given ten working days for her to change her mind. After the ten days are up, the consent may not be revoked by the mother unless the court finds that the mother's consent was obtained through fraud.

Independent Adoption

A consent to adoption may be given directly to adoptive parents chosen by the birth mother. This is called an "independent adoption." In this case parental rights to the child pass directly from the birth mother to the adoptive parents. No adoption agency has any legal control over the child. The only requirements for the adoption are that the birth parent and adoptive parents meet the requirements of Minnesota law.

Agency Adoption

A consent to adoption may give the right to place the child for adoption to a licensed adoption agency, which will then place the child in an adoptive home. This is called an "agency adoption." In this type of adoption the agency has legal control of the child and may establish requirements which both the birth parent and adoptive parents must meet. Sometimes these requirements are not in the law but are set by the agency.

Open Adoption

Open adoption refers to an adoption in which the birth mother may meet the adoptive parents and receive information from them about the child as the child grows up. Birth mothers may want the adoptive parents to come to doctor's visits with her before the birth, to have them at the hospital when the baby is born, and be involved in caring for the baby in the hospital. She can also make whatever arrangements for future contact she wants with the adoptive family. This may include receiving letters and pictures or having visits with the child. In most cases, these arrangements are put into a written letter or agreement. If everyone wants, the arrangements for future contact can be put into a Court Order which requires everyone to follow the written agreement. This Order must be approved by the Minnesota court in which the adoption is taking place and must be in the child's best interests. If the adoption is in another state, a Court Order cannot be made.

Birth Father

A birth father may not have any legal right to be notified of or be involved in an adoption. He only has rights to the child if he takes responsibility for the child's well-being, including financial support. For more information on birth father's rights, go to that section.


Credits: Vincent Law Offices

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