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Contested adoptions in Minnesota

Contested adoptions can be very complex matters, involving many different parties. It is crucial that those going through this process know what to expect.
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    March 22, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Contested adoptions in Minnesota

Not every parent that has a child is able to provide that child with the care that he or she needs. Maybe the parents had problems with drugs or alcohol, mental health difficulties that prevented them from parenting safely; or were too young to handle the responsibilities of being a parent. In some of these situations, a family member may step in and raise the child for the parents either on an unofficial or a legally recognized basis.

In some situations, however, a child may be placed in foster care, and ultimately may become available for adoption. In most cases, these adoptions of children out of the foster care system will proceed according to plan. Even though it may take time before the adoption is finally finished, foster parents usually know what to expect. However, when an adoption becomes contested, things can get very difficult very fast.

In many contested adoptions, either foster parents or relatives may try to prevent the adoption from occurring, or instead seek to adopt the child themselves. Sometimes it can be difficult to timely locate family members who may be able to provide care for the child. This can lead to even more delays, making it more disruptive to move the child to new caregivers, and making it more likely that litigation will ensue as a result. Extensive and time-consuming litigation is often the end result when such situations arise.

These cases can become extremely complex, because of the number of parties involved. These frequently include foster parents who are looking to adopt the child, relatives or others who are also seeking to adopt the child, representatives from the child protection agency handling the child's case, an advocate for the child known as a Guardian ad Litem, as well as others who may have an interest in the case.

When courts decide these contested adoption cases in Minnesota, they will make their ruling based in large part upon the child's best interests; but other considerations are part of the decision as well, including what level of priority - if any - is to be given to relatives under Minnesota law. The court will have to analyze several factors to determine which prospective adoptive parent(s) can best meet the child's best interests; as well as legal arguments about the requirements of Minnesota statutes concerning relatives. This will often depend significantly upon the testimony that was heard at trial, and often involves the use of experts in an effort to show why one party should be chosen as the adoptive parent(s).

If you are considering adopting or contesting the potential adoption of a child, whether you are a foster parent, a relative or an interested party, it is important that you contact an experienced family law attorney to discuss your situation. Adoption proceedings can at times be complex, particularly where there is a possible contested proceeding, and you may need someone to explain the process and your options to you. Being prepared can help you have a plan in place should any issues arise.

While most adoptions will not be highly contested matters, an attorney can help you be proactive, preserve your arguments if necessary and protect your rights at this time. These can be emotionally difficult matters to resolve, they can be legally complex, and you may have trouble focusing on the issues that need to be addressed. An attorney can help you present your case, and allow you to demonstrate to the court why your request should be granted.

Article provided by Walling, Berg & Debele, P.A.
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