Adoption

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Contact Agreements and Adoption in Minnesota

Entering into a contact agreement prior to an adoption finalizing can be quite emotional. In some cases adoptive parents (who may already have the children living with them) have felt pressured to sign the contact agreement that is presented to them without seeking legal counsel. Signing a contact agreement without seeking legal counsel can be a costly (emotionally and financially) mistake. It is my belief that the current contact agreement “form” that many lawyers use does not contemplate all of the issues that can occur as a result of a contact agreement. Minnesota law provides guidance to parties as to who can enter into such an agreement and how to make such an agreement enforceable, but it does not provide information as to how to make a contact agreement that is in the child’s best interests and that will continue to be in the child’s best interests as he or she grows up. Every case is different and every child is different. In some cases it works for there to be a very open-ended contact agreement. In other cases, it may be best for the child’s safety to have a stricter or more narrow contact agreement (or no contact agreement at all). Like I said above, there is a contact agreement form that many Minnesota lawyers use. Although I think that this form is a good starting point, I have seen it presented in “as is” form to adoptive parents and the adoptive parents have felt pressured to sign it “as is” when had they been given an opportunity to discuss the agreement with an attorney, changes could have been made that would have been beneficial to all. Elizabeth Rosar Chermack is a Minnesota Adoption Attorney, with an office in Burnsville, and can represent you in reviewing your adoption contact agreement.  Call (952) 491-0390 or send an email to liz@chermacklaw.com to schedule a consultation with Liz. ATTORNEY ADVERTISING MATERIAL. The content of this website is for informational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice. No attorney/client relationship is formed by use of this website. Do not submit confidential information via this site unless and until there is a signed retainer contract on file.

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Stepparent Adoption in Minnesota

If you are a stepparent and want to adopt your stepchild, it is possible to do so. The easiest, most straightforward way to do so is when you have the agreement of the biological parent to consent to the adoption. For example, if you are a stepfather and you want to adopt your stepson, the easiest way to do so is if your stepson’s biological father is willing to agree (by signing a consent form) to the adoption. As part of the adoption, the biological parent can still enter into a “Communication and Contact Agreement.” In other words, just because they have consented to the adoption to taking place, the biological parent is not giving up their ability to ever talk to or see the child again. Cases in which the biological parent is not willing to consent to the adoption are not as straightforward. If your stepchild is 14 years old, or older, they will also have to consent to the adoption. Elizabeth Rosar Chermack is a Minnesota Adoption Attorney, with an office in Burnsville, and can represent you in your stepparent adoption.  Call (952) 491-0390 or send an email to liz@chermacklaw.com to schedule a consultation with Liz. ATTORNEY ADVERTISING MATERIAL. The content of this website is for informational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice. No attorney/client relationship is formed by use of this website. Do not submit confidential information via this site unless and until there is a signed retainer contract on file.

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