Growing Your Family Through Adoption

Adoption can be a complex process, after all it is the process by which a legal and permanent parent-child relationship is created through a court proceeding.  Some complexities may include: termination of parental rights proceeding, contractual agreements, or filing a notice on the Minnesota Fathers’ Adoption registry that allows biological fathers to receive notice of pending adoption proceedings involving their biological children.

Our adoption attorneys can assist in a consultative role by explaining the overall process, identifying and collaborating with adoption agencies, or answering your questions throughout the process.  They can also be engaged to draft and file paperwork and represent you in court, especially when it comes time to finalize the adoption.

Additionally, we can also assist or advise on important steps following adoption such as applying for various INS documents in the case of an international adoption, which become important when the adopted person applies for a passport or driver’s license.

  • The person being adopted, whether they are a minor or an adult, becomes the legal child of the adopting parent.  The adopting parent becomes the legal parent of the person being adopted, with all the rights and responsibilities that come with being a legal parent.
  • As a result of the adoption, the adoptee (the person being adopted) will have the same right to inherit from the adoptive parent(s) as a birth child.
  • The adoption can end the parent-child relationship between the adoptee and one or both of their birth parents.  If the petitioner is a stepparent, the legal relationship between the biological parent and the adult adoptee will not be affected, so long as the biological parent is included as a co-petitioner.
  • The adoption can end the sibling relationship between the adoptee and their biological siblings, unless otherwise stated in the court order.

The legally adopted child has the same right to inherit from the adoptive parent(s) as a birth child, making it critical to reflect this right and your preferences within your estate planning documents. 

  • Update your Will or Trust
  • Update Beneficiary Designations
  • Create emergency documents such as:
    • medical power of attorney
    • nomination of guardian
    • nomination of temporary guardian
    • health care information related to adopted child
    • instructions to caregiver and/or guardian in case of emergency

Consult with our Estate & Trusts practice attorney to learn more about how to affirm the adoption of your child in your estate plans and what documents you might consider to provide for them and care for them in the case of an emergency.

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ADMITTED TO PRACTICE 2017 Minnesota 2019 North Dakota EDUCATION J.D., University of St. Thomas School of Law, Minneapolis, MN B.S., Finance, North Dakota State University, ND EXPERIENCE Associate Attorney; Baker Vicchiollo Law; present Judicial Law Clerk to the Honorable Mary Yunker; 2018-2019 Judicial Law Clerk to the Honorable Sheridan Hawley; 2017-2018 Certified Student Attorney; Minneapolis City Attorney’s Office Legal Extern; Hennepin County Defender’s Office PROFESSIONAL ACCOMPLISHMENTS National Moot Court – Civil Rights; University of St. Thomas School of Law

Jolene D. Baker Vicchiollo

Principal Attorney & Founder

Jolene is the founder and principal attorney at the law firm of Baker Vicchiollo Law located in Edina Minnesota, representing individuals and families in matters of divorce, child support, custody, property division, nonmarital claims, and parenting time, as well as estate planning, nuptial agreements, adoption, paternity, and grandparent rights. Admitted to practice in Minnesota since 1999, and in private practice for the past 23 years, Jolene has extensive experience in district courts throughout metropolitan counties, establishing a highly regarded practice in litigation, alternative dispute resolution, and collaborative divorce.

Jolene teaches family law as a member of the adjunct faculty at the University of St. Thomas School of Law in Minneapolis.

Growing Your Family Through Adoption

Adoption can be a complex process, after all it is the process by which a legal and permanent parent-child relationship is created through a court proceeding.  Some complexities may include: termination of parental rights proceeding, contractual agreements, or filing a notice on the Minnesota Fathers’ Adoption registry that allows biological fathers to receive notice of pending adoption proceedings involving their biological children.

Our adoption attorneys can assist in a consultative role by explaining the overall process, identifying and collaborating with adoption agencies, or answering your questions throughout the process.  They can also be engaged to draft and file paperwork and represent you in court, especially when it comes time to finalize the adoption.

Additionally, we can also assist or advise on important steps following adoption such as applying for various INS documents in the case of an international adoption, which become important when the adopted person applies for a passport or driver’s license.

Adoption

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Adoption Documents & Proceedings

Adoption Documents & Proceedings

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Uncontested Stepparent Adoption

Uncontested Stepparent Adoption

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Contested Stepparent Adoption

Contested Stepparent Adoption

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Adult Adoption

ADULT ADOPTION

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Recognition of Parentage

Recognition of Parentage

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Minnesota Fathers' Adoption Registry (MFAR)

Minnesota Fathers' Adoption Registry (MFAR)

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Name Change (Minor)

Name Change (Minor)

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Name Change (Adult)

Name Change (Adult)

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Adoption Information

Fees & Billing

Legal Fees & Costs

Payment & Financing

Retainer & Billing

Alexis N. Rohach

 

Alexis N. Rohach

ADMITTED TO PRACTICE 2017 Minnesota 2019 North Dakota EDUCATION J.D., University of St. Thomas School of Law, Minneapolis, MN B.S., Finance, North Dakota State University, ND EXPERIENCE Associate Attorney; Baker Vicchiollo Law; present Judicial Law Clerk to the Honorable Mary Yunker; 2018-2019 Judicial Law Clerk to the Honorable Sheridan Hawley; 2017-2018 Certified Student Attorney; Minneapolis City Attorney’s Office Legal Extern; Hennepin County Defender’s Office PROFESSIONAL ACCOMPLISHMENTS National Moot Court – Civil Rights; University of St. Thomas School of Law

 

 

JOLENE D. BAKER VICCHIOLLO

Jolene is the founder and principal attorney at the law firm of Baker Vicchiollo Law located in Edina Minnesota, representing individuals and families in matters of divorce, child support, custody, property division, nonmarital claims, and parenting time, as well as estate planning, nuptial agreements, adoption, paternity, and grandparent rights. Admitted to practice in Minnesota since 1999, and in private practice for the past 23 years, Jolene has extensive experience in district courts throughout metropolitan counties, establishing a highly regarded practice in litigation, alternative dispute resolution, and collaborative divorce.

Jolene teaches family law as a member of the adjunct faculty at the University of St. Thomas School of Law in Minneapolis.

More About Us

Baker Vicchiollo Law

Helping People Move Forward

Family Law

Divorce, Parenting & Support

Estate & Trusts

Planning, Probate & Administration

  • The person being adopted, whether they are a minor or an adult, becomes the legal child of the adopting parent.  The adopting parent becomes the legal parent of the person being adopted, with all the rights and responsibilities that come with being a legal parent.
  • As a result of the adoption, the adoptee (the person being adopted) will have the same right to inherit from the adoptive parent(s) as a birth child.
  • The adoption can end the parent-child relationship between the adoptee and one or both of their birth parents.  If the petitioner is a stepparent, the legal relationship between the biological parent and the adult adoptee will not be affected, so long as the biological parent is included as a co-petitioner.
  • The adoption can end the sibling relationship between the adoptee and their biological siblings, unless otherwise stated in the court order.

The legally adopted child has the same right to inherit from the adoptive parent(s) as a birth child, making it critical to reflect this right and your preferences within your estate planning documents. 

  • Update your Will or Trust
  • Update Beneficiary Designations
  • Create emergency documents such as:
    • medical power of attorney
    • nomination of guardian
    • nomination of temporary guardian
    • health care information related to adopted child
    • instructions to caregiver and/or guardian in case of emergency

Consult with our Estate & Trusts practice attorney to learn more about how to affirm the adoption of your child in your estate plans and what documents you might consider to provide for them and care for them in the case of an emergency.

Inquire or schedule consultation

BVL Honors & Affiliations

Adoption Documents & Proceedings

MN law requires that adoptions be filed in court so that the best interests of the child can be protected.  Our attorney will facilitate the legal proceeding including obtaining records, drafting documents as required by the type of adoption proceeding, filing documents with the court, and represent Petitioner in Court.

Uncontested Stepparent Adoption

Services to facilitate the process and legal proceeding of adoption including obtaining consent form when the other biological parent agrees to terminate their parental right.

Contested Stepparent Adoption

Services include Petition for Termination of Parental Rights Pending Stepparent Adoption when petitioner is not able to find the other biological parent or they are not willing to consent to their rights being terminated. May require other necessary steps such as depositions, interrogatories, and requests for production of documents.

Adult Adoption

Obtaining adult adoptee consent to the adoption, file adoption matter with the court, obtain records, petition court, draft proposed adoption decree, and attend a court hearing with the petitioner and adoptee.

Recognition of Parentage

An official Minnesota state form that can be used to establish the legal relationship between a father and his child when the child’s parents are not married. If two parents sign a Recognition of Parentage, a paternity case is not required. Resolving disputes related to custody, parenting time, and child support can be addressed by opening a custody case, if necessary.

Minnesota Fathers' Adoption Registry (MFAR)

The Minnesota Fathers’ Adoption Registry (MFAR) is for fathers who:

  • Were not married to the mother of their presumed child when the child was born, and
  • Have not asked a court to name them as the child’s legal father, or
  • Have not signed a Recognition of Parentage form with the child’s mother, and
  • Want to know if their presumed child is in the adoption process
  • Before an adoption becomes final in Minnesota, the law requires a search of MFAR. The purpose of the MFAR search is to find out if a putative father has registered.

Name Change (Minor)

Court filing, document drafting, process service including Notice of Application for Name Change and Notice of Hearing (or publish notice of hearing if unable to locate non-applicant parent, and represent petitioner in court.)

Name Change (Adult)

Change of legal name through marriage, divorce/legal separation, or by filing a name change action in court. The process of filing a name change action involves drafting documents, notifying third parties, and attending court hearing.

Under Minnesota law, to apply for a legal name change the person must:

  • have lived in the State of Minnesota for a least six (6) months before filing the application;
  • file the Application for Name Change in the county where the applicant currently lives;
  • be at least 18 years old (a parent, legal guardian, or next-of-kin may apply on behalf of a minor child); and
  • pay the court filing fee or get a Fee Waiver.

RELATIVE, STEPPARENT AND INDEPENDENT ADOPTION

There are several names for this type of United States adoption, but the most common are relative adoption, stepparent adoption, or independent adoption. These are cases when the adopting parent already knows the child, or the prospective birth mother personally knows the parents she wants for her baby.

INTERNATIONAL ADOPTION CONSULTATION

The Hague Convention now controls adoption of children from other countries that have passed the Convention. The United States passed many years ago, but the regulations have only been in effect since 2008. The regulations are strict and require the origin country’s authorities to approve the adoption and produce the needed documentation. If the country of origin has not passed the Convention the rules can vary significantly.

Because some of the regulations are still being tested, interpretations of those rules are still being developed. For this reason, a great deal of care needs to be taken and the assistance of an adoption attorney can provide guidance and advocacy throughout the process.

Once you bring your child home, there may be steps necessary related to citizenship and to secure a birth certificate, which can be discussed with one of our attorneys during the initial consultation.  Additionally, a petition for adoption may need to be filed so a court hearing can be held.

STEPPARENT or RELATIVE ADOPTION

Stepparent adoption is exciting because it is the opportunity to make the children you are raising legally your own. For a stepparent to adopt their stepchild, the other parent will have to terminate their parental rights or simply not be known. For a stepparent to complete an adoption, they must:

  • Provide a certified copy of the child’s birth certificate
  • Perform a search of the Minnesota Father’s Adoption Registry if the father hasn’t already terminated parental rights
  • Submit fingerprints for a background check
  • Have the necessary court documents prepared and filed
  • It is possible to try and adopt without the consent of the non-custodial parent. This is called a “contested adoption.” Certain circumstances should exist for a contested adoption to move forward, which can be reviewed in consultation with one of our adoption law attorneys.

DOMESTIC INFANT ADOPTION

Domestic adoption is the adoption of a child born in the United States by parents who are citizens of the United States.  Typically, in the domestic adoption process, the birth mother chooses adoption for her baby and is matched with prospective parents who work with an adoption agency to create adoption profiles and complete other requirements. The birth mother then selects the parent(s) that she wants to adopt her baby.

This type of U.S. adoption works outside of the foster care system, which is why the domestic adoption of infants is also called domestic private adoption.

FOSTER CARE ADOPTION

U.S. adoption through foster care is a way to grow your family while also meeting the serious needs of a waiting child. This process can happen in different ways, and the best way to get started is by contacting your local Department of Child Services.