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.


There are some cases where relative adoption may be needed. Perhaps you are an aunt, uncle, or grandparent of a child that you have been taking care of and you want to adopt them. You may have legal custody for one of many reasons and the possibility of adoption has been presented since you are loving the child and providing them with a stable home. Consulting with an adoption attorney will inform you of your rights and about the relative adoption process.

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