Minot Adoption Attorney
Finalize Your North Dakota Adoption With Rowenhorst Law
Adding a new member to your family via adoption is an exciting, happy, and rewarding experience. That being said, adoption is a legal process, so you may want an attorney on your side to help ensure you get all the details right. At Rowenhorst Law, our Minot adoption lawyer would be honored to represent you during this special time.
If you’re looking for honest, compassionate legal counsel, look no further than our firm. We will keep you informed every step of the way and handle your case with the utmost professionalism.
We also offer free, 30 minute consultations to help you get started — call us at (701) 203-9220 to schedule yours today.
Types of Adoption
Every adoption is a unique experience based on the needs and desires of both the birth parents and the prospective parents. The types of adoption available in North Dakota include:
- Infant adoption
- Identified adoption
- Special needs adoption
- International adoption
- Relative adoption
- Stepparent adoption
Infant adoption usually takes place within an adoption agency, especially when a family adopts an infant of a different race, but birth parents can also independently identify an adoptive family with whom they wish to place their child (identified adoption). In other states, identified adoption is called private adoption. In some states, private adoption is not allowed.
Adoptive parents in North Dakota can also adopt children from the foster care system. Often, these children are older (grade school through teens) and have physical, emotional, or mental disabilities. Sometimes, the state requires sibling groups to be adopted together.
The international adoption process (called inter-country adoption in North Dakota) is lengthy and complex. Because of the high fees and strict requirements, many prospective parents find this type of adoption to be inaccessible. Nevertheless, with the right advocate and agency, Americans can adopt Russian, Chinese, Korean, Indian, Eastern European, Central American, South American, or African children.
Adoption doesn’t always have to involve a child you don’t know very well. Family members like grandparents, aunts, uncles, and adult siblings adopt their minor relatives all the time, and the state even waives the home study for adults adopting relatives who have been living with them for at least 9 months.
Stepparents may also wish to adopt the children of their spouses, particularly in situations where the other natural parent has abandoned the children or agrees to the adoption.
No matter what type of adoption is right for you and your family, our Minot adoption attorney is here to help.
North Dakota Adoption Laws
North Dakota defines adoption as “a court action in which an adult assumes legal and other responsibilities for another, usually a minor.”
In North Dakota, any married or unmarried adult can adopt “any individual,” although those over 10 years old must consent to the adoption.
The laws for adoption are laid out in North Dakota Century Code Chapter 14-15, also known as the Revised Uniform Adoption Act (opens a digital PDF).
Before most adoptions are finalized, prospective parents must complete a 6-month home study or investigation to ensure their living space and lifestyle is suitable for children. Anyone who wishes to challenge the adoption must do so within 1 year.
Most adoptions are handled through the North Dakota Department of Human Services’ Children and Family Services Division, along with private adoption agencies and local lawyers.
How to Adopt
If you are ready to adopt, you should take the following steps to adoption, as laid out by the Department of Human Services:
- Do your research (you’re working on that right now!)
- Choose the type of adoption that fits best for you and your family
- Choose a private adoption agency
- Understand the fees involved
- Participate in the pre-placement inquiry or “home study”
- Honor the waiting period
- Complete the legal procedures
Although you can wait until the final step to hire an attorney, many individuals and families prefer to retain a lawyer throughout the entire adoption process. At Rowenhorst Law, we are flexible to work around your needs, and we can provide as much or as little support as you need during your adoption. Rest assured, we will have open channels of communication and unmatched attention to detail the entire time.
Get Legal Help
Whether you need help choosing the best type of adoption or you’re ready to finalize your adoption with North Dakota courts, our firm is here to provide honest and accurate representation. We have plenty of experience in family law, and we handle our clients’ most sensitive legal matters with compassion and a personal touch.
Find out if Rowenhorst Law is right for you during a free, 30-minute consultation. We look forward to getting to know you and your family and helping you finalize your adoption.
All you need to do is call us at (701) 203-9220 or contact us online today.