Adoption in Minnesota
April 5, 2010 4:13 PM   Subscribe

Looking for anecdotes/advice on adopting a child in Minnesota.

I read through previous threads on adoption - very helpful! Now I'm looking for anecdotes/advice about domestic adoptions in Minnesota. My husband & I are in our early 30s, in the Twin Cities, employed and have a quiet, stable home. We're not wealthy by any means and aren't infertile, but would prefer to adopt. We don't have other children.

I've researched a bit on procedures & adoption agencies in MN, but feel a bit overwhelmed.

Did you adopt domestically? What agency did you go through? What was the process like? What do you wish you'd known before you took the plunge?

We prefer to adopt a baby/young child, but honestly, we're open. (I know adopting an older child/fostering is a different procedure, but please feel free to share your experiences there, too.) We aren't interested in international adoption at this time.

One snag I'm concerned about is my history of anxiety/depression (with one past hospitalization for the anxiety). My illness is well-managed, however.

I'm a novice, and will continue my research through other means, but thought I'd poke the hive mind for advice. Thank you!

Throwaway address:
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (4 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
This blogroll has been linked on AskMe before (including by me) but maybe perusing some of the adoption blogs listed here will be helpful for your research.
posted by juliplease at 4:46 PM on April 5, 2010

I have a history of anxiety as well. During the home study process, I got a letter from my therapist saying that it was well-managed after effective treatment, and it was no big deal at all.

Adoption choices are overwhelming, I know. We adopted a baby girl domestically almost three years ago. We used Adoption-Link in Chicago. I would recommend them with some reservations; if you're interested in a more detailed review, memail me and I'll be glad to tell you about what we found helpful working with them and what snags we hit, some of which could be avoided with foreknowledge.

You don't need to go through an agency in Minnesota, though I know opening it up to other states just multiplies the options! You may find as you look at private agencies that place white babies that you are excluded for not being infertile; I remember during my research being too old, too fat, too fertile, and too much a mom already for many many agencies. Agencies that place black, Hispanic, and mixed-race babies are often more open. We adopted interracially in part because we were effectively excluded from the "marketplace" for white babies by these factors, and chose Adoption-Link in part because they did not have graduated fees for babies of different races.

If you adopt out-of-state, you will have to spend a few days or a week in the state where you adopt, going through a process through the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children. Both the state where the baby is born and Minnesota will have to sign off on the adoption before you can take the baby across state lines. This is normally a very straightforward process.

A resource I found really useful during our pre-adoption and waiting time were the forums at I haven't been there in awhile but it's a great resource for hearing adoptive parents talk very honestly about their experiences with all kinds of adoptions, and for getting questions answered in terrific detail.

I wish I'd known before we started that fall-throughs are very common. Our agency told us that about 40% of women who make adoption plans with them change their mind once the baby is born. We had one fall-through before we took custody of our daughter; in that case the birthmom changed her mind before the birth, but we have friends who were actually in the hospital caring for the baby (nursing it even) for several days before the birthmom changed her mind, and other friends who were doing things like going to prenatal and ultrasounds appointments with the birthmom. It can be devastating, and you may well be an absolute nervous wreck between matching with a birthmom and taking custody of the baby. I don't know that there's any way to prepare for it, but being aware that you are likely to have a bump or two like that along the road might help.

I could write a book about all this, but Offspring #1 is waiting for his bedtime reading, and it would probably just get annoying. Good luck.
posted by not that girl at 5:29 PM on April 5, 2010

OK, one more thing: It can be helpful to know that different agencies have different policies about many things. For instance, Adoption-Link does not allow adoptive parents to see the babies until the birthmother has surrendered her parental rights, which can happen 72 hours after the birth (under Illinois law, not before then). This is specifically to avoid situations like happened to my friend who was in the hospital with the baby for several days and had to relinquish her. So if it's really important to you to be at the birth or see the baby immediately, you wouldn't want to work with them. On the other hand, Adoption-Link will choose families for babies if the birthmother requests it; some birthmothers prefer not to choose. This is how we got our daughter. But some agencies won't do that. We believe that this policy allowed us to get our baby much sooner than we would have had we had to wait for a birthmother to select us specifically.

Adoption-Link won't normally allow you to select the baby's gender or race, either. But some agencies will. On the other hand, some agencies require a degree of openness in the adoption that we weren't necessarily comfortable with. So if there are things like this that are really important to you, make sure you choose an agency that will let you do what is right for you and your family.
posted by not that girl at 5:58 PM on April 5, 2010

Check the blogroll in the first comment - related, you can ask your question here
posted by mrs. taters at 9:25 AM on April 6, 2010

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