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What's the same, what's changed in Minnesota adoption?

Change is said to be the only thing that is certain in life. Some things may change faster than others, but transformation is inevitable. Adoption in Minnesota is no less subject to that reality than any other facet of life. And yet, as much as things may be changing, there are still some things that remain the same.

Perhaps the most notable aspect of adoption that has not changed is that it remains a complex legal proceeding. Depending on the process a parent might choose to take, there will be local and state laws to comply with. If the adoption involves a child from another state or across the ocean in a foreign country, federal laws and the laws of the foreign government will apply.

Another thing that has not changed, as was recently pointed out in an article by the St. Cloud Times, is that there is still a need. According to adoption experts, younger children are still the age group most sought after by prospective first-time parents. At the same time, the ranks of children needing placement are filled with youngsters of color and those with special needs.

There are many things about adoption that experts say are different. As the nature of what constitutes family has changed, so has the demographic of adoptive parents. It is not uncommon for single individuals or same-sex couples to adopt. At the same time, because being a single mom doesn't carry quite the social stigma it used to, young mothers may not be as inclined to give a child up for adoption.

If adoption is pursued, would-be parents and young mothers are likely to find that the process is much more open than it used to be. Connecting is much easier to do because of social media. Prospective parents can pitch their availability through various outlets. Birth moms can scan through parent profiles.

Experts are also seeing more openness about negotiating the level of engagement a birth parent has with a placed child later. It might be limited to one letter with pictures once a year. On the other hand, it might incorporate everyone into a broader family network.

As with all things related to the welfare of children, courts approve final adoption decisions based on the best interests of the child.

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