Contested Adoption

Contested Adoption

Contested adoptions, to be honest, are every adoptive parent’s nightmare. These cases involve legal challenges to an adoptive parent’s right to adopt. They can include a birth father who claims he was not properly notified of an adoption or perhaps files “late” challenges to the adoption (after 30 days from birth).

Our firm is widely recognized as experts in the field. In fact, Mark Fiddler was one of the lead drafters and lobbyists to create the Minnesota Fathers Adoption Registry, which mandates a father must register within 30 days from birth to protect his rights.

When a potential father does register “in time” (within 30 days of birth), the father must be provided with notice of the adoption and informed of his duty to commence a paternity action within 30 days of being given notice. These timelines are strict. If the father fails to commence his paternity action in 30 days, he can still continue his paternity case (and try to block the adoption) if he can show “good cause” for failing to act sooner.

We know how critical timelines are and we vigilantly enforce them to protect our adoption and birth parent clients. We have handled countless legal challenges like this. We know many lawyers can handle a simple adoption, but if your “simple” adoption is ever contested, we will have your back and know how to fight.

We understand many fathers are responsible and step forward in a timely manner to be involved with their children’s lives. Many of our adoption cases are ones where the father is supportive of the adoption process.

Often, however, the birth father is not involved and supportive of the birth mother, but the birth mother has a constitutional right to make placement decisions regarding her child. If you are a birth mother, we understand your rights. Maybe the father is unsupportive or even abusive. We have been successful at showing that a father who fails to pay support and has abandoned his child has no right to override a birth mother’s decision to place.

Contested adoptions also occur in foster care adoptions, where relatives and foster parents both seek to adopt a child placed into foster care. Our firm knows the ins and outs of these contests and can help you navigate your way through this challenging process.

As with any case, preventing contests is always our number one goal. As the saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

Preventing contests means being smart about the law. We have the smarts. And when the contested adoptions can’t be avoided, our firm will have your back and fight for you and the child’s best interests.


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