Increasingly, same-sex couples are raising children, and this has legal implications.

Stepparent Adoption

When Minnesota began allowing same-sex couples to marry, this created for the first time the possibility of a same-sex couple going through the stepparent adoption process, by which one spouse legally adopts the child(ren) of the other.  (Previously, the only similar option was a "second-parent adoption" -- see below.)  Although the Minnesota Department of Health will, under certain circumstances, list two same-sex spouses on the birth record of a child born to one of the spouses during the marriage, just being listed on the birth record as a parent does not establish a legal relationship.  An adoption process is still recommended by many attorneys to assure that the non-biological parent's relationship to the child is legally recognized.

Second Parent Adoption

In Minnesota, if the same-sex partner of a biological parent wants to adopt the partner’s child, they can petition the court in the county where they live for what’s often called a “second parent adoption.” Legal adoption of a non-biological child establishes a legal relationship between the child and the non-biological parent, and puts the adoptive parent on precisely the same legal plane as the biological parent.