Legal Memorandum: Parties to an Adoption Matter in MN

Issue: Under Minnesota law, who is permitted to request that a court continue an adoption matter until a later date?

Area of Law: Family Law
Keywords: Parties to an adoption matter; Continuance
Jurisdiction: Minnesota
Cited Cases: 488 N.W.2d 332
Cited Statutes: Minn. R. Adoption P. 5.01, 20.01
Date: 12/01/2008

The decision whether to grant a continuance is within the court’s discretion.  In re Welfare of J.A.S., 488 N.W.2d 332, 335 (Minn. Ct. App. 1992), cited in In re Welfare of Children of M.B., No. C4-02-544 (Minn. Ct. App. Dec. 3, 2002) (unpublished).   The Rules of Adoption Procedure, however, provide that, “[u]pon its own motion or motion of a party, the court may continue a scheduled hearing or trial to a later date.”  Minn. R. Adoption P. 5.01 (emphasis added). 

Under Minnesota Rule 20.01, parties to an adoption matter shall include:

(a)        the child’s guardian ad litem;

(b)        the adoptee, if age ten (10) or older;

(c)        the child’s legal custodian;

(d)       the child’s legal guardian;

(e)        the petitioner;

(f)        the child’s biological parent, if the consent of the biological parent is required and has not been executed pursuant to Rule 33;

(g)        the child’s Indian tribe, if the child is an Indian child and the tribe is or was a party in an underlying juvenile protection matter as defined in Rule 2.01(k) of the Minnesota Rules of Juvenile Protection Procedure;

(h)        the responsible social services agency, if the child is under the guardianship of the Commissioner of Human Services;

(i)         the child placing agency, if the child has been placed;

(j)         any person who intervenes as a party pursuant to Rule 21 [intervention]; and