Who can contest?
Here is our situation:

We were picked by the children's parents and social workers to be these children's parents. They are 3,4 and 18m. Currently they are living in their emergency foster placement (grandma and aunt) Parents go to court and sign consent. Judge tells court to no longer look for relative placement and thanks the parents for making this process easier on the children. After court, step-sister to grandma claims to have hired a lawyer and is planning on contesting. Who can contest an adoption? The parents are signing TPR on the 20th and are standing their ground that they don't want any relatives to have placement. They have said that if the children get out of the family then they will have a chance. Really these parents love their children they just can't raise them. So my question is who can contest and how long can this be an issue? We are in MN if that helps.
Typically, only parents.

However, there are some instances where a relative might have standing to contest. There are some situations where a previous legal guardianship might come into play, and some states recognize grandparents rights to visitation if the child has developed a relationship w/ them.

Also, if the children involved are Native American, grandparents and tribal members may have standing to contest, because the federal Indian Child Welfare Act would apply. That act dictates that Native American children must be placed in a preference order: 1) Within the family 2) Within the child's tribe or 3) Within another Native American tribe.

Absent that, a step sister to a grandmother is not likely to have standing to bring any kind of contest. I think I'd hold off on any full blown panic for now.
In a situation like that where parents are signing TPR, I don't think a relative can contest. Even grandparents don't have rights if that is not what the parents want. Our son's biomom signed TPR and her entire family did not want her to do it but she felt it was best for him to have the chance to be in a two parent family. So they really had no say.
My adaughter's biograndma hired a lawyer to contest the adoption and was she does not have a leg to stand on.
I am a CP worker in MN and I would say that we would look at the request and wishes of the parents. In fact, in the law it says that if the parents wishes are to be over ruled than sufficient reasons need to be presented to the court to do so. Not just cause she is step to grandma.
oh yeah - PM me if you have any other questions that I can help with.
Thanks everyone for the information. This is what I thought. The social worker wants to wait to transition the children until we know for sure (which should be on the 20th when TPR is signed) I know this is best for the children just in case something doesn't work out but one week seems so far away! We were suppose to have gotten to see the children this week so we are a bit down in the dumps. But there is always next we to look forward to. Thanks again everyone!
aaarrggg! Update
Yesterday was court for the parents to sign the TPR- which they did. Here is the snag. They ended up with a different judge who didn't want to rule whether Great Aunt can contest our adoption or not. Next court date is the 31st of March! We have to wait a whole month just to hear a yes or no. How frustrating! What really bothers me is that they are not going to start transitioning the children during this time...last week they went to court and ask for immediate removal to our home because the children weren't safe. Now they want to wait to transition until they know for sure where they are going to go. To me isn't it better that they are safe and form an attachment to us with the slim possibility that they may have to go to Great Aunt then to let them sit in an unsafe environment for another month? It's like comparing apples to oranges. I am so frustrated I could spit. The parents signed TPR and consent to adopt under the pretense that the children were going to come to our home. I would be super upset if I was them. Hey thanks all for letting me rant. I know that you all understand the frustration with the system and it is nice to just be able to let loose. :hissy:
OK, that is just WRONG!!! I'm so sorry for you and for the kids.
In light of the recent nebraska situation apparently the bparents can challenge then courts if they signed under that pretense .... and that was not met. I hope your children are in your arms soon.
Thought that I would fill everyone in on how it's been going. Judge ruled that the Great Aunt needed to have a homestudy completed and we needed to file a Petition to Adopt. After this happens then they will decide where to place the children. Well yesterday in court we found out that the Great Aunts homestudy wasn't approved but no one had a paper copy of it yet because it didn't have the supervisors stamp of approval!! And that they were denying the agency to release it to anyone else. ARGH! So now we have to wait until that comes in. The relatives lawyer told the court it wasn't approved because of their finances, lack of a will and their home size. OK so prove it and let the county have it!! The judge now wants to see if that is the case and if those are the only reasons then he will still be comparing us to see where the children go. Ok so here is where I get to rant...what is the point of getting a homestudy completed if they are not going to take into consideration the actually recommendations of the agency?:hissy: The judge did order the county to start making a transition plan to get the children into our home and we won't have to go back into court again because they are just going to have a telephone conference to decide where the children go. At the end of a very long couple of months we are hoping to have these kids come home soon.
You always have to have a homestudy to even be considered. I'd go ahead and get it as it sounds like the judge is definitely leaning your way. And best wishes. It makes little sense that this is taking so long and the children are not being provided with the security they so dearly need.
You misunderstood....we have a homestudy. The parents and the county choose us to be the adoptive parents and both parents signed the consent to adopt listing us as the placement family. Two weeks later they signed TPR and as soon as they did Great Aunt hired a lawyer that said the consent to adopt was now null because they signed TPR. Judge ruled that THEY needed to get a homestudy and then we would be compared to them to see where the "best interest of the child" would be met. The GAL is in favor of relative placement above all else and the social worker for the children wants the children placed with us.

Well the relatives homestudy wasn't approved. Chances are unless they were denied for trival reasons we will never know why. Which I am fine with. The only reason we are fighting this battle is because we feel the parents rights were not monitored. The court tricked them into signing under the pretense that the children will come home here. Anyways...I will let you all know what happens next week when they decide what comes next.
Just found out today that Supreme Court Statues say that you are not able to contest a consented adoption. So basically all of our chaos has been for nothing because that's all they have to do now is file an amendment and the kids will be transitioned:cheer:
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