(a) The policy of the state of Minnesota is to ensure that the best interests of the child are met by requiring individualized determination of the needs of the child and of how the adoptive placement will serve the needs of the child.
(b) Among the factors the agency shall consider in determining the needs of the child are those specified under section 260C.193, subdivision 3, paragraph (b).
The authorized child-placing agency shall consider placement, consistent with the child's best interests and in the following order, with (1) a relative or relatives of the child, or (2) an important friend with whom the child has resided or had significant contact. In implementing this section, an authorized child-placing agency may disclose private or confidential data, as defined in section 13.02, to relatives of the child for the purpose of locating a suitable adoptive home. The agency shall disclose only data that is necessary to facilitate implementing the preference.
If the child's birth parent or parents explicitly request that placement with a specific relative or important friend not be considered, the authorized child-placing agency shall honor that request if it is consistent with the best interests of the child and consistent with the requirements of sections 260C.212, subdivision 2, and 260C.221.
If the child's birth parent or parents express a preference for placing the child in an adoptive home of the same or a similar religious background to that of the birth parent or parents, the agency shall place the child with a family that meets the birth parent's religious preference.
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