Helping youth in foster care find safe, permanent homes with Minnesota families
Our foster care adoption program serves children under Minnesota state guardianship or tribal jurisdiction. The goal of this program is permanency through adoption. There is a particular need for families open to sibling groups, school-age children and teens.
The vast majority of costs to families who adopt children under Minnesota state guardianship are paid for through a contract with Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS).
Watch our Introductory webinar
Learn the basics about Minnesota foster care and adopting from foster care. In this free, 11-minute webinar we cover the different track options within foster care and foster care adoption and basic information about the programs, including: the need for families, the process, the cost (spoiler: there are practically none), and the children who wait.Watch Our Foster Care and Adoption Webinar Now
Children Waiting for Adoption from Foster Care
Children waiting for adoption from foster care have been removed from the homes of their biological families and have been placed under the care and supervision of the state. As a result of these experiences, children will likely have experienced trauma, abuse and neglect. The children may have emotional, behavioral and/or academic needs. Children may be part of a sibling group that needs to be placed together, or have siblings and other loved ones with whom they need to maintain connections.
Children of all ages and ethnic backgrounds are served in this program. There is a particular need for families open to parenting children ages 6-18 and sibling groups of all ages who need to remain together. Over half the children waiting for adoption are children of color. As of September 2017 there are 766 children in Minnesota in need of adoptive families immediately. Read the complete DHS Fact Sheet, Adoption: Finding Families for Minnesota’s Waiting Children.
Meet Children Waiting in Foster Care
There are a number of ways to learn more about children currently waiting for adoption from Minnesota foster care. You can visit our online listing and filter to the region “Minnesota.” Children’s Home is advocating for these children through our child-specific recruitment services.
Note that you may inquire about a child or sibling group at any time, however, you may need to complete steps in the foster care adoption process prior to officially matching with a child. It is our hope that children will find permanency as quickly as possible and therefore the waiting children you see may not be available once you have come through the process and completed your adoption home study.View Waiting Children’s Profiles on Our Site
The first step for anyone planning to adopt from Minnesota foster care is attending our two-day Foster Care & Adoption Education Classes. These classes will familiarize you with the children waiting to be adopted, the needs they commonly have, and the adoption process. You will also have the opportunity to listen to panels of adoptive parents and waiting or adopted teens. Topics covered include: overview of the child welfare system, impact of prenatal drug/alcohol exposure, grief, loss and separation, trauma, abuse and neglect, mental health needs, attachment, cross-cultural and transracial parenting, permanency needs of older youth, concurrent planning, experiences of foster parents, experiences of birth parents, visitation and maintaining connections.Find and Register for a Foster Care & Adoption Education Class
You will continue your education as you go through the foster care adoption process. We’ve compiled a number of education resources, both mandatory and optional, on our site for your reference.Find Educational Resources to Prepare Yourself for Foster Care Adoption
The second step for all families planning to adopt from foster care through CH/LSS is to attend our Agency-Specific Foster Care and Adoption Training. Agency-Specific Trainings will introduce you to CH/LSS, explain the application and home study process, cover foster care licensing (expectations, roles and responsibilities), provide an overview of the matching process, stress the importance of advocacy skills, self-care, and a support network, provide resources for while you wait, discuss how previous experiences impact parenting and the unique experience of being a relative concurrent permanency resource. These classes are offered once a month.Find and Register for an Agency Specific Foster Care & Adoption Training
Upcoming agency-specific trainings will begin in August; registration and dates will be posted soon.
Once you’ve attended the Agency-Specific Training and decide this program is a good fit, you may complete the registration. Our staff will assist you with this step and the required documents.
After registration, you will complete an application. Our staff will guide you through the application process, letting you know what documents are required of which household members.
As you work on your application, anyone pursuing foster care or adoption will also need to complete the appropriate background checks. Possessing a criminal record does not automatically disqualify someone from adopting from foster care. Please contact us if you have questions about your particular circumstances.
The home study includes several meetings with your social worker and a visit to your home. A comprehensive document is created by your social worker, which includes information about your motivation to adopt, your health, home, personal history, familial lifestyle, interests, parenting style, income and the type of child you are open to parenting. Once you are assigned to a social worker, the home study process takes about 3-4 months to complete.
Foster Care Licensing
You will need to become a licensed foster home as part of your adoption process. This allows the child(ren) to live in your home prior to the adoption being finalized in court. You will be licensed for the purpose of adoption and you may choose to cancel your license once your adoption is finalized. If you are planning to adopt a child under the age of 9, additional state-mandated training is required.
The Matching Process
This part of the process allows you to learn about the needs and characteristics of a child or sibling group in the foster care system. Your social worker will work with you on exploring the strengths of your family and discuss how you might best meet the needs of that particular child or children. You will have the opportunity to meet with the child’s social worker and other significant people in his or her life (such as foster parents, therapists, et al). Meeting these people will help you in your decision-making process.
The child’s county social worker represents him or her in the matching process. All placement decisions are made in the best interest of the child.
Once everyone involved has made a commitment to proceed with the adoption process, pre-placement visits begin. The length and frequency of these visits depends on the age and needs of the child or children being placed.
Placement & Finalization
Placement occurs when the child moves into your home. Your social worker will remain in regular contact with you to support you during this adjustment period. We also encourage you to participate in our ongoing support services.
When you are ready to finalize, your social worker will give you the information you need to complete the legal adoption process where you live.
Post Adoption Support
Because adoption is a lifelong journey, you are encouraged to participate in ongoing education, support and referral services through our Post Adoption Services.
We strongly believe that whenever possible children should remain within their family or community of origin. It can be overwhelming to unexpectedly care for children who you care about. The system can be difficult to navigate. We are here to help provide kinship and relative services based on your unique situation.Contact Us to Learn About Our Relative/Kinship Support Services
In our Concurrent Track, you provide foster care for a child(ren) as the county works toward reunification with birth family. Concurrent permanency planning is for families who can commit to working with the birth family and other professionals to help the child reunify, while at the same time committing to adoption in the event that reunification is not possible. One of the goals of this track is to minimize the amount of moves and transitions for the child(ren). Additional training is required for families in this track.
You will learn more about this track at our Foster Care Adoption Orientation Sessions and Foster Care Adoption Classes.Find an Orientation Session or Adoption Education Class
Along with foster care adoption, we are able to educate, license and prepare families to be a resource through foster care, relative/kinship services, concurrent planning, respite and emergency shelter care.Learn More About Becoming a Foster Care Resource
We are dedicated to serving diverse families. Our foster care adoption program is open to individuals and families regardless of marital status, sexuality, gender identity, gender expression, religion or race.Adoption by Single ParentsAdoption by LGBTQ Parents