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 strong need for families open to sibling groups, school-age children, and teens.
Using CH/LSS to adopt from MN Foster Care is virtually free, the vast majority of costs are paid for through a contract with the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS). If you are not open to children covered under this contract, fees may apply.
7 Foster Care Adoption Myths, Debunked
Free 45-Minute Webinar
In this free webinar, we dispel common myths about foster care adoption, including the costs of adopting, the services and support available to families and children after adoption, misconceptions about children’s desires to be adopted, behavioral concerns, and the amount of guidance children will need.Watch the Webinar Here
The Children Awaiting Adoption
Children waiting for adoption from MN 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/or neglect. The children may have emotional, behavioral, and/or academic needs. According to MN DHS, 56% of children awaiting adoption are part of a sibling group that needs to be placed together. Many children have 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 10-18, and sibling groups of all ages who need to remain together. Over half the children waiting for adoption are children of color. As of October 2021, there are 641 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.
There are two steps you must complete to start your process of adopting from foster care: a two-hour orientation and two-day classes. Many families find it helpful to attend the orientation first because it provides an overview of the process and addresses details such as children served, timelines, licensing requirements, etc. Orientations are held twice monthly via webinar. We anticipate in-person orientation options to resume Spring 2022 or later.Register for a Foster Care & Adoption Orientation
Another early step to adopting from 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 & separation
- Trauma, abuse & neglect
- Mental health needs
- Cross-cultural & transracial parenting
- Permanency needs of older youth
- Concurrent planning
- Experiences of foster parents
- Experiences of birth parents
- Visitation & maintaining connections
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
Once you’ve attended the Foster Care Adoption Orientation and Foster Care & Adoption Two-Day Class, you may complete your application (broken into three parts: Application Part 1, Application Part 2, and DHS Application Documents). Our staff will assist you with 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.
Note, we are currently experiencing a 1-2 month wait to be assigned to an adoption worker to begin the home study.
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 particular 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 child or children. To help in your decision-making process, 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, etc.). 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 depend 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
Foster Care differs from Foster Care Adoption. We are able to license you for either, or both.
The goal of foster care is reunification, families open to providing foster care must be open to supporting reunification efforts.Visit Our Foster Care Page to Learn More
Our Family Support Coach program is an intensive, 12-session service for your entire family. Our coach will meet with you once a week over a 12-session time frame to get to know your family, identify what resources you may need, and help you access those resources.
As part of the program, your coach will help you:
- Increase positive interactions with your family
- Initiate and strengthen relationships with schools, therapists, community, and other professionals
- Advocate for the needs of your family and your child(ren)
- Develop strategies that you can use after the service is complete
The Family Support Coach program focuses on supporting every member of your family—this is not about what got you to your current situation, but rather what you all need to build a positive, loving future together. All members of your family must be in agreement that this service will be prioritized and upheld for the time specified. Each week you will meet with your coach in person, she may also call or video chat you to check in or follow up on your meeting.
This is not a crisis service for emergency situations. In the case of an emergency, please contact 911 or utilize the crisis mental health lines within your county. In an event that you experience an emergency situation, please inform the Family Support Coach as soon as you are able.
If you have any questions, please email [email protected]Learn More About Our Family Support Coach Program
Support Groups for Foster Care & Adoptive Families
We welcome you to join other families to learn from and support one another.
Staff-Led Groups: For families who have children from the foster care system placed in their home for foster care or adoption AND families who have a home study approved. This group meets on the second Tuesday of every month from 6:30-8:30 p.m. RSVP to [email protected].
Serving All Families
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 Parents Adoption by LGBTQ Parents