Helping youth living in foster care find safe, permanent homes with Minnesota families
Domestic Waiting Child Program
Our Foster Care Adoption program serves children under Minnesota state guardianship or tribal jurisdiction with a goal of permanency through adoption. We strive to assist and support families in Minnesota adopting children from Minnesota foster care, especially those seeking to create a permanent home for older children with special needs.
The majority of costs to clients adopting a child under Minnesota state guardianship are covered by a contract with the Minnesota Department of Human Services.
We also serves families seeking to adopt children in foster care in other states outside of Minnesota, through our Interstate Program. Not all services in this program are covered by our state contract therefore families adopting through our Interstate Program can expect to incur fees. For additional information please contact us.
Children Waiting for Adoption from Foster Care
Children waiting for adoption from foster care have been removed from their birth families and have been placed under the care and supervision of the state. As a result of these experiences, children may have experienced abuse and/or neglect. Their needs may be emotional, behavioral and academic. 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 that need to remain together. Over half of the children waiting for permanency are children of color.
Meet Children Waiting in Foster Care
There are a number of ways you can meet children currently waiting for adoption from foster care. You can visit our Waiting Identified Child listing and filter the region to “Minnesota” to see children for whom we are advocating.
Additionally, some of our partner sites post information about children waiting to be adopted from foster care. We encourage you to check out MN Adopt State Adoption Exchange and Hennepin County Listing.View Waiting Children’s Profiles on Our Site
Attend an Orientation Session
Our orientation sessions are meant to help you determine if adopting through the foster care system might be the right choice for your family. The goal is to provide you with an in-depth overview of the adoption process and the children who are waiting for families before you formally begin the adoption process. You must attend a Foster Care Adoption Orientation Session before you can register for the two-day Adoption Education Classes.Find and Register for a Foster Care Adoption Orientation Session
Attend Adoption Education Classes
These classes will familiarize you with the issues and needs that children waiting in foster care bring to families. Topics covered include: separation, grief and loss, mental health, attachment, abuse and neglect, child development, cross-cultural parenting, and openness. You will also have an opportunity to ask questions of both an adoptive parent panel and a teen panel.Find and Register for a Foster Care Adoption Education Class
The home study process includes several meetings with your adoption 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, personal history, family lifestyle and interests, parenting style, income, housing and the type of child you are open to parenting. Home studies are generally completed within a three- to four- month time frame.
Foster Care Licensing
This step is unique to adopting from foster care. Becoming a licensed foster home 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 your foster care license is usually closed once your adoption is finalized. If you are planning on adopting a child under the age of nine, additional state-mandated training is required.
The Matching Process
This process allows a family to explore the needs and characteristics of a child or sibling group in the foster care system. Keeping these needs in mind, your social worker will work with you to explore the strengths of your family and discuss how you might best meet the needs of the child or sibling group. 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 and therapists, to assist you in your decision-making process. It is important to remember that the child’s county social worker represents him or her in the matching process and all placement decisions are made in the best interest of the child. Once all involved parties have made a commitment to proceed with placement, pre-placement visits begin. The length and frequency of visits depends on the age and needs of the child being placed.
Placement & Finalization
Placement refers to when the child moves into your family’s home. Your social worker will remain in regular contact with you to support you during this time of adjustment. We also encourage you to participate in our ongoing support services. When you are ready to finalize, your social worker will give you information on the steps that are required to complete the legal adoption process.
Dedicated to Supporting You throughout the Journey
Because adoption is a lifelong journey, families are encouraged to participate in ongoing education, support and referral services through our Post Adoption Services.
If you are interested in helping children in this way, you can learn more during our Foster Care Adoption Education Classes and discuss this option with our staff. Once you’ve indicated interest, we will connect you with upcoming training on concurrent permanency planning.
Q: How do I get started?
A: We are always welcoming families to come and lean about waiting children and the process for becoming a permanent resource through adoption. We have frequent two hour orientation sessions provided in-person (Twin Cities Metro area) and via webinar (for those in Greater MN). Attending this orientation session will provide you with two of the required twenty hours of education, should you continue to move forward with the adoption process. This session will help you become more familiar with our organization, mission and program-specific process for adopting children from foster care.
Following the orientation session, you are encouraged to take your time and not feel pressure to move faster than you feel comfortable. Much like adoption through this program, this is a process that requires time, flexibility, patience and energy.
The next step will be to take two additional hours of webinar training (specific information will be provided at the orientation session). After completing the two hours of additional training you will register for one of our two-day adoption education classes.
The two-day adoption education class series is specific to adopting from foster care through our program. We provide you with information on topics relevant to waiting children and introduce strategies and resources that will be helpful throughout the process. Following classes, you are able to register for the program and begin working on the application.
Q: I saw a sibling group or youth that I’d like to adopt. How should I proceed?
A: You may inquire with the contact information provided in the child’s profile, however you will need to complete the process steps outlined above prior to officially matching with a child. It is our hope waiting children will find placement as quickly as possible and therefore the waiting children you see may not be available when you come through the process and have completed the steps including your adoption home study.
We encourage you to become familiar with waiting youth and recognize the need for families who are open to adopting older youth, sibling groups and children with identified needs.
Q: I am already licensed through my county but want to adopt. Can I start with you?
A: Yes! If you are currently licensed to provide foster care through your county, but would like to adopt through our program, you will need to close your foster care license with your county when you begin your home study process with us.
Q: What kinds of families are needed in this program?
A: Families who possess the skills and abilities to meet the needs of waiting children and are willing to learn and grow through the adoption process are most needed. Flexibility, patience and creativity go a long way, as do strong support networks!
We are dedicated to serving diverse families. Our foster care adoption program is open to individuals and families regardless of marital status, sexuality, religion or race.Adoption by Single ParentsAdoption by LGBT Parents