Helping families in minnesota create an open adoption plan that benefits the child, the birth parents and the adoptive parentsLearn About Our Infant Adoption Program in Maryland and Virginia
What is open adoption?
Open adoptions are created by birth families and adoptive families with the best interest of the child at heart. Through open adoption, birth and adoptive families work together to plan a relationship that goes beyond the placement of their child; this relationship is ongoing and involves varying degrees of direct contact with each other. Through openness, children grow up without secrets and with information about their birth family.
This contact with the birth family allows children to grow up with a full awareness of the love that went into their adoption plan.
While establishing your open adoption relationship with your child’s birth family, you will work together to create a plan that is mutually beneficial and which seeks to meet the needs of everyone involved.
We encourage families to start their adoption journey by attending an adoption information session to learn about the adoption process.
Once you’ve submitted your registration, you will attend a two-day pre-adoption class. The first day of class helps prospective adoptive parents understand issues that are unique to parenting a child who was adopted. Topics during the first day include: grief and loss, adoptive family and birth family processes, openness, creating your adoption profile and cross-cultural issues. The second day of class is dedicated to providing outreach techniques and resources that will help prospective adoptive parents meet expectant parents seeking to create an adoption plan.
The Home Study
The home study process includes several meetings with your adoption worker and a visit to your home. The study also includes a complete criminal and child-abuse background check, medical examinations, reference letters, and other state- and federally-mandated requirements. Your adoption worker will guide you through the adoption process, as well as other pre-adoption requirements.
Meeting Expectant Birth Parents
As a client in this program, you can choose to include your profile in our Family Profile Book and on our Family Web Listing— two means of outreach that may result in a birth parent choosing to make an adoption plan with you. The book is available to expectant parents living in Minnesota who are working with our Pregnancy and Birth Parent Services. If you place your profile on our Family Web Listing, it is available to any birth parent who is considering adoption.
With networking opportunities enhanced by internet resources and a growing appreciation of open adoption, your ability to connect with a birth parent who is considering adoption is greater than ever. We encourage you to network and will provide you with the tools and support you need.
Whether through agency profiles or personal outreach, when an expectant parent expresses interest in meeting you, the next step is a match meeting, which provides an opportunity for you to get together in-person prior to committing to a match. If the match is mutually agreed upon, we will assist in creating an adoption plan and preparing for the child’s birth.
Placement and Finalization
Adoptive families in the Domestic Infant Open Adoption program may bring the child home directly from the hospital or shortly after birth. This is considered a “legal risk” placement for a period of time according to the state in which the child was born. The adoptive placement is supervised by our agency for a minimum of 90 days after placement, after which time you will be able to finalize your adoption in court.
Dedicated to Supporting You Throughout the Journey
Families receive ongoing support and assistance in building a relationship with their child’s birth family, both during the pregnancy and beyond.
Because adoption is a lifelong journey, families also have the opportunity to participate in ongoing education, support and referral services through our Post Adoption Services.
The total cost of your domestic infant adoption will be mostly made up of fees and expenses which can be broken into two categories:
- Adoption Service Fees and Potential Program Fees, including: education and preparation, home study, agency/attorney coordination, post placement supervision, etc. Note: We do not charge mileage fees for the mileage to and from agency meetings with birth parents.
- Birth Parent Service Program Fees, including: education, unlimited counseling and support, assistance with implementing an adoption plan, etc. Note: Families working with birth parents who are not working with Children’s Home and LSS should expect to pay birth parent fees to whoever is providing those services.
In addition, you may encounter additional fees and expenses which will be paid directly to a third party (e.g. travel, attorney fees, etc.).Learn About Resources for Funding Your Adoption
When we receive your registration, we provide you information about your next steps in the process and each month you will receive an update with details about program activities.
You may choose to join our program that offers two service tracks as described below. Please keep in mind that with infant open adoption there is no way to predict or guarantee a time frame for placement to occur, the child’s birth parents decide which family feels like the best fit for their child.
Profile & Outreach Service Track
Joining our Family Profile Book and Family Web Listing is a useful way to connect with expectant parents in addition to your outreach efforts. Here are a few things to keep in mind about the timeline for this process:
- After your registration is processed, you will be added to a registration hold list and can expect to wait five to seven months to receive the application documents that allow you to continue the adoption home study process. During this time, you will also be invited to attend the two-day pre-adoption education classes.
- When you receive verbal recommendation for adoption home study approval, you are ready to join the profile service. Note our profile service has a maximum capacity, should it be full at the time you are ready to join, you will be invited in as others transition out at placement.
- Once you begin the profile service, your profile will be added to the Family Profile Book and Family Web Listing.
- When you are home study approved, you can also immediately begin working on all outreach efforts with the support of an adoption worker. For ideas for successful outreach, please check out our Top Seven Outreach Tips for Domestic Infant Waiting Families.
Outreach Service Track
If you prefer to focus on outreach options other than our family profile services, you can elect to join our Outreach Focus Track. Here are a few things to keep in mind about the timeline for this process:
- After your registration is processed, you will immediately receive the application documents to continue the adoption home study process.
- Once your adoption home study is approved, you can immediately begin working on all outreach efforts (other than family profile services) with the support of an adoption worker. For ideas for successful outreach, please check out our Top Seven Outreach Tips for Domestic Infant Waiting Families.
Should Outreach Service families choose to switch to the Profile & Outreach Service track, their adoption worker can assist them with the transition. On average, it will take approximately six months longer for families who start in the Outreach Service track to enter the Profile & Outreach Service track. Families desiring the profile service in addition to outreach are able to save some time in their process by initially choosing the Profile & Outreach Service track.
An adoption counselor will consult with you on your specific designated adoption situation to determine the needs of the adoptive and birth families, and to plan for services to meet those needs. We will consult with all attorneys and agencies involved to coordinate a plan. We also utilize our experience, knowledge and connections to help families navigate the process of connecting with a birth family in another state.
We have developed and maintain effective collaborations with outside resources critical to a designated adoption process such as Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC), American Academy of Adoption Attorneys, Indian Law Center, and Department of Human Services.
Many designated situations can be time critical. We will act responsively to ensure the best opportunity for adoptive families to complete requirements necessary for the placement of a child into their home.
Lutheran Adoption Network
Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota is a member of the Lutheran Adoption Network (LAN) which is a national network of agencies providing adoption services. If you are in need of adoption services in another state, we can access reliable services through the Lutheran Adoption Network.
Serving All Families
We are dedicated to serving all families. Our infant open adoption program is open to individuals and families regardless of marital status, sexuality, gender identity, gender expression, religion or race.
Single Parent AdoptionLGBTQ Adoption