Helping Families in Minnesota Create an Open Adoption Plan That Benefits the Child, the Birth Parents, and the Adoptive ParentsWatch an On-Demand Webinar About Our Infant Program Now
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
- Application Part 1 – this step is free and helps determine program eligibility.
- Training – You will be invited to register for and attend our two-day pre-adoption education classes after your Application Part 1 is approved.
- Application Part 2– at the time you receive the invitation for training, you will also receive Application Part 2 which can be completed at your convenience, it is required to be completed before you begin the home study process.
- Assignment to Adoption Worker & Home Study – once the applications and trainings are complete, you will be assigned to an adoption worker to begin your adoption home study.
- Approval & Outreach – at the end of your home study process, you will be approved by our Infant Adoption team. Upon approval, you can begin working on outreach efforts with the support of your adoption worker. Check out our Top Seven Outreach Tips for Infant Waiting Families.
- Family Profile Service (Optional) – once you are approved by our Infant Adoption team, you may choose to join the optional Profile Service. Joining our Profile Service is a useful way to connect with expectant parents in addition to your outreach efforts. Through this service, you will be added to our Family Profile Book, Family Web Listing, and featured on social media. Our Profile Service has a maximum capacity, should it be full at the time you are ready to join, you join a waitlist and be invited in as others transition out at placement. Please contact us to inquire about current wait times.
- Match Meeting – this is an opportunity for the expectant parents and prospective adoptive parents to get to know each other, interview one another, ask questions, etc. to determine if both sides feel comfortable moving forward with a match.
- Openness Planning – after a match is solidified, everyone meets again to discuss the details of the hospital experience and make a plan for what openness will look like moving forward, which includes the option for a legally binding contact agreement if desired.
- Placement of Child – this step occurs when you take physical custody of the child you are adopting.
- Finalization of Adoption – after the placement of a child, we will guide you through the steps needed to finalize the adoption in the county where you reside.
The length of time it takes to complete an infant adoption varies greatly. On average, it takes 2-3 years. We’ve found that families who actively do their own outreach often become adoptive parents sooner. 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.
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 the 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.
A unique program option for Minnesota families that offers you the opportunity to be in both our infant and foster care adoption programs, ultimately resulting in one adoption.
Dual listing may be an option for you if you are open to children at least 0-3 years of age, ideally open to children up to at least 5 years of age. Openness to minor, moderate, and/or significant needs or sibling groups is required.
When submitting Application Part 1, please check both the Infant Program and Foster Care Adoption Program as programs of interest.Dual List Fees
Learn About Our Infant Adoption Program in Maryland and Virginia
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 Adoption LGBTQ Parent Adoption