AdoptUSKids For Families

Minnesota Foster and Adoption Guidelines


The adoption and foster care process may take some time, but the rewards are well worth the effort. Children are our greatest resource and our future.

Contact Information


Things You Should Know


Foster and Adoption Licensing Requirements


All kinds of families are needed. To foster or adopt, you can:

  • Be married, single, or divorced
  • Experienced in parenting or not
  • Own or rent where you live

Specific requirements for homestudies varies by agency, so be sure to ask for a list of the items and information your agency needs.

The following items are commonly required during the homestudy process to foster or adopt:

  • An autobiographical statement--a statement you create about your life history
  • Certified copies of birth certificates for you, and, if applicable, your partner and any children
  • If you are married, a certified copy of your marriage license
  • If you have ever been divorced, certified copies of divorce decrees
  • If applicable, the death certificate of a former spouse;
  • Certified copies of the finalization or adoption decrees for any adopted children
  • Child abuse and criminal record clearances, or a notarized statement from the police declaring that you and other adults in your home have no felony convictions
  • Income verification (may include tax returns, W-2 forms, and paycheck stubs) to show that your current income is meeting your current needs
  • A statement of health provided by a physician, which might include lab test results
  • Written references from friends, employers, neighbors, etc.
  • Fingerprints

Read more about foster care from the State Department of Human Services or call the National Foster Parent Association at 800-557-5238.


Costs to Foster and Adopt


Public agencies do not charge fees for adoption of Minnesota's waiting children.

If you adopt a child who is waiting in foster care in another state, there will be a fee, but it is possible that the child’s state will pay the fee or reimburse you. After you have completed your homestudy and started searching for the child whom you will adopt, you will be able to talk to individual children’s case workers about whether or not the child’s state will be able to pay the fee or reimburse you.

Other nonprofit agencies (i.e. those who are not part of the Public/Private Adoption Initiative) may have fixed fees or a sliding fee scale based on family income.

Public or county social service agencies only place children who are in foster care.

When adopting a child with special needs, an adoptive family may qualify for reimbursement of some expenses. These “non-recurring expenses” include agency placement fees, agency fees for supervision of the adoptive placement, court and attorney fees, and transportation and lodging costs for the child and the adoptive family.


Agency Contact and Orientation Information


The State Department of Human Services has contracted with Minnesota Adoption Resource Network (MARN) to manage MN ADOPT, which combines the State Adoption Exchange with an Adoption Information, Referral and Training System. In addition, MN ADOPT offers the HELP program, which provides immediate support, information, and referrals to adoption competent therapists for all adoptive families in need. The State Adoption Exchange will continue under MN ADOPT with the same availability for those who currently utilize the State Adoption Exchange.

The MN ADOPT web site will include information on therapeutic, support and crisis services, adoption information and resources, and comprehensive family/professional training opportunities.

Regional and Metro area specialized trainings will be provided to parents and professionals with an emphasis on parenting the older adopted child. Dynamic instructors willing to meet the needs of both parents and professionals will be engaged to facilitate the trainings. Interactive webinar trainings will be offered to parents and professionals. These trainings will be strategy-rich and evidence-based to ensure positive outcomes from families.

MN ADOPT will respond to all email, mail, and telephone inquiries about adoption.


Parent Support Groups


For information about parent support groups, please contact Wendylee Raun at 612-746-5123 or at


Information on Minnesota's Waiting Children


In 2011, 4,995 children in Minnesota lived apart from their families in out-of-home care. 

Here is more information about the children in out-of-home care:

  • White: 42.4 percent
  • Black: 17.8 percent
  • Two or more races: 9.5 percent
  • Hispanic : 9.5 percent
  • American Indian/Alaska Native: 16 percent
  • Asian: 2.2 percent

In 2011, 1,375 of the children living apart from their families were age 5 or younger, and 856 were 16 or older.

Of the 5,709 children exiting out-of-home care in Minnesota in 2011, 63.8% were reunited with their parents or other family members.

In 2011, 580 children were legally adopted through the public child welfare agency in Minnesota.

Of the 4,995 children in out-of-home care in 2011, 923 or 18.5% were waiting to be adopted.

Source: Childwelfare League of America's report Minnesota's Children 2013.

As of September 2013, 520 children were waiting to be adopted immediately.  Of the 520 children waiting to be adopted immediately:

  • 52% percent are children of color
  • 53% percent are siblings who need to be adopted together
  • 40% percent have been diagnosed with a psychological or medical disability
  • 33% percent are 12 to 18 years old
  • 30% percent are 6 to 11 years old
  • 37% percent are under 6 years old, although many of these children are part of sibling groups who need to be adopted together

Source: Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS-4746-ENG 10-12)


Upcoming Events


View a list of training available in Minnesota. This site lists trainings available through Minnesota Adoption Support and Preservation and other agencies.

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