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

Foster Adopt Minnesota
612-798-4033, ext. 150


On this page:

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 home studies 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 home study 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 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 Foster Adopt Minnesota to oversee the state adoption exchange and provide pre- and post-placement information to support to foster, adoptive, and kinship families and the professionals who work with them.

Foster Adopt Minnesota services include:

  • Education program: Online and statewide in-person workshops on a wide range of topics relevant to adoptive, foster, and kinship families
  • “Zero Kids Waiting”: Online and phone-based information about adoption and foster care in Minnesota. Provides awareness, information, assistance and referrals to connect Minnesota’s waiting children with adoptive families.
  • Help program: Help line for adoptive, foster and kinship parents, and professionals providing post-adoption support and guidance and referral to therapeutic and supportive services
  • Post-adoption navigator: Providing information regarding post-adoption services in Minnesota
  • Post-adoption search services: Provides information and referral to people who were adopted, to birth families, and to adoptive families  

Phone: 612-861-7115
Fax: 612-861-7112

Post-adoption support services

See a comprehensive list of post-adoption and guardianship support services and support groups available to families who live in Minnesota.

Information on Minnesota's children

Source for this information are Child Welfare League of America's report Minnesota's Children 2017 (90 KB PDF) and Minnesota Department of Human Services fact sheet (56 KB PDF). To learn more, please go to the Minnesota DHS website and see the Reel Hope Project.