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

Margo Kurth


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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 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 foster, kinship, and 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:

Email: info@mnadopt.org
Phone and Fax: 612-861-7112

Parent support groups

For information about parent support groups, please contact Ginny Blade at North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACAC): 651-646-5082 or ginnyblade@nacac.org.

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.