Adoption

See how adoption can change lives.

The Hennepin County adoption program is for the people who can open their homes and their hearts to give a family to children in the child protection system who are waiting to be adopted.

From 2000 to 2012, Hennepin County finalized the adoptions of 2,086 children.

We want permanent families for all of the children who are waiting.

Are you ready to make the commitment to change a child’s life and transform your own?

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Adoption process

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Information meetings 

In a two-hour information meeting, you will find out more about the Hennepin County Adoption Program,  the adoption process, and Hennepin County’s waiting children.

Training

The adoption process is a personal and reflective journey. We understand that each person completes this process at a different pace. This multi-session training will help you to determine whether adoption is right for you.

If you choose to proceed with the adoption process, you can complete a home study application before the last night of class. 

Find more information about training, including requirements, schedules and registration information.  

Complete the application

This includes background checks, references, other paperwork, and your family profile.

Adoption home study

This is the story of your family. It is used to match you with the right adoptive child or children. On average, it takes 4-6 months to complete. There are no fees when you adopt children under state guardianship. Having an approved home study enables you to adopt a child from any of Minnesota's 87 counties.

Mail completed home studies to:

Amy Sullivan, Targeted Adoption Recruiter
Hennepin County Adoption Program
525 Portland Ave. S, MC 960
Minneapolis, MN 55415

Or fax:

612-632-8728

The matching process

Our primary goal is to find permanent, adoptive families for our waiting children. Your home study worker will help guide you through this process. Finding the right fit between a family and a child or sibling group depends upon your openness to parent the children who are waiting. These include children of color, older children and sibling groups, and children with a range of special needs.

Preparation and placement

The prospective adoptive parents meet with each child’s foster parents, social workers, teachers, therapists, and all others who have knowledge of the child’s needs. They review all of the child's written documentation pertaining to the child's history and begin planned visits, before accepting the child or children into their home for purposes of adoption.

Make it official

Social workers provide support during the transition phase. The court will finalize the adoption no sooner than 90 days after children are placed with their families. In the meantime, social workers prepare the Adoption Assistance Agreement, to be approved by the Minnesota Department of Human Services. Once that document is approved, the Petition to Adopt is filed with Juvenile Court and a court date is set to finalize the adoption.

Families, children, and others attend the adoption finalization court hearing, and celebrate this special Adoption Day.

A new family

Parents are now the legal parents, social workers close cases, adoption assistance begins, the family completes an application for medical assistance in each child’s new name, and post-adoption services are offered to families through www.mnadopt.org or 612-861-7115.

Search for waiting children

The majority of Hennepin County's waiting children range in age from 10 to 17 years old. They include both single children and sibling groups waiting for a family in which they can be adopted together.

The children's best interests are the top priority in Hennepin County adoption placements.

Adoption information meetings and training

Adopting parents must attend two phases of training, including an introductory session.

Spring 2014 adoption information meetings 

This two-hour gathering is a prerequisite for the pre-adoption training. You will find out more about the Hennepin County adoption program, the adoption process, and Hennepin County’s waiting children. If you are a couple, both of you must attend. No registration is necessary. Child care is not provided.

Call 612-348-5437 to be placed on the mailing list for upcoming information meetings.

Spring class schedule:

  • Tuesday, April 29, 6 -8 p.m., North Regional Library, South Half Meeting Room, second floor, 1315 Lowry Avenue North, Minneapolis
  • Saturday, May 31, 10 a.m. – noon, Franklin Library, lower level meeting room, 1314 East Franklin Avenue, Minneapolis

More information

Learn about Minnesota's "waiting children"

In Hennepin County, the children who are waiting for adoption are under state guardianship because their birth parents' rights have been legally terminated. These children have experienced abuse and/or neglect, trauma, and have some special needs because of these experiences. Their needs may include physical, emotional, developmental, and mental health needs that often require extra support.

The majority are children of color. Native American children may be covered under the Indian Child Welfare Act (PDF).

Eligibility guidelines

You can make a family through adoption in Hennepin County if you:

  • Are at least 21 years old
  • Are single or married or partnered
  • Rent or own a home with at least 2 bedrooms
  • Meet foster care licensing standards, and pass criminal and social service background checks
  • Are at least two years free from chemical abuse

Hennepin County does not discriminate based on an individual's race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or public assistance status.

Financial support is available

Adoption is a legal process, and there are some fees associated with the process. Most of these fees are reimbursable through adoption assistance. If you choose to adopt a Minnesota Waiting Child there is no fee for the home study or for the state-mandated training. Adoption assistance is available as a reimbursement program, based on the child’s current documented special needs. This program is run by the State of Minnesota to assist families who have adopted children who were under state guardianship. It includes medical assistance and may include reimbursement for some expenses to address children’s special needs and some non-medical costs. In some cases child care assistance and monthly financial assistance may be available.

Read more:

Adoption assistance agreement (PDF)

Troubleshooting adoption assistance agreements

If the child’s documented needs change, the adoptive family can request to have the adoption assistance agreement amended. You must have specific documentation of your child’s special needs to justify amending the supplemental levels (for example: an assessment for a diagnosis from a doctor, or an occupational therapist, or a therapist, or the special education program, etc.)

Call 651-431-4656, extension 2, to reach the Minnesota Department of Human Services Adoption Assistance Line. Ask for a letter of instruction and a “Needs Assessment Form.”

Minnesota adoption assistance benefits overview (PDF)

Send us an email if you have additional updated information on your child’s special needs and would like to request a review.

Learn about adopting foster children

Hennepin County requires specialized adoption training for licensed foster or relative/kin families planning to adopt the child or children into their home.

Read more:

Foster to adopt and kinship program

Other resources

Hennepin County has compiled the information below for use by adoptive or foster families as well as professionals but we cannot endorse or guarantee any particular resource.

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