FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT ADOPTION
RELATIVE ADOPTION – WHO MUST COMPLETE A HOMES STUDY
As of August 1, 2012, an approved adoption home study must be completed before placing any child under guardianship of the commissioner in a home for the purpose of adoption. This is required even for children under guardianship of the commissioner being adopted by relatives.
Minnesota Adoption Fact Sheets
Adoption: Finding families for Minnesota's waiting children (PDF) (October 2012)
Adoption information, support, training and referral for families (PDF) (October 2012)
Concurrent Permanency Planning: Reducing time in foster care (PDF) (October 2012)
Who are Minnesota Waiting children?
Minnesota Waiting Children are under the supervision of The Minnesota Department
of Human Services and await permanent, stable, loving families. They are of all
ages and races, and are typically over the age of six. Many have siblings and
need to be placed with their sibling group. Some have medical or other special
needs. Many reside in foster homes, some in residential treatment centers, and
most have been traumatized during their critical developmental years. Many will
need additional educational, medical or psychological help as they grow towards
How do children come under state guardianship?
Children who are living in unsafe situations may be removed from their family of
origin and placed in foster care. In cases where the parents are not able to
meet the requirements to have their children returned to them, parental rights
are terminated. When courts terminate parents' rights, children are committed to
the guardianship of the state of Minnesota and the Department of Human Services.
The Department of Human Services goal is to find permanent homes, preferably
through adoption, for all children under state guardianship. The county social
service agency caring for the child is responsible for identifying children's
needs, finding an adoptive family and supporting the adoption placement.
What is the process for adopting children who are under state guardianship?
The process is as follows:
• A court terminates parental rights and places a child under state
• The child’s worker places the description of the child on the State Adoption
Exchange or uses other means to let prospective parents learn about the child.
• Prospective families begin the process of being considered for adoption that
will include being fingerprinted, having a background check and undergoing
training on parenting children who have experienced trauma. This process is
called a home study, completed through their county or a private adoption
agency. Once completed and approved, the home study is submitted to the State
Adoption Exchange for purposes of making a ‘match’ between a family and a child.
• County agencies or a private placing agency select a family who can best meet
a child’s needs.
• A series of meetings take place wherein the family learns about the child and
makes a decision about whether they can parent this child or sibling group.
• The child moves into the family’s home, if the family is not already fostering
• The court finalizes the adoption.
• Further assistance may be available to families who adopt children with
special needs and who are eligible for these benefits. (Link to adoption
• Ongoing support is always recommended through post adoption training, finding
adoption competent professionals and seeking out a support group. Contact MN
ADOPT for referral and suggestions.
What is the cost of adopting Minnesota Waiting Children?
The cost for adoption preparation and the adoption home study are covered by the
State of Minnesota for families who adopt Minnesota Waiting Children. Additional
costs related to adoption may be covered by tax credits and reimbursement of
expenses incurred during the pre-adoption process.
Where can I get more information about adoption?
Call MN ADOPT at 612-861-7115 if you have specific questions. If you are
interested in adopting a child under State guardianship contact your
Social Service Agency or a private adoption agency that is designated by the
Department of Human Services as a member of the
Public Private Adoption
What is the Family and Medical Leave Act?
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal law that became effective
on August 5, 1993. It was established to assist employees in balancing their
work and family life. It was intended and designed to give workers assurance
that they will not lose their jobs in order to meet their personal and family
obligations or to tend to vital needs at home. It requires employers, both
private and public, to provide 12 weeks of unpaid leave, continue health care
benefits and provide job protection. FMLA applies to employers with 50 or more
employees that have been on payroll for 20 or more weeks in a calendar year.
An employee can be eligible for FMLA if he or she has:
worked for an employer a minimum of one year;
worked a minimum of 1,250 hours during the 12 months prior to the start of the
FMLA leave; and
is employed at a location where at least 50 employees are working within a
An employer may grant leave for
the birth and care of a newborn child;
the placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care and to
care for the newly placed child;
to care for an immediate family member (spouse, child or parent, but not a
parent-in-law) with a serious health condition;
and when the employee is unable to work because of a serious health condition.
When an employee requests leave, it is the employer's responsibility to
designate the leave as FMLA leave. This may be done via a letter to the
employee. Leave may not be counted toward 12 weeks if the employer fails to
designate the leave as FMLA.
The U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division administers and enforces
FMLA for all private, state and local government employees, as well as for some
What is the Minnesota's Parental Leave Law?
page updated August 2013