FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT ADOPTION

orangenew Adoption Credit and Adoption Assistance Programs

 

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.

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 maturity.

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 guardianship.
  • 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 them.
  • 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 assistance)
  • 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 County 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 Initiative (PPAI).

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 75-mile radius.
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 federal employees.

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