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Adoption Process

Step 1: Make Contact, Ask Questions, Learn More

A Ramsey County Adoption Social Worker is waiting to answer your questions about adopting a Waiting Child in Ramsey County. When families adopt through Ramsey County, you also receive the support of a private adoption agency. If you are not yet connected with a private agency, a Ramsey County social worker will help your family select one that will meet your needs. You also may call private child-placement agencies that are licensed by the State of Minnesota and are involved with permanency planning for children. If considering a private agency that is not part of the Public Private Adoption Initiative, you should request information about possible fees. 

Your next step is to attend orientation meetings and training sessions.  Many of your questions will be discussed at these meetings. This orientation is designed to equip you with more information so you can make an informed decision as to whether you should move forward with pursuing adoption.  The Adoption Education Classes are 16-18 hours and are held regularly in the Twin Cities and surrounding areas. These classes familiarize you with the youth to be adopted and the needs they have. Topics covered during the classes include: how youth come into the system, loss and grief, attachment and claiming, abuse and neglect, the impact of prenatal substance abuse, child development, cross cultural parenting and openness. You may also have the opportunity to listen to a panel of adoptive parents and teens and ask questions.

Step 2: Complete an Adoption Application

To learn more about your readiness and ability to care for an adopted child, your private adoption social worker will work with you to collect information about your health, family, finances, and personal history.

Step 3: Matching Process Begins

Your private adoption worker and Ramsey County will work with you to identify a child or sibling group in foster care available for adoption that might be a good match for your family. If you and Ramsey County decide to move forward with exploring a specific match, you will be able to meet with the child’s foster parents, teachers, counselors, and therapists to learn more about the unique personality and needs of the child.

Step 4: Pre-adoptive Placement & Adoption Finalization

If you and all parties agree that your family and the child are a good match, the adoption will move forward. Your adoption social workers will continue to provide guidance and support as you finalize the adoption. Together you will develop a plan to help your child transition to your home and family. Before the child moves in with you, you will get to know each other through outings and weekend visits. Your adoption social workers will help you coordinate financial benefits as well as medical, counseling, and educational services for your child.

Step 5: On-going Support

Your adoption social workers will help you connect with resources to ensure that your family continues to receive support well after the adoption has been finalized.

Next Steps

To connect with a Ramsey County Adoption Social Worker, call 651-266-KIDS or email