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Foster Adopt Minnesota supports Minnesota’s adoptive, foster, and kinship families and the professionals who work in these communities.

Since 1980, our mission has been to find and strengthen Minnesota adoptive, foster & kinship families.


History of Foster Adopt Minnesota
Creating permanency, empowering families.

Since 1980, Foster Adopt Minnesota has been focused on the goal of ensuring that every Minnesota child grows up in a safe and nurturing family. Although our programming has evolved, our focus on finding homes for children and providing quality post adoption services has remained consistent. Below are some of the historical highlights of our organizational growth and program development.



Organization Established under the name Citizen’s Coalition on Permanence for Children

The MN ADOPT organization was founded in 1980 under the name Citizen‚Äôs Coalition on Permanence for Children. This founding group, which included a mix of advocacy-minded adoptive and foster parents, was borne out of a collective concern about the trauma experienced by Minnesota foster children. Multiple out-of-home placements, which often were long term, were the norm. With no collective goal or advocacy systems in place for reunification, kinship placement, or adoption, most of these children lived with temporary, non-kin families until they reached the age of eighteen. At that time, they ‚Äėaged-out‚Äô (i.e., became no longer eligible for foster care) and experienced heightened risks for homelessness, poverty, incarceration, and chemical dependency.





First State Contract Awarded

It was in this same year that MN ADOPT staff approached this issue with a creative idea ‚Äď designing and disseminating a magazine photo listing of Minnesota‚Äôs Waiting Children which was distributed statewide in order to help find permanency resources and to help bring attention to this underrepresented population. This was a huge step forward for child placing agencies and counties across the State to strengthen their collaboration and advocacy effects on behalf of these children. This initiative was so successful that in 1982 the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) awarded MN ADOPT the state contract to maintain the State Adoption Exchange to help find families for Minnesota‚Äôs waiting children.





Organizational Rebranding: Citizen’s Coalition on Permanence for Children changes its name to Minnesota Adoption Resource Network (MARN)

In 1992 the Citizens’ Coalition on Permanence for Children changed its operational name to Minnesota Adoption Resource Network, commonly referred to within the adoption community simply as MARN. During this time frame MARN focused on advocating for the Minnesota adoption community through the various supportive services it offered, as well as overall internal organizational development.





Beginning of Ongoing Collaboration with Local Media

In 1983, MN ADOPT began a professional collaboration with KSTP, a large, local media station, whose leadership also felt called to action to advocate for this vulnerable population through the reach of their media. This relationship resulted in various media features focusing on Minnesota’s waiting children, such as the television feature, Thursday’s Child. This broader scale promotion helped bring awareness of the experiences of Minnesota’s waiting children and the need for adoptive and foster families into the homes of Minnesotans. This collaboration continues to this day and includes the widely popular Twin Cities Live segment, Kid Connection.




State Adoption Exchange (SAE) Expands into the Digital Age

MN ADOPT received additional funding to expand the State Adoption Exchange into an online based, recruitment tool for Minnesota’s Waiting Children. The State Adoption Exchange, commonly referred to simply as the SAE, continues to this day to be a strong recruitment and educational tool for prospective adoptive parents and adoption workers.





Collaborative Post-Adoption Services Contract Awarded – MN ASAP

In 1999 the Minnesota Department of Human Services contracted with MN ADOPT to establish a new state program focused on providing Minnesota post-adoption supportive services. This program, whose full title was Minnesota Adoption Support and Preservation, became commonly referred to in the adoption community as MN ASAP.

Through MN ASAP, MN ADOPT collaborated closely with the North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACAC) to offer Minnesota Adoption Support and Preservation resources, referrals, training, and support groups to adoptive families in Minnesota. While the MN ASAP contract ended in 2009, both MN ADOPT and NACAC continue to separately provide complementary post adoption services to the Minnesota adoption community.





Minnesota Adoption Resource Network (MARN) Awarded Another State Contract to Provide Specific Post-Adoption Support Services

Through its strong track record of providing beneficial programming, MARN entered into another contract with the Minnesota Department of Human Services to provide specific post-adoption services. This contract, which was known as the MN ADOPT contract, included maintaining the State Adoption Exchange as well as the exciting task of creating an educational program which provides specific adoption-focused training opportunities to the Minnesota adoption and foster care community.

The addition of this new educational program was the first opportunity MARN staff had to offer the community at large a variety of workshops and conferences focused on topics such as Trauma, Attachment, Grief & Loss, Fetal Alcohol Exposure, Transracial Adoption Considerations….etc. Currently the MN ADOPT Educational Program is a Minnesota leader in providing the adoption, foster and kinship community access to quality, pertinent educational offerings.



MARN Expands Yet Again to Establish the HELP Program

Due to the increasing clinical and supportive needs of the adoption community, in 2011 MARN and the Minnesota Department of Human Services extended its contract services to include the establishment of a nationally unique program focused on providing post-adoption clinical support and resource linkage assistance to the Minnesota adoption community. This exciting new initiative was called simply the HELP Program, as its goal was to ‚Äėhelp‚Äô Minnesota families that adopted through the Minnesota foster care system.

Since the program’s inception, and the quick identification of need, the HELP Program expanded its supportive services to be accessible not only to those families that adopted through the Minnesota foster care system, but also those that adopted Internationally, Domestically (e.g. Domestic Infant; Adoption through another states foster care system) as well as Kinship adoption families. In addition, the HELP Program became a source of great support, education and guidance to the myriad community professionals that intersect with this population.




Organizational Rebranding Part Two: Minnesota Adoption Resource Network changes its name and rebrands itself to MN ADOPT

Having provided immensely popular programming for 5 years under the MN ADOPT contract, and due to the confusion experienced within the community due to the different names associated with the supports available through MARN, in 2014 the decision was made to change the organization name MARN to MN ADOPT with a mission ‚Äúto promote and support successful adoptions for Minnesota children and families‚ÄĚ.
MN ADOPT is not a child placing agency, but partners with agencies, counties, tribes, and the State of Minnesota to:

  • Inform, recruit and educate prospective families;
  • Provide continuing education, advocacy, and support to people whose lives are impacted by adoptions, and;
  • Heighten the visibility of children in foster care systems who are in need of permanent families




MN ADOPT Expands Contract with the Department of Human Services to Include Services for Foster Care and Kinship Communities.

Due to legislative changes in 2017, MN ADOPT’s contract with DHS was expanded to add services focused on the Minnesota foster care and kinship communities.  While this work was already being done on an informal, limited basis, this contract change increased funding and services available to these communities.  With this expanded contract, MN ADOPT added the following programs:

Fostering Network ‚Äď Provides information and referral to those interested in becoming licensed for child foster care.
FosterED ‚Äď A partnership with counties and licensing agencies to offer free educational offerings to their licensed foster parents.
Post Adoption Navigator ‚Äď Proactive reach out to families who have recently finalized the adoption of a child under state guardianship, with a focus on providing resource and information, and raising awareness about the availability of post adoption services.
Post Search ‚Äď Provides information and referral for adoptive and birth families seeking information and connection.




Organizational Rebranding:  MN ADOPT changes its name and rebrands itself as Foster Adopt Minnesota. 

Organizational Rebranding:  MN ADOPT changes its name and rebrands itself as Foster Adopt Minnesota.  In recent years, MN ADOPT has continued to expand their work, with an increased focus on services designed to strengthen support for Minnesota’s foster and kinship communities. With this expansion, it became clear MN ADOPT needed a name that better reflects the scope of their work and that is more welcoming to all the communities we support.

This brand update process was a long and thoughtful one, with consultants, focus group surveys, and much internal discussion. While MN ADOPT considered many options, including inventive and more creative names, they decided to stay true to their history and the communities they support by having a name that descriptively reflects their work and speaks directly to the communities who are at the heart of their services.

Foster¬†Adopt¬†Minnesota also utilizes the acronym ‚ÄúFAM,‚ÄĚ which is important because it represents the vision of Zero Kids Waiting for a permanent, loving family. Also, the information, education, and resources provided reflects their value of family-centered support for children and their families to thrive.

  • Foster Adopt Minnesota supports Minnesota‚Äôs foster families, so that children and their caregivers receive the support needed as work is being done to reunite them with their kinship families.
  • Foster Adopt Minnesota supports Minnesota‚Äôs kinship families, formal and informal, with the goal of keeping Minnesota children with kin or close connections whenever possible.
  • Foster Adopt Minnesota supports Minnesota‚Äôs adoptive families, so that when remaining with kin is not an option, children and their new families have the support they need.

While their name has changed, their services remain the same, with programming designed to provide information, connection, and resources to the communities we support.

  • The Zero Kids Waiting Program¬†is the gateway to information about adoption, foster and kinship care in Minnesota.
  • The Fostering Network Program¬†provides awareness, information, support, and referral to improve the safety and well-being of Minnesota children in foster care.
  • The HELP Program¬†provides support, guidance, and resource connection for Minnesota‚Äôs adoption, foster and kinship communities.
  • The Post-Adoption Navigator Program¬†shares information, resources, and referrals for a full year after the finalization of an adoption from foster care in Minnesota.
  • The Education Program¬†provides workshops on topics relevant to foster, adoptive, and kinship families.
  • The Post Search Program¬†provides information and referral to adopted persons, birth families and adoptive families who need records or have questions about the search process.






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