Adoption

Adoption in Wright County


Wright County Health and Human Services seeks adoptive homes for children and provides case management services under the guardianship of the MN Commissioner of Human Services. State guardianship occurs after parental rights have been terminated during a child protection case due to unresolved safety issues.

Most children return to their parent’s care during a child protection case. For those who cannot return home, adoption is one of the options available to provide a permanent home. Many children are adopted by relatives or foster parents. For others, Wright County Health and Human Services seeks non-relatives for adoption. Children waiting for adoption are of all ages, genders, races, and ethnicities. They are often in sibling groups. Most of the children have experienced abuse, neglect or other trauma which may have lasting effects.

Stepparent and Private Relative Adoptions


Wright County Health and Human Services assists families with completing some of the requirements for stepparent adoptions and some private relative adoptions. For more information on this subject, please see the lower half of this page.

Becoming an Adoptive Parent


Becoming an adoptive parent of a child who is under state guardianship starts with completing a home study. Wright County Health and Human Services participates in the Public/Private Adoption Initiative (PPAI) program. Through this initiative, the Minnesota Department of Human Services contracts with private adoption agencies to complete no-fee home studies for families interested in adopting children through the child welfare system.

To find a complete list of PPAI participating agencies as well as other information on adoption, please visit the MN Adopt website.

More Information


To speak to someone at Wright County Health and Human Services about adoption, call the Wright County Health and Human Services main number at 763-682-7400, follow the prompts to “start services” and request to talk to an adoption worker.

Other Resources


Wright County Child Foster Care Program
Information on becoming a licensed foster care provider in Wright County.

Mainstreet Family Services, Elk River, MN
Local adoption, foster, and kinship support groups. 

MN Adopt
A resource for adoption and foster care in the State of Minnesota, including links to private and public agencies, MN waiting kids, adoption related trainings, and post adoption services.

MN Department of Human Services Adoption and Kinship 
A resource for adoption and kinship care information provided by the State of Minnesota.

MN Department of Human Services
Answers to your questions about adoption 

North American Council on Adoptable Children
National Adoption Information

STEPPARENT/PRIVATE RELATIVE ADOPTION 

Wright County Health and Human Services (WCHHS) assists families and the court with the following three requirements of the adoption process for stepparent adoptions and for private relative adoptions: 

  1. BACKGROUND CHECK: An Adam Walsh compliant background check is required for ALL adoptions in the State of Minnesota. In a stepparent adoption, the stepparent and anyone in the household over the age of 13 who is not biologically related to the child being adopted is required to comply with a background check. In a relative adoption, all relatives intending to adopt are required to complete a background check (MN Statute 259.41 subd. 3, and The Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006, Public Law 109-248) 
  2. FATHER’S ADOPTION REGISTRY: A search of the Father’s Adoption Registry is required for ALL adoptions in the State of Minnesota. In a Stepparent adoption, the birth parent or an attorney may request a search. In a relative adoption, an attorney may initiate a search. WCHHS will assist with this search if no attorney is available to do so. Instructions for initiating a search of the Father’s Adoption Registry are listed below. 
  3. POST PLACEMENT ASSESSMENT AND REPORT: A Post Placement Assessment and Report is required for all Stepparent adoptions, unless waived by the court. Adoption petitioners or their attorneys may request that the court waive this assessment and report as part of the petition process.

SERVICE FEES: 

Background check and Father Adoption Registry Search (if requested)$175.00
Background check with the Post Placement Assessment and Report (if not waived)$325.00


To apply for Stepparent or Relative adoption services: 

  1. Complete the Application for Services: After completing the form, print a copy for your records and then submit the form. The form will be routed to the adoption department for review. Application Form
  2. Make a Payment: At the bottom of the application is a link for payment. If you are paying by credit or debit card, follow the instructions to complete payment. If you are paying by check or cash, indicate this on the form on the spot provided. Payment can be mailed to or dropped off at: 1004 Commercial Drive, Buffalo, MN 55313. 
  3. Complete Fingerprints: When the application and payment have been received, WCHHS will send you a fingerprint card, a consent form, and instructions on getting fingerprints completed at the Wright County Sheriff’s Department. Return completed fingerprints and the consent form to WCHHS at 1004 Commercial Drive, Buffalo, MN. 
  4. Wait for Results: WCHHS will initiate the background check and the Father’s Adoption Registry search (if not completed by birth parent or attorney). The background check typically takes 30-60 days. When completed, the MN Department of Human Services will send a results letter to WCHHS. WCHHS will file the results with the court or provide to you or your attorney for filing. The Father’s Adoption Registry search typically takes 30-45 days to complete. A certified copy of the search results will be mailed to WCHHS to file with the court or provide to you or your attorney for filing. 

MN Father’s Adoption Registry Search Instructions 

A search of the registry is required for all adoptions in the State of Minnesota. If you have an attorney, request that they complete a search for you. If you are a birth parent, you may initiate a search on your own by accessing a search form on the MN Department of Health website:

https://www.health.state.mn.us/people/vitalrecords/registry/srchmoms.html 

Fully complete the form. If any information is unknown, write “unknown” in the space provided. Submit the form and the $25 fee to the address listed at the bottom of the form. If using a credit card, the form can be faxed to the fax number provided. Typically, the search takes 30-45 days to complete. The MN Department of Health will send you a certified copy of the search results that you can submit to the court. If you are not a birth parent or do not have any attorney, WCHHS will complete the search for you. 

Other Resources

Minnesota Judicial Branch
Court Forms and other court related information.

MN Adopt
Information about adoption in Minnesota, links to private and public agencies, and other adoption information.  

Wright County Law Library
Court forms, legal resources. Phone: 763-682-7592

Wright County Free Law Clinic
Legal advice  

Wright County Court Administration
Court filing information, court records, court scheduling. Phone: 763-682-7539