Philosophy of the Adoption Program

Philosophy of the Adoption Program

Every child in Sherburne County who is legally free for adoption deserves a permanent home.

The Sherburne County Health and Human Services' Adoption Program works primarily with children who have been involved with the child protection system. Children become involved with child protection when they cannot remain safely in their own home, due to abuse or neglect. When this occurs, the County provides services to families in order to improve the conditions and / or behaviors so that children can be reunified with their parents as soon as possible. 

When the conditions that led to placement aren't able to be corrected, these children are available to be adopted. Sherburne County Health and Human Services is then responsible to find a family who is best able to meet the child's needs and provide a positive fit for the child's personality and preferences. Often foster parents and relatives of the child who have previously cared for the child choose to adopt them permanently.


Adoptive parents may be single, married, divorced, straight, gay, lesbian, childless or already parenting other children. You do not need to own a home or have a high income. A history of personal counseling does not affect your eligibility to adopt. There is no upper age limit for adoptive parents. Religion, gender, racial background, color, creed, national origin, public assistance status or disability does not affect eligibility to become an adoptive parent. Previous parenting experience is not required.

These children need one or two loving parents willing to face challenges and make a lifelong commitment.

Support Group

Minnesota's Waiting Children

Most of the children available for adoption are 10 and older and have experienced traumatic childhoods. They are often developmentally delayed due to neglect and lack of stimulation in early childhood. They may also have learning disabilities or have fallen behind in school. Most children have had prenatal exposure to drugs and/or alcohol. Many are sibling groups who need to be adopted together. Most of the children struggle with emotional and/or behavioral problems related to their experiences which may require extra patience and care. One thing these children all have in common is that they need permanent loving parent(s) and family.

For more information on becoming an adoptive parent and on the children waiting to be adopted, visit MN Adopt, where you can view profiles of children waiting to be adopted and locate adoption orientation classes you can sign up for to learn more about the process of adoption.

The North American Council on Adoptable Children provides support and advocacy for families adopting children.

Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA)

In 1978, the Federal Government passed public law 95 to 608, known as the Indian Child Welfare Act or ICWA. In 1998, the State of Minnesota and the Minnesota tribes negotiated an agreement that articulates how the Act will be enforced. This Act applies to all of the native children currently available for adoption in Sherburne County. More information about ICWA can be found through NICWA.

Contact Information

For more information regarding adoption services in Sherburne County contact our Health and Human Services department.