Adoption and Guardianship

The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) partners with county social service agencies, tribal and private agencies, county attorneys, guardians ad litem, courts and others to provide services to children under guardianship of the commissioner of Human Services. Children who are court-ordered under the guardianship of the commissioner are in the public child welfare system because they experienced abuse, neglect or abandonment and agency efforts to safely return them home were unsuccessful. District courts either terminated the parental rights of the parents, or accepted consents to adopt, to legally free the children for adoption. Guardianship was transferred to the commissioner to provide a temporary legal parent until the children can be legally adopted.

This website provides policies and procedures, information, tools and resources related to children under guardianship of the commissioner, including the adoption process specific to these children. 


Medical treatment

Allow Natural Death/Do Not Resuscitate (AND/DNR) (HTML) (PDF)

Documentation Required for AND/DNR (PDF)


Foster and Adoption Placement Decisions (HTML) (PDF)


Sibling Placement, Separation and Visitation (HTML) (PDF)


State Adoption Exchange (HTML) (PDF)

Statewide Adoption Email Listserv (HTML) (PDF)

Application for Private Adoption Staff to Request Membership on the Minnesota Adoption Email Listserv (PDF)


Adoption process checklist for Children under Guardianship (PDF)
Transfer of Permanent Legal and Physical Custody (TPLPC) Process Checklist for Children in County Foster Care (PDF)


Northstar Care for Children

The Northstar Care for Children Act is a new state law which takes effect Jan. 1, 2015. It makes significant changes in programs creating a uniform set of benefits and processes for children age 6 and older in foster care, former foster children whose legal custody has been transferred to a relative, and former foster children who have been adopted. Although not uniform, children age 5 and younger also fall within the unified benefits and processes. Northstar Care for Children will assist the families caring for children and support permanency for foster children. Current programs continue for current children and will be phased out over time. For more information go to Northstar Care for Children.

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