State Contact

General State Contact for adoption assistance

Minnesota Department of Human Services
444 Lafayette Road N
St Paul, MN 55155
[email protected]

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Adoption/Guardianship Assistance specialist for families with existing Norstar Adoption or Kinship agreements:

Last Name Specialist Phone E-mail
A-B, W-Z Staci Stoner 651-431-3316 [email protected]
C-G Kristie Krumwiede 651-431-4719 [email protected]
H-Lev Tiffany Price 651-431-4732 [email protected]
Lew-Q Becky Erickson 651-431-4723 [email protected]
R-V Rene Huebner 651-431-2694 [email protected]

Minnesota Adoption Resources on the Web:
https://mn.gov/dhs/people-we-serve/children-and-families/services/adoption/

Minnesota state-specific medical assistance resources
See related links under Children/Quick Links/Health Care Programs at:
https://mn.gov/dhs/people-we-serve/adults/health-care/health-care-programs/programs-and-services/medical-assistance.jsp

Minnesota county contact information
For a list of contact information by county/tribe, view:
https://mn.gov/dhs/general-public/about-dhs/contact-us/county-and-tribal-nation-offices/

Minnesota Statutes, section 256N.23, Northstar Adoption Assistance:
https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/?id=256N.23

In Minnesota a child is considered to have special needs

There has been a determination that the child cannot or should not be returned to the home of the child’s parents.

Difficulty to place the child without adoption assistance because of one of the following characteristics:

  1. The child is a member of a sibling group to be adopted at the same time by the same parent(s).
  2. The child has been determined to meet all medical or disability requirements of SSI.
  3. The child has documented physical, mental, emotional, or behavioral disability not covered under 2 above.
  4. The child has a high risk of developing physical, mental, emotional, or behavioral disabilities. (Note: When a child’s eligibility for adoption assistance is based upon the high risk of developing physical, mental, emotional, or behavioral disabilities, payments shall not be made under the adoption assistance agreement unless and until the potential disability upon which eligibility for the agreement was based manifests itself as documented by an appropriate professional.)
  5. The child is placed for adoption in the home of a parent who previously adopted another child born of the same mother or father and for whom the parent receives adoption assistance.

There has made reasonable, but unsuccessful efforts to place the child for adoption without adoption assistance, with some exceptions.  

The Minnesota adoption assistance program underwent significant change as of January 1, 2015, with the implementation of Northstar Care for Children. Children adopted before that date have would have received Legacy Adoption Assistance with lower rates, but with respite, camps and child care as additional reimbursements.

Northstar Care for Children basic rates.  Note for the Basic and Supplemental rates, children who achieve permanency before their 6th birthday will receive 50% of the foster care rate they would otherwise be eligible for (until the adoption assistance ends). 

Age Children adopted at age 6 or older Children adopted at age 0-5
Birth-5 n/a $366
6-12 $866 $433
13+ $1,023 $512

Supplemental rates are determined based on the child’s strengths and needs and the level of parenting needed to meet the child’s needs and support the child’s functioning in the home and community via the MAPCY assessment tool. 

Last Name Specialist Phone E-mail
Vacant Vacant Vacant [email protected]
A-G Kristie Krumwiede 651-431-4719 [email protected]
H-Lev, Y-Z Tiffany Price 651-431-4732 [email protected]
Lew-Q, W-X Becky Erickson 651-431-4723 [email protected]
R-V Rene Huebner 651-431-4724 [email protected]

Minnesota Adoption Resources on the Web:
https://mn.gov/dhs/people-we-serve/children-and-families/services/adoption/

Minnesota state-specific medical assistance resources
See related links under Children/Quick Links/Health Care Programs at:
https://mn.gov/dhs/people-we-serve/adults/health-care/health-care-programs/programs-and-services/medical-assistance.jsp

Minnesota county contact information
For a list of contact information by county/tribe, view:
https://mn.gov/dhs/general-public/about-dhs/contact-us/county-and-tribal-nation-offices/

Minnesota Statutes, section 256N.23, Northstar Adoption Assistance:
https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/?id=256N.23

In Minnesota a child is considered to have special needs

There has been a determination that the child cannot or should not be returned to the home of the child’s parents.

Difficulty to place the child without adoption assistance because of one of the following characteristics:

  1. The child is a member of a sibling group to be adopted at the same time by the same parent(s).
  2. The child has been determined to meet all medical or disability requirements of SSI.
  3. The child has documented physical, mental, emotional, or behavioral disability not covered under 2 above.
  4. The child has a high risk of developing physical, mental, emotional, or behavioral disabilities. (Note: When a child’s eligibility for adoption assistance is based upon the high risk of developing physical, mental, emotional, or behavioral disabilities, payments shall not be made under the adoption assistance agreement unless and until the potential disability upon which eligibility for the agreement was based manifests itself as documented by an appropriate professional.)
  5. The child is placed for adoption in the home of a parent who previously adopted another child born of the same mother or father and for whom the parent receives adoption assistance.

There has made reasonable, but unsuccessful efforts to place the child for adoption without adoption assistance, with some exceptions.  

The Minnesota adoption assistance program underwent significant change as of January 1, 2015, with the implementation of Northstar Care for Children. Children adopted before that date have would have received Legacy Adoption Assistance with lower rates, but with respite, camps and child care as additional reimbursements.

Northstar Care for Children basic rates.  Note for the Basic and Supplemental rates, children who achieve permanency before their 6th birthday will receive 50% of the foster care rate they would otherwise be eligible for (until the adoption assistance ends). 

Age Children adopted at age 6 or older Children adopted at age 0-5
Birth-5 n/a $366
6-12 $866 $433
13+ $1,023 $512

Supplemental rates are determined based on the child’s strengths and needs and the level of parenting needed to meet the child’s needs and support the child’s functioning in the home and community via the MAPCY assessment tool. 

Last Name Specialist Phone E-mail
Vacant Vacant Vacant [email protected]
A-G Kristie Krumwiede 651-431-4719 [email protected]
H-Lev, Y-Z Tiffany Price 651-431-4732 [email protected]
Lew-Q, W-X Becky Erickson 651-431-4723 [email protected]
R-V Rene Huebner 651-431-4724 [email protected]

Minnesota Adoption Resources on the Web:
https://mn.gov/dhs/people-we-serve/children-and-families/services/adoption/

Minnesota state-specific medical assistance resources
See related links under Children/Quick Links/Health Care Programs at:
https://mn.gov/dhs/people-we-serve/adults/health-care/health-care-programs/programs-and-services/medical-assistance.jsp

Minnesota county contact information
For a list of contact information by county/tribe, view:
https://mn.gov/dhs/general-public/about-dhs/contact-us/county-and-tribal-nation-offices/

Minnesota Statutes, section 256N.23, Northstar Adoption Assistance:
https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/?id=256N.23

In Minnesota a child is considered to have special needs

There has been a determination that the child cannot or should not be returned to the home of the child’s parents.

Difficulty to place the child without adoption assistance because of one of the following characteristics:

  1. The child is a member of a sibling group to be adopted at the same time by the same parent(s).
  2. The child has been determined to meet all medical or disability requirements of SSI.
  3. The child has documented physical, mental, emotional, or behavioral disability not covered under 2 above.
  4. The child has a high risk of developing physical, mental, emotional, or behavioral disabilities. (Note: When a child’s eligibility for adoption assistance is based upon the high risk of developing physical, mental, emotional, or behavioral disabilities, payments shall not be made under the adoption assistance agreement unless and until the potential disability upon which eligibility for the agreement was based manifests itself as documented by an appropriate professional.)
  5. The child is placed for adoption in the home of a parent who previously adopted another child born of the same mother or father and for whom the parent receives adoption assistance.

There has made reasonable, but unsuccessful efforts to place the child for adoption without adoption assistance, with some exceptions.  

The Minnesota adoption assistance program underwent significant change as of January 1, 2015, with the implementation of Northstar Care for Children. Children adopted before that date have would have received Legacy Adoption Assistance with lower rates, but with respite, camps and child care as additional reimbursements.

Northstar Care for Children basic rates.  Note for the Basic and Supplemental rates, children who achieve permanency before their 6th birthday will receive 50% of the foster care rate they would otherwise be eligible for (until the adoption assistance ends). 

Age Children adopted at age 6 or older Children adopted at age 0-5
Birth-5 n/a $366
6-12 $866 $433
13+ $1,023 $512

Supplemental rates are determined based on the child’s strengths and needs and the level of parenting needed to meet the child’s needs and support the child’s functioning in the home and community via the MAPCY assessment tool. 

Level Children adopted at age 6 or older Children adopted at age 0-5
B $0 $0
C $115 $58
D $230 $115
E $345 $173
F $460 $230
G $575 $288
H $690 $345
I $805 $403
J $920 $460
K $1035 $518
L $1150 $575
M $1265 $633
N $1380 $690
O $1495 $748
P $1610 $805
Q $1725 $863

All adoption assistance agreements end when a youth turns 18. However, if a child has not completed a secondary education plan and is enrolled in a secondary education program or a program leading to the equivalent, or is incapable of living independently because of a physical or mental disability, the agreement may be able to be extended up to age 21 if the child depends on the adoptive parent for care and financial support. For children adopted at age 16 or older, in addition to these two circumstances, adoption assistance may also be extended if the child is enrolled in a postsecondary or vocational institution, participating in a program designed to remove barriers to or promote employment, or working at least 80 hours per month, provided that the child is dependent on the adoptive parent for both care and financial support.

In Minnesota, the adoption assistance program does not reimburse for the cost of residential treatment. Adoptive families may seek residential treatment placement through the county social service agency in their child’s county of residence. The county, typically through children’s mental health services, makes independent assessments about whom they will authorize for placement in residential treatment. Adoptive families may have coverage for residential treatment through their private insurance and need to coordinate coverage with their Medical Assistance insurance.

For children who reside in Minnesota and have an adoption assistance agreement with Minnesota, state rules prohibit assessment of a parental fee based on the family’s income. As adoption assistance is considered the child’s income, the county will often seek to receive the adoption assistance payments while a child is in placement.

Post-adoption services in Minnesota are funded by DHS and administered by two nonprofit organizations:

  • Foster Adopt Minnesota offers an adoption website, information and referral, training, and the HELP program. HELP provides clinical support from adoption specialists, referral to adoption-competent mental health providers, and potential financial assistance to adoptive families facing financial barriers to mental health treatment. More information is available at https://www.fosteradoptmn.org/resources/post-adoption-guide/
  • Families Rising Minnesota offers peer support to adoptive parents and adopted children and youth. Services include in-person adoption groups for adoptees and support groups for adoptive parents, special events for adoptive families, online groups for adoptive parents, and limited one-on-one support from experienced adoptive parents. More information is available at https://nacac.org/connect/support-for-minnesota-adoptive-families/

Minnesota has a Northstar kinship assistance. Under this program, children and youth who leave care for permanent legal and physical custody by their relatives are eligible for the same level of benefits as children adopted from care. The rates are the same as adoption assistance.

Kinship assistance does not require a special needs determination; however, it does require that the child live with the licensed relative custodian for a period of 6 months.

 Minnesota has Fostering Independence Higher Education Grants.  If you are a Minnesota resident under age 27 and were in the Minnesota foster care system at any point after you thirteenth birthday, this grant may cover the cost of attendance at any eligible Minnesota public or participating private college and university. https://www.ohe.state.mn.us/mPg.cfm?pageID=2491