Legal Memorandum: Foster Care and Placement of Siblings

Issue: Whether a child in a foster care program will most likely be placed with a sibling in Minnesota’s Hennepin County.

Area of Law: Family Law
Keywords: Child in a foster care; Sibling
Jurisdiction: Minnesota
Cited Cases: 512 N.W.2d 868; 627 N.W.2d 687
Cited Statutes: Minn. Stat. § 260C.193, subd. 3(e);
Date: 06/01/2008

Hennepin County’s Foster Care Adoption Option Program, unlike traditional foster care, emphasizes the placement of certain children, who stand a lesser likelihood of being reunited with their birth families, with prospective adoptive parents who have already been approved to adopt.  In other words, the Foster Care Adoption Option program is “a specialized program for those people who are especially interested in adoption.”*FN1  As one County representative has explained,

In the adoption option program, those are people who have said to us, “We are very interested in adopting children.”  The people who are in that program take some extra training classes and are only referred children who we feel, based on the history of what’s gone on with the child and the family are at much higher risk than the average foster child for not returning to the parent or another family member.*FN2 


The Adoption Option Program is often successful, the County explains, because the “children are placed immediately with a family that is willing to keep them.”*FN3  “One of the major reasons that adoptions fail is because the children don’t attach to the adoptive parent[,] and every time you move a child you really risk that they’ll develop attachment disorder,” the spokesperson for the County emphasized.*FN4  “Foster parents who adopt very seldom have a disruptive adoption.”  Moreover, “it takes a unique […]

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