Common Questions

Here’s a list to the answers to the most common questions people ask about foster care. Contact us if you need further information.

Do You Provide Assistance After Adoption?

We believe that support shouldn’t end after your adoption is finalized. We WANT to stay in touch with you! We want to hear your updates and are available to help you work through challenges. We’ll connect you to resources and invite you to our monthly Proactive Parent Support Group. You can register for next month’s Support Group on our Family Support Services page.

How Much Does Adoption Cost?

The cost of adoption varies by program. For more details on specific program costs, please see our Application and Services Contract.

If a family chooses to have EVOLVE complete their home study while collaborating with another domestic or international agency, the family will pay EVOLVE’s home study/program/post placement fees and all program fees according to their chosen collaborative agency. Although adoption costs can be intimidating on paper, there are many creative ways to pay for adoption.

Please visit our Funding Your Adoption page to connect with helpful resources.

What Is A Home Study?

Every adoption requires a home study to be done by a licensed agency in your area. EVOLVE is licensed in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

How Do I Get Started With Adoption?

Contact us to learn more about our programs and home study services. If you’re exploring, check out our Informational Meetings page for upcoming Informational Sessions. You can also set up a free individual information meeting to discuss your questions. There is no waiting list to apply with EVOLVE.

When you are ready to apply, please review the document: Completing an Adoption in MN. After we receive your Application and Services Contract with the application fee, the process begins. (There is no application fee for Foster Care)

Who Are The Children In Need Of Adoption?

EVOLVE has helped find families for children from the U.S. and 52 other countries. These children are boys and girls ranging in age from one day to 17 years old. Some are healthy, some have special needs, some are part of sibling groups. They come from a variety of situations and ethnic backgrounds.

What Adoption Programs Do You Have?

We facilitate Domestic Infant and International adoptions. For prospective adoptive parents living in Minnesota and western Wisconsin, we provide adoption home studies and post-placement supervision for U.S. and international adoptions. Meet the families who are a part of the EVOLVE Infant Program here.

What Areas Do You Serve?

EVOLVE serves all of Minnesota, along with Wisconsin counties within a 200-mile radius of its Stillwater home office.

EVOLVE has the ability to serve families in the adoption process all over the United States. In the case of families outside of our above service area, EVOLVE will act as the child-finding agency. We will partner with a local agency who will provide your home study and post placement reporting.

Who Can Adopt?

At EVOLVE, we believe loving parents should be able to adopt without arbitrary restrictions. We are not religiously or politically affiliated. We work with singles AND couples, as well as people of any age, income level, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and religion. There are many options, and we can help you figure out the best program for your family.

Who can be a foster care provider?

Anyone can become a foster provider.

It is important that providers meet the basic requirements:

In addition to these general requirements, EVOLVE holds other expectations of our foster care providers. Characteristics needed to be a good foster parent include: 

EVOLVE strongly encourages families of color, and families who are open and have the skills to parent LGBTQ youth to consider becoming foster care providers.

What are the needs of children in foster care?

All children and youth, involved with the child welfare system have experienced varying levels of trauma that include experiences of physical, emotional, sexual abuse and/or neglect. Many have been diagnosed with a psychological, behavioral and/or emotional disorder. Many have mental, emotional, behavioral, and physical health needs. Many children have also experienced prenatal exposure to alcohol and/or drugs.

Is there a need for foster providers, who are open to the placement of infants?

While there are infants who come into care, this is not the need. That being said, younger children are often part of sibling groups.

Most of the children we work with are between the ages of 7 – 18 years old. Additionally, the child welfare system is disproportionately represented with children of color, specifically African American and Native American children.

Most have experienced physical, emotional, and/or sexual abuse or neglect. Many have been diagnosed with a psychological, behavioral and/or emotional disorder.

What are the basic requirements to become a foster care provider?
How long does the licensing process to become a foster provider take?

The process of becoming a foster care parent takes about 6 months. The licensing process requires active involvement from the family and our agency will often move at the pace of your family to complete the required licensing components.

Does it matter if there are other children in the home?

No. Foster parents can be parenting children in the home or have no children. Minnesota does have capacity limitations for foster care. This may impact your ability to get licensed if you are already at the capacity requirement.

What are the options in foster care?

Traditional Foster Care
Families provide care and ensure the health and well-being of children in care while birth-families complete case plan requirements, in order to achieve reunification with their children (which may include treatment, securing housing, parenting/mental health/chemical health assessments). Foster providers are responsible for ensuring that​ children remain connected to their community, peers, and birth families.

In the case that reunification is not possible, foster providers may have the option to be a permanency resource for the child/children in their care through adoption, transfer of custody, etc. 

What EVOLVE provides:

What does it mean to be a foster parent?

Foster parents play a vital role in the lives of children in care.

While birth-parents work to complete various requirements to achieve reunification with their children, foster parents keep children connected to their families and communities, ensure the health and wellness of children in their care, support identity development, advocate for the children in care, and meet the various needs of the children in care.

Foster providers also work alongside of the child welfare team to meet the needs of the children in their care.  

Who can I call if I am in Crisis?

EVOLVE Therapists are not crisis trained clinicians, and are not available outside of business hours. If you are in crisis, please access the following support:
If you are in an emergency situation, please call 911.Dakota County Crisis 952.891.7171
-Washington County Crisis 612.275.7400
-Hennepin County Crisis 612. 596.1223 (Adults) 612.348.2233 (Children)
-Ramsey County Crisis 651.266.7900 (Adults)/651. 774.7000 (Children)

I have shared custody of my child, how does this work for therapy?

In Minnesota, as a mental health provider, we are required to receive consent by one of a minor’s parents, and when we learn that there is shared custody, we request to receive a child custody court agreement for the client’s file. A letter will be sent to an additional parent with custody to notify them that treatment has begun, and ask them to participate in services. There are unique situations that can arise regarding shared custody and mental health services. Please speak with your therapist for more information related to these specific instances. 

It is the responsibility of parents/caregivers involved in services to work out a payment plan for the identified client. Please communicate to EVOLVE staff at what your plan is for making payments for services via the website or patient portal. We do require that one credit card be on file for services. 

If you are a family that has been court ordered to utilize mediation to seek agreements on parenting/medical decisions, please notify your mediator regarding initiating services with EVOLVE Family Services.

Who do I contact to learn more about your services?

You can fill out a general Therapeutic Services Interest Form or contact for more information. To keep up to date with our programs and agency in general, please sign up to receive our newsletter.

Do you provide in-home services?

We can provide in-home services if insurance covers outpatient therapy in the home. We provide in-home services on a case to case basis. Generally, all Outpatient Therapy sessions generally take place at one of our two office locations.

We provide in-home services for our Family Preservation Programs and our Support for Foster Care Providers Program.

Do you remove children from their families?

No. EVOLVE does not have the authority to remove children from their families. We work to help preserve the whole family and keep the children with their biological parents.

Are you child protective services?

No. For some of our programs we receive referrals from Child Protection workers and work in collaboration with them to help support the family.

What types of Therapeutic Services are offered and are there any requirements?

EVOLVE offers a wide variety of therapeutic services.

EVOLVE offers a variety of types of Outpatient Therapy. To receive individual, couples, and family therapy please fill out this inquiry form. We currently accept the following insurance: Blue Cross Blue Shield, Medical Assistance (MA), most Medica plans, Optum, and UCare.

We provide two Family Preservation Counseling services: Brief Counseling and Families First. For these programs, we are contracted through Dakota County and you must be referred by a worker from Dakota County to receive these services. If you do not live in Dakota County and would like these services to be available to you, please have a representative from your county contact us.

We provide Supportive Services to Foster Care Providers. For this program, we are also contracted through Dakota County and you must be a foster care provider through Dakota County to receive this (confidential) service. If you do not live in Dakota County and would like these services to be available to you, please have a representative from your county contact us.

EVOLVE hosts a Proactive Parenting Support Group. This group is open to all, whether you are a client of EVOLVE or not. Historically this group has focused on adoptive parents, but it is an open group that is fluid depending on who is present.