Adoption in Wisconsin

groups of peopleAdoption creates a parent-child relationship with all the rights and responsibilities a birth parent has to a child. A child can be adopted by a stepparent in Wisconsin when a birth parent is deceased or the rights of one birth parent has been terminated by a court. For all other types of adoptions in Wisconsin the statutes require that the rights of both birth parents are terminated by a death or by a voluntary or involuntary court action. An adoption home study is required for all adoptions except stepparent adoptions, where a less intensive screening occurs.

A variety of adoption services are provided by licensed child placing agencies in Wisconsin through non-public funding.  Adoption staff from the Division of Safety and Permanence (DSP), as well as child placing agencies, place children with special care needs, minority children, sibling groups, children at risk of developing special care needs.  In addition, DSP and child placing agency staff conduct foster parent  and step-parent and relative adoptions.  Stepparent adoption home studies may also be conducted by county social/human services staff.  Licensed Wisconsin child placing agencies can be found in the yellow pages of the phone book under "adoption services".


The Department of Children and Families, protecting children, strengthening families, building communities.