Wisconsin Department of Children and Families

Protecting Children, Strengthening Families, Building Communities

 

 

Adoption and Guardianship in Wisconsin

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Adoption establishes a legal parent and child relationship when the adopting parent is not a child's biological or birth parent. Adoptive parents have the same rights and obligations as a child's birth parents.

Legal Guardianship is another way to provide a child with permanency. A relative, a person who is kin, or a foster parent (in certain circumstances) can become the legal guardian when it is determined that adoption or reunification with one's parents may not be the best option for a child.

 

Birth Parent Options

Adoption Options for Pregnant Parents or Birth Parents

For parents or soon-to-be parents thinking about adoption for their child(ren). Learn about birth parent support at the Wisconsin Adoption Information Center or call 1-800-571-1105

Safe Haven for Newborns in Wisconsin

Safe Haven, also known as “infant relinquishment,” allows a parent to leave their newborn in a safe place in certain circumstances with certain individuals.

Adoption Records Search

Learn more about how to look for birth relatives and the rights of the:

  • Adoptee
  • Birth Parent(s)
  • Adoptive Parent(s)

 

How to Adopt

Become an Adoptive Parent

Learn about the different types of adoptions in Wisconsin, and how to become an adoptive parent. For more information visit the Wisconsin Adoption Information Center or call 1-800-762-8063.

Wisconsin Licensed Adoption Agencies Directory

Access a list of licensed adoption agencies in Wisconsin. Different agencies can help with private domestic adoptions, international adoptions, step-parent adoptions, and relative adoptions.

 

Adoptive Parent Information

I am an Adoptive Parent

Find information on things like adoption resources, amending an Adoption Assistance Agreement, and what to do if you are moving out-of-state.

Adoption Assistance Checks Calendar

Find out when Adoption Assistance checks will be mailed or direct deposited.

Adoption Records Search

Learn more about how to look for birth relatives and the rights of the:

  • Adoptee
  • Birth Parent(s)
  • Adoptive Parent(s)

Amend an Adoption Assistance Agreement

Adoption Assistance Amendments can be requested when an adoptive parent feels the special care needs of their child has increased since adoption. This page also has access to the forms required to request an Adoption Assistance Amendment.

Death of an Adoptive Parent

Learn more about how death of an adoptive parent(s) can affect Adoption Assistance. 

Post Adoption Resources

Adoptive parents in Wisconsin have post-adoption resources available to them. Learn about what resources are offered and how to access them. Contact a Post-Adoption Resource Center near you .

Special Needs Adoption Program (SNAP) Coordinator Contact Information

Use the map to find the contact information for the SNAP Coordinator in your county.  To find out when the regional SNAP information meetings are happening in your region, click on Register for a SNAP Informational Meeting! at the bottom of your county contact information.

Special Needs Adoption Regional Informational Meeting Calendars

Find out when the next meeting is in your area. Call to register.

 

Guardianship

Kinship

Kinship Care is a program to help support a child who lives outside of his or her home with a relative. Sometimes this relative is a guardian of the child. Learn more about kinship care eligibility and who to contact to become a kinship care provider.

Subsidized Guardianship

Guardianship is a way for children in foster care to reach permanence.  Adoption or reunification with one's parents may not be the best options for a child.  A relative, a person who is kin, or a foster parent (in certain circumstances) can become the legal guardian.  Some guardians may be eligible for a subsidy for caring for a child.

 

Additional Information

Possible Fatherhood (Paternal Interest)

The process of declaring possible fatherhood of a child in the event of it’s adoption. Find out how to register.