Ampersand Families is a small agency that prides itself on providing realistic, honest information to families considering older-youth adoption from the child welfare system.

At the same time, our training and ongoing support to families is top-notch. Our staff are experienced, down-to-earth professionals who recognize the magnitude of the decision a family makes when they adopt.

Ampersand Families is flexible with our scheduling, responsive to our families and serious about our role in helping the adoption system work well for youth and families.  We serve a large number of relative and kin families who hope to be a permanency resource for a child they know and love in the Minnesota foster care system.  We believe that excellent work in adoption must honor youths right to sustain relationships with people who are important to them.


Ampersand Families makes an unconditional commitment to support our families.

That’s the least we can do — especially since we expect you to make an unconditional commitment to the youth you adopt.

You’ll hear the term “unconditional commitment” a lot at Ampersand Families.  We are consistent in our message that we expect parents to hang in there even when things are very difficult.  We will help as often, and for as long as you need us.  As an adoptive parent, unconditional commitment means that even if something happens that requires your child to temporarily leave your home for additional treatment  or support, you will not walk away.  It means that, no matter what happens, you are your adopted child’s parent and that you will work to sustain the relationship, because that’s the thing your adopted child needs most from you….your consistent presence, advocacy and engagement.  You do not need to fix everything.  You just need to be there.

What can you expect from Ampersand Families?

  • Respect: Your calls will be returned; our staff will be available; your concerns will be addressed; we will do what we say we will do.
  • Expertise: Ampersand Families staff members are knowledgeable about the child welfare system, the adoption process and community resources available when families have challenges. We will help you find answers. If we cannot meet your need directly, we will connect you with an agency or professional who can.
  • Honesty: We present an honest picture of the older youth adoption experience and partner with you to determine the supports and skills you might need in order to commit to adoption. We will not try to scare you away, but we will push to make sure you realize exactly what you are getting into.
  • Education and Self-Reflection: During pre-adoption training and the many conversations you will have with your home-study worker, we will help you reflect on your ability and desire to make an unconditional commitment to an older youth via adoption.
  • Partnership: As you move through the adoption process we will get to know each other quite well. It is the relationship we build during this time that will help us work as partners during the matching, transition and post-placement periods.
  • Engagement: We will introduce you to other families who have adopted older youth and we will provide you opportunities to learn from and teach others. Teens at Ampersand Families also have opportunities to help families by sharing what they know about life as a waiting and adopted youth.


Are you ready to explore adoption with us further? Please get in touch.

Why choose Ampersand Families?

“After working with Ampersand Families, I didn’t have a hint of cold feet. Before meeting my son, I was like a kid on Christmas Eve.”


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