In the state fiscal year 2020, 52% of North Dakota's special needs adoptions were by foster parents who had the children in their care. Adoption is a legal and social process that transfers all parental rights to the adoptive family. Children unable to return home or to be placed with relatives may become available for adoption. Of these children, some may be adopted by their relative caregivers or foster parents, while others are urgently seeking a family.

Adoption agencies are licensed and must meet state laws, regulations and other requirements in placing a child for adoption. Families may pursue adoption of an infant being voluntarily relinquished (not in foster care) and children from other countries through a North Dakota licensed agency.

View a list of North Dakota Licensed Child-Placing Agencies.

AASK (Adults Adopting Special Kids)

AASK is North Dakota's adoption program serving children in foster care whose case plan goal is adoption and the families who will provide them with permanency. It is a collaborative effort of Catholic Charities ND and the Department of Human Services. Tribal nations in North Dakota frequently request AASK to provide adoption services to those children in their custody for whom the plan is adopted, and the families adopting them.

Children who are being adopted from foster care may have physical, emotional, or psychological disabilities, be at high risk for such disabilities, maybe older children, members of a sibling group being adopted together, or are children whose race is a barrier to placement. Most have suffered from neglect, and physical or sexual abuse. All of these children need a loving, permanent family.

Families who adopt children from foster care may be eligible for continued support in the form of a monthly stipend, reimbursement of limited expenses of adoption and Medicaid as a backup to the family's private health insurance.

The purpose of AASK is to:

  • Recruit, train and support families interested in the adoption of children from foster care,
  • Facilitate the adoptive placement and eventual adoption finalization of children from foster care, and provide services to the family during the adoptive placement period, and
  • Provide supportive services to adoptive parents and guardians of children post-permanency through the ND Post-Adopt Network.

Foster Care Adoption

Adults Adopting Special Kids (AASK)
Catholic Charities ND
5201 Bishops Blvd., Suite B
Fargo, N.D. 58104
Phone: (701) 356-7993
Viste website:

For more information about adoption, see the Adoption Program information.