International adoptions down in Minn. amid tight regulations

International adoption
Jean Thilmany pushes her son Frankie at their home in St. Paul, Minn. Wednesday, June 27, 2012. After starting the adoption process in 2008 and experiencing many delays, Thilmany and her husband were finally able to bring Frankie home on April 20, 2012.
MPR Photo/Jeffrey Thompson

Minnesota is the top state for international adoptions per capita, but as MPR News reporter Madeleine Baran recently reported, tighter regulations have caused those numbers to decline.

St. Paul-based Children's Home Society and Family Services hasn't been bringing in enough money to sustain adoption services with the declining numbers, so it is merging the adoption program with Lutheran Social Service.

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Lutheran Social Service will be managing the agency's adoptions, as part of a three-year renewable contract to help the adoption agency cope with the slowdown. Children's Home Society executive Maureen Warren said she expects her 123-year-old organization will learn to recover financially and that the adoption industry will rebound.

"We really think that this is a reset and that some of the change is very welcome, even though it has put us in some financial stress," Warren said.

Warran will join The Daily Circuit Monday to talk about the tighter regulations facing international adoption agencies. What does the future hold for American families looking to adopt?

Jodi Harpstead, chief executive officer of Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota, will also join the discussion alongside University of Minnesota pediatrics professor Dana Johnson and adoptive father David McKoskey.

VIDEO: Dana Johnson on international adoption as the last resort