Lynne A. Valenti
Cabinet Secretary

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Adopting Through DSS

Becoming an adoptive parent can be a great experience for both the parent and the child. Children who are unable to go back to their homes are in need of a permanent family with a safe and loving home.

If you are interested in learning more about becoming an adoptive parent and you are 21 years of age, the first step is to contact a local CPS office.

If you are from the Sioux Falls or Rapid City area, please call one of the below numbers to learn more about becoming an adoptive parent. 

    • Sioux Falls area: 605.965.3189 or toll-free 1.844.344.9482
    • Rapid City area: 605.343.2598

Here are the next steps in adopting a child with DSS:

  • A packet containing information about becoming an adoptive parent will be mailed to those requesting it.
  • Once contact has been made, a Family Services Specialist will explain the needs of children who are placed for adoption and outline the requirements for becoming an adoptive parent.
  • The next step is called a home consultation. A Family Services Specialist will come to your home and discuss the responsibilities and requirements for becoming an adoptive parent in more detail and you will have an opportunity get any questions answered.  During this visit, a home safety checklist is completed.
  • It is now time to attend PRIDE (Parent's Resource for Information, Development and Education) training. During this time, 30 hours of orientation and three or four home visits are required. Learn more about the PRIDE program.
  • A final assessment is done once training has been completed to determine if you meet or are in compliance with adoption approval requirements.  Any needs for continuing education and enhancement skills needed to parent an adopted child are discussed with you. 
  • When the training, home consultations and paperwork are complete and a determination is made that you are in compliance with requirements, you may be approved for adoption.
  • When a child is in need of an adoptive placement resource, the Family Services Specialist matches the needs of the child with the strengths of the approved adoptive families to select a family who can best meet the needs of the child. 
  • Children with DSS waiting for adoption.
  • NOTE: Families who do not reside in the State of South Dakota and are interested in adopting a child in South Dakota can submit a copy of their home study to:
    • Department of Social Services
      Child Protection Services' Adoption Unit
      700 Governors Drive,
      Pierre, SD
      57501-2291

Post-adoption services available for adopted children:

Adoption Subsidy
Provides monthly Medicaid and/or financial assistance for children who have special needs. Learn about adoption subsidy

Respite Care
Temporary relief care designed for families of children with special needs. Respite care can range from a few hours of care provided on a one-time basis to overnight or extended care sessions. For all adoptive families, the only eligibility criteria is that a child is adopted.

This service is provided through the South Dakota Department of Human Services. For more information, contact the Department of Human Services at 1.800.265.9684.

Post Adoption Services
Post Adoption Services are available to families who have adopted from the Department of Social Services.   Families may contact the Adoption Program Specialist to obtain information about services a referral to the different contract services available to the family.  Post Adoption Services are tailored to an adoptive child’s individual needs and to the needs of the adoptive family. 

Some of the services available to families may include:

  • Psychological Evaluation
  • Needs Assessment
  • Individual Counseling
  • Group Counseling
  • Family Counseling
  • Respite Care
  • Parenting Classes