Missouri foster and adoption guidelines
The adoption and foster care process may take some time, but the rewards are well worth the effort. You will find there are many resources available to you, and we recommend that you become involved in as many ways with the foster and adoption community as you feel comfortable.
On this page:
- State contact information
- Foster and adoption licensing requirements
- Costs to foster and adopt
- Agency contact and orientation information
- Post-adoption support services
- Information on Missouri's children
The Adoption Exchange
303-755-4756, ext. 202
In order to adopt or foster in Missouri, you must:
- Be at least 21 years old
- Be in good physical and mental health
- Complete a child abuse and neglect check and criminal record check including fingerprints
- Have a stable income
- Live in an apartment, condominium or home as long as it meets licensing standards
- Be willing to participate in and complete a free training and assessment process
- Be a part of a professional team willing to voice perspectives and concerns
- Be willing to partner with the child’s family
You can be single or married, with or without children in your home.
It does not cost to foster or adopt.
For more information or to attend an orientation, contact the social services office for your county or a nonprofit or private child welfare agency in Missouri (47 KB PDF).
Primary service provider: Missouri Department of Social Services
There are many support groups available, including but not limited to:
Foster and Adoptive Care Coalition
Phone: 800-FOSTER-3 (314-367-8373)
Address: 1750 South Brentwood Blvd., Suite 210, St. Louis, MO 63144
Foster Adopt Connect
Address: 3210 S Lee’s Summit Road, Independence, MO 64055
809 Swifts Highway
Jefferson City, MO 65101
Contact: DeAnna Alonso, Executive Director
There are over 13,000 children in foster care in Missouri; 1,500 of these children have no identified adoptive parents. You can also learn more about children and adoption resources at the Missouri Heart Gallery website.