Idaho foster care and adoption guidelines

Thank you for your interest in adoption and foster care. We encourage your active participation in foster care and adoption programs and look forward to helping you on your journey.

Contact information

Interested families can contact the Idaho CareLine for more information.

Phone (teléfono): 800-926-2588 or dial 2-1-1
Email (correo electrónico):


Things you should know

Foster care and adoption licensing requirements

Foster and/or adoptive parents can be individuals and/or families. You may qualify if you:

  • Are 21 years of age or older.
  • For adoption only: while there is no upper age limit, most agencies prefer that there be no more than forty years between the age of the parents and the age of the child.
  • Have a stable source of income suitable to support the family.
  • Have adequate space in your house or apartment to provide a safe environment for the child.
  • Can pass a physical examination (You don’t have to be in perfect physical condition to qualify; blindness, deafness or other physical disabilities will not disqualify you as a prospective adoptive parent.).
  • Learn about fostering or adopting. The Idaho Department of Health & Welfare’s program provides PRIDE classes for families becoming licensed for foster care and adoption while private agencies and Certified Adoption Professionals (CAPs) have their own  educational requirements.

A homestudy is an educational and information-gathering process which helps agencies and social workers link couples and single adults with waiting children. The homestudy:

  • Shares in-depth information about foster care and adoption
  • Prepares adults and other family members for the transitions that occur when a child is adopted
  • Helps determine if a person or couple can provide a safe, nurturing environment for a youth or sibling group
  • Provides written information about each parent and her/his life experiences
  • Reveals any past criminal history and makes recommendations as to present ability to provide a safe, nurturing environment for a young person

Individuals who are thinking of fostering and/or adopting should immediately call their social services office to schedule a fingerprint and background application. This process may take more than six weeks. Placement of a child in your home cannot take place without these results.

Family preparation is vital to the success of any adoption or fostering experience. Classes, literature and private instruction offered by homestudy social workers give prospective parents the tools to build on each child’s strengths. With these aids, you can be realistic about your expectations. You don’t have to be perfect, but you do need to be perfectly committed to being the best parent you can be.

The selection process takes time. Depending on the age and needs of the child you are interested in adopting as well as the number of applicants and legal considerations, it can take six weeks to many months before a child can be placed with a pre-adoptive family.

Costs to foster or adopt

Families who do not want to provide foster care but who wish to adopt a child from foster care will need to work with a private agency or approved certified adoption professional. Families will need to pay for their own homestudy. Typically this costs between $800 and $1,200.

Foster Care certification is provided through the state Department of Health and Welfare and is free to families wishing to become foster/adoptive parents.

Parent support groups

A New Beginning Adoption Agency
Phone: 208-939-3865
Toll-free phone: 888-312-3678
Address: 8660 W. Emerald Street, Ste. 142, Boise, ID 83704
Contact:  Melissa Williams
Phone:  208-252-1217
Toll Free Phone:  800-872-3678
Address:  343 East 4th North, Suite 120, Rexburg, ID  83440

Phone: 208-658-6690
Address: 2246 W. Crooked Stick Drive, Eagle, ID 83616

Families Together
Phone: 509-335-2321
Toll-Free Phone: 866-326-4864
Address: P.O. Box 9323, Moscow, ID  83843

Idaho CareLine
In Idaho Phone:  2-1-1
Toll Free Phone:  800-926-2588

Idaho Parents Unlimited, Inc.
Phone:  208-342-5884
Toll Free Phone:  800-242-4785
Address:  4619 Emerald , Suite E, Boise, ID  83706

Palouse Care Network
Toll Free Phone:  800-395-4957
Address:  1515 West A Street, Moscow, ID  83843

Twins and Company - Mothers of Multiples Support Group
Contact: Carrie White
Phone: 208-762-3151
Address: 10950 N. Point Hayden Drive, Hayden Lake, ID 83835


Agency contact and orientation information

A New Beginning Adoption Agency
Phone: 208-939-3865
Address: 8660 W. Emerald Street, Ste. 142, Boise, ID 83704

Idaho Department of Health & Welfare Foster/Adopt Program
Phone in Idaho:  2-1-1
Toll Free Phone – 800-926-2588
Statewide information available.

Idaho Youth Ranch Adoption Services
Contact: Donna Euler
Phone: 208-667-1898
Address: 1609 Government Way, Coeur d’Alene, ID 83814
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Information on Idaho's waiting children

There are 1,818 children in foster care in Idaho; 373 of these children are waiting for adoptive families.

Children who need foster and adoptive families:

  • May have experienced neglect or abuse
  • Range in age from newborn to 18 years old
  • May be members of a large sibling group that need to stay together
  • Reflect all cultural and economic groups.

Upcoming events

See a list of seminars, discussion panels, parent trainings and support group meetings at the website of A New Beginning Adoption Agency.