Montana foster care and adoption guidelines

Thank you for considering adopting or fostering a child.


Things you should know


Foster and adoption licensing requirements


You may qualify to be a foster or adoptive parent if you:

  • Are single or married. Couples will need to have been together for at least 24 months.
  • Rent or own your own house or apartment.
  • Have enough income to support your current household without relying on foster care reimbursement.
  • Complete an orientation and pre-service training program.
  • Provide references that can attest to your appropriateness to provide foster care for children.
  • Are over 18 and pass a fingerprint-based criminal background check of the National Criminal Information Database and a Child Protective Services background check.

The process to foster and adopt is as follows:

  • Call your local Child and Family Services Division (CFSD) office to get information.
  • Send your completed application to your family resource specialist or to your local CFSD office.
  •  A family resource specialist will contact you to begin a homestudy that will include visiting your home, completing paperwork and assessing your family.
  • If you are licensed for foster care or approved to adopt, your family will be considered for placement of a child, dependent upon the needs of the child. Families are identified to meet the needs of children.

To learn more about becoming a licensed foster parent or an approved adoptive parent, please call 866-9-FOSTER (866-936-7837) or email your name and address to


Costs to foster and adopt


There are no fees to foster or adopt through the Child and Family Services Division.


Agency contact and orientation information


Contact your county agency to receive information on orientation and training in your area.

Contact a private adoption agency in your area.


Parent support groups


For Parent Support Groups, please contact the family resource specialists in the county office where you live.

Montana also has a Foster and Adoptive Parent Association. Visit the National Foster Parent Association website, click on the state of Montana and view the contact information.

Family resource specialists in the county where you live can advise you as to how to check out books and videotapes from your area’s resource parent library.

Utah’s Adoption Connection Lending Library is a post adoption service provided by The Adoption Exchange and available to Montana residents. The library includes selected titles for both adoptive families and the professionals who serve them. Patrons checkout up to three titles at a time and return them to us within six weeks. As part of a generous donation from Kennecott Utah Copper Charitable Foundation we are able to mail these items to you free of charge. Please visit Adoption Connection for the most recent title selections.


Information on Montana's children


The children who are placed in foster care by the division range in age from infants to teenagers. Frequently sibling groups need placement together. The children come from many different backgrounds and reflect the cultural diversity of the state. As of January 2015, there are 2,277 children in foster care in Montana; 457 of these children are waiting for adoptive families.


Upcoming events

  • The annual Child Abuse and Neglect Conference is usually held in April and is for foster and adoptive parents and professionals. Call 406-841-2400 for more information.
  • The Montana State Foster and Adoptive Parent Association Annual Conference is usually held each September. Call 406-841-2400 for more information.
  • The Indian Child and Family Conference is held in October each year. Call 406-841-2400 for more information.