AdoptUSKids For Families

Washington D.C. Foster Care
and Adoption Guidelines

Contact Information
The District of Columbia Child and Family Services Agency (CFSA)
202-671-LOVE (202-671-5683)
cfsa@dc.gov

 

Things You Should Know

 

Foster Care and Adoption Licensing Requirements

 

Prospective parents in the District of Columbia can be single or married. Some families have birth children, and some don’t. District of Columbia families don't have to be wealthy to be approved to adopt or provide foster care for a child. All that's necessary is for them to have sufficient financial resources to provide adequate care for a child and to meet the family’s financial responsibilities. Families don’t have to own a home either, they can be renters.

The minimum age to become an adoptive or foster family is 21. There is no maximum age, although many agencies prefer to keep no more than a 45-year difference between the child and the younger parent.

According to state regulations, District of Columbia families who want to become adoptive or foster care families must complete a minimum of 30 hours of training.

Also, please note that if you are considering a domestic adoption, you don’t have to be a U.S. citizen, but you must be a legal resident in the country.

Read more about  adopting from the Public Child Welfare System in the District of Columbia

 

Costs to Foster and Adopt

 

There are no fees involved when adopting or fostering a child through DC’s Child and Family Services Agency (CFSA).

However, when working with private agencies, fees will be applied. The District of Columbia has adoption fees set by statute. If you are working with a private agency and are adopting a DC child, CFSA will pay purchase of service (placement and finalization fees) on a case-by-case basis.

If you choose to complete your adoption using the services of an attorney, you will be responsible for paying legal fees and courts costs.

When adopting a special needs child, District of Columbia families are eligible for a Federal Tax Credit once their adoption has been finalized. This tax credit is intended to help families with the expenses associated with their adoption.

 

Agency Contact and Orientation Information

 

For more information about the orientations offered by Child and Family Services Agency, call  202-671-LOVE (202-671-5683) or visit  the agency's website.

Choosing an agency can sometimes be confusing, but is one of the most important steps of this process. You must decide whether you prefer to work with a public or private agency. The best way to decide which agency is best for you and your family is by contacting some of them directly and attending their information sessions or orientations.

For public adoptions, please contact the Child and Family Services Agency (CFSA) at 202-671-LOVE.

The Child and Family Services Agency holds orientation meetings for foster care and adoption prospective parents at the following times:

  • Second Saturday of every month: 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
  • Fourth Thursday of every month: 6  to 8 p.m.

The meeting place is subject to change so if you plan to attend please contact (202) 671-LOVE (5683) so that they can provide you with the correct meeting location.

For a complete list of District of Columbia Licensed private agencies, call Child Welfare Information Gateway, 800-394-3366.

 

Parent Support Groups

 

The District of Columbia offers support groups through the Post Permanency Family Services.

For a complete list of private support groups, call 202-671-LOVE (202-671-5683).

 

Information on Children

 

There are 1,902 children in foster care in the District of Columbia; 373 of these children are waiting for adoptive families.

 

Upcoming Events

 

You can plan on attending the DC’s Heart Gallery. View a list of Heart Gallery locations and dates.

Get Social

Get started in your journey to foster or adopt by using our step-by-step information.
Join the Conversation
Meet the children in foster care by learning about adoption and foster care demographics and statistics across the nation.
Join the conversation in AdoptUSKids online communities to connect and share with families and child welfare professionals.
Read our news and announcements to learn what is new in the field of adoption and foster care.
TOP