Hawaii foster and adoption guidelines

Thank you for considering providing a foster or adoptive home for a child in foster care. We are happy to assist you in your journey to become a foster or adoptive parent.

The role of foster families is to nurture the development of children by supporting birth family connections:

  • Supporting reunification with birth parents
  • Facilitating permanent placement with relatives
  • Providing transportation for, and supervision of, visits with birth parents or relatives

The role of adoptive families includes supporting the overall health and well-being of children by collaborating with the team responsible for addressing children’s needs, including:

  • Providing transportation to activities and appointments
  • Being involved in education planning
  • Supporting children’s connection to their ethnic, cultural, and religious heritage

On this page:

Contact information

A Family Tree/Hawaii International Child
Lani Oprescu, domestic program director  
Lani@AFamilyTree.org
808-589-2367

Partners In Development Foundation – Hui Hoomalu Program
hui@pidfoundation.org
808-441-1117
888-879-8970

Foster and adoption licensing requirements

The minimum qualifications for foster and adoptive parents are:

  • Have sufficient income to cover your financial needs
  • Have the ability to provide a safe, loving, supportive environment for foster and adoptive children
  • Pass required FBI background clearance, State criminal history clearance (for all states resided in for the past five years), and child abuse and neglect registry check
  • Complete the preservice training and the homestudy process
  • Have sufficient space in the home and meet all other licensing criteria, according to State law

Read the Hawaii Department of Human Services website for more information about becoming a foster or becoming an adoptive family in Hawaii.

Costs to foster or adopt

Normally, becoming a licensed foster or adoptive family for children in Hawai‘i’s foster care system is nearly free except for minimal fees associated with licensing requirements such as fingerprint clearances and safety measures within the family home. Families that are currently licensed as foster care providers in the State of Hawaii can adopt a child from the State’s foster care system without additional fees. Adoption home study fees are waived for families participating in the Wendy’s Wonderful Kids Program which matches prospective adoptive families to children awaiting permanency in Hawai‘i’s foster care system. Local, private adoption agencies offer fee-for-service adoption home studies for families seeking to adopt outside of the Hawai‘i State foster care system.

Agency contact and orientation information

To become a general licensed foster or adoptive family in the state of Hawaii:

Hawaii International Child
Abby Sylvester, LCSW, director of social work
abby@adoptionhawaii.org
808-589-2367

Partners In Development Foundation, Hui Hoomalu Program
Email: hui@pidfoundation.org
Local phone: 808-441-1121
Toll free: 888-879-8970

To provide foster care or an adoptive home for a specific child, contact the child’s social worker:

The Hawaii Department of Human Services
See your local phone directory for the social worker’s unit’s phone number.

Post-adoption support services

Learn about the support available to families who adopt in your state:

Foster youth support

Information on Hawaii's children

Many children in foster care are part of a sibling group. All are from a diversity of cultural and socio-economic backgrounds. There are 2,766 children in foster care in Hawaii; 878 of these children are waiting for adoptive families.