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.
On this page:
- Contact information
- Foster care and adoption licensing requirements
- Costs to foster and adopt
- Post-adoption support services
- Agency contact and orientation information
- Information on Idaho's children
- Upcoming events
Interested families can contact the Idaho CareLine for more information.
Phone (teléfono): 800-926-2588 or dial 2-1-1
Email (correo electrónico): email@example.com
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.
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.
A Giving Tree Adoptions, Inc. – Boise
Contact Elizabeth Jackson: Elizabeth.Jackson.firstname.lastname@example.org
Adopt Idaho – Post Falls
Contact Brenda Torres: email@example.com
Children’s House International – Idaho Falls
Contact: Debbie Price: info@chiadopt
Forever Bound Adoption – Eagle
Contact Amy Curtis: firstname.lastname@example.org
Idaho Department of Health & Welfare Foster/Adopt Program
Phone in Idaho: 2-1-1
Statewide information available.
Learn about the support available to families who adopt in your state:
Primary provider: Idaho Dept. of Health and Welfare
Families Together (support for families with children with disabilities)
509-335-2321 or 866-326-4864
Idaho 2-1-1 CareLine
In-Idaho Phone: 2-1-1
Idaho Parents Unlimited, Inc.
208-342-5884 or 800-242-4785
Twins and Company - Mothers of Multiples Support Group
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.
See a list of seminars, discussion panels, parent trainings and support group meetings at the website of A New Beginning Adoption Agency.
Attend an informational meeting on adoption from foster care, with Idaho Wednesday’s Child. Email Shawn White at email@example.com to learn more!