Indiana foster care and adoption guidelines

In Indiana, there are different types of adoptions and different avenues to adopting a child. Private adoption attorneys and agencies typically handle infant and international adoptions.

The Indiana Adoption Program is a statewide initiative through the Indiana Department of Child Services to find adoptive homes for Indiana’s children and older youth in foster care.

In Indiana, most of the children for whom we are seeking families are between the ages of 8 and 16. Although children much younger come into our care, they are usually reunified with their family, adopted by another family member, or adopted by their foster parents. Many children in care also have brothers and/or sisters. There is an urgent need for families willing to adopt older youth and siblings.

Please explore the Indiana Department of Child Services website to learn more about adopting from foster care and the children who are waiting for a home to call their own.

On this page:

State contact information

Indiana has 92 counties and each county has different resources available. To learn more about the preparation process, please contact iap@childrensbureau.org or call 888-25-ADOPT (888-252-3678).

Foster and adoption licensing requirements

Foster parent requirements:

  • Complete licensing packet issued by your county of residence
  • Complete 10 hours of training
  • Do criminal background checks and CPS checks as required by the state of Indiana
  • Complete homestudy process with the county or agency that is working with you

Adoptive parent requirements:

  • Complete application packet issued by the county or agency with whom you are working
  • Complete 16 hours of training, do criminal background checks and CPS checks as required by the state of Indiana
  • Complete homestudy process with the county or agency that is working with you

Foster and adoption costs

In some cases, you may be required to pay for your criminal background checks and CPR/First Aid classes if you choose to do them on your own, outside of the training process.

In some counties, you may be required to pay for your home study at first and will later be reimbursed for it. Please contact iap@childrensbureau.org or call 888-25-ADOPT (888-252-3678) for more information.

Agency contact and orientation information

Indiana has 92 counties and each county has different resources available. To learn more about the preparation process, please contact iap@childrensbureau.org or call 888-25-ADOPT (888-252-3678).

Parent support groups

Support groups vary across the state and change frequently. For information regarding a support group near you, please contact the adoption liaison in your area. Use this adoption liaison locator map or call 888-25-ADOPT to speak with an adoption liaison.

Information on Indiana's children

There are approximately 9,294 children in foster care in Indiana, and many of them are waiting for adoptive families.

Additional resources

If you would like to learn more about adoption, or speak with someone who is familiar with the adoption process, find a list of adoption awareness events in your community at the Indiana Department of Child Services website or contact the state: