Maine foster care and adoption guidelines

The phone number for Maine Child and Family Services is: 207-624-7900.


On this page:


Foster and adoption licensing requirements


You might be a great foster and adoptive parent if:

  • You are at least 21 years old.
  • Your physical and mental health will allow you to care for a child (or children).
  • You are able to exercise good judgment in meeting the needs of a child (or children).
  • You can provide three references from people who are not related to you.
  • You can complete fingerprinting to allow the Department of Health and Human Services to submit required fingerprint-based checks to national crime information databases.
  • You can complete a criminal history background check.
  • You can complete home visits in which a social worker will meet with you to get to know you and your family.
  • The place where you live can pass a satisfactory inspection for fire safety and fire protection.
  • The water in your home can meet state standards.
  • The place where you live has a telephone.

Costs to foster and adopt


Adoptive and foster parents will have to pay for the cost of the fingerprinting and whatever their doctor or health plan charges for a medical exam.

If a family adopts a child from foster care in another state, there may be additional fees. Please contact Maine Child and Family Services for more information.

Agency contact and orientation information


The State of Maine Department of Health and Human Services is divided into eight districts. Maine DHHS can complete your homestudy. There are private and nonprofit agencies available, too. 

Please visit Maine’s Guide to Adoption Services and scroll down to “licensed private adoption agencies” in Maine or scroll further down to Department of Health and Human Services Offices. Then,  ask your agency when they are next offering an orientation. Orientations are scheduled as needed based on the number of requests from individuals. Individual orientation is available in most districts.

Post-adoption support services

See a comprehensive list of post-adoption and guardianship support services and support groups available to families who live in Maine.


Information on Maine's children


There are about 1,900 children in Maine Department of Health and Human Services custody at this time. Of those children, there are 100 children with the goal of adoption who are awaiting adoptive families. The majority of children are between the ages of 9 and 17.