Missouri foster and adoption guidelines

The adoption and foster care process may take some time, but the rewards are well worth the effort. You will find there are many resources available to you, and we recommend that you become involved in as many ways with the foster and adoption community as you feel comfortable.

On this page:

State contact information

Raise the Future
Evie Michael
Recruitment coordinator
303-755-4756, ext. 299

Foster and adoption licensing requirements

In order to adopt or foster in Missouri, you must:

  • Be at least 21 years old
  • Be in good physical and mental health
  • Complete a child abuse and neglect check and criminal record check including fingerprints
  • Have a stable income
  • Live in an apartment, condominium or home as long as it meets licensing standards
  • Be willing to participate in and complete a free training and assessment process
  • Be a part of a professional team willing to voice perspectives and concerns
  • Be willing to partner with the child’s family

You can be single or married, with or without children in your home.

Costs to foster and adopt

It does not cost to foster or adopt.

Agency contact and orientation information

For more information or to attend an orientation, contact the social services office for your county or a nonprofit or private child welfare agency in Missouri (553 KB PDF).

Parent support groups

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

Information on Missouri's children

There are over 13,000 children in foster care in Missouri; 1,500 of these children have no identified adoptive parents. You can also learn more about children and adoption resources at the Missouri Heart Gallery website.