Montana foster care and adoption guidelines

Thank you for considering adopting or fostering a child.


On this page:

State contact information

To learn more about becoming a licensed foster parent or an approved adoptive parent, please call 866-9-FOSTER (866-936-7837), email your name and address to,, or fill out an online inquiry form.


Foster and adoption licensing requirements


You may qualify to be a foster or adoptive parent if you:

  • Are single or married.
  • Rent or own your own house or apartment.
  • Have enough income to support your current household without relying on foster care reimbursement.
  • Complete an orientation and pre-service training program.
  • Provide references that can attest to your appropriateness to provide foster care for children.
  • Are over 18 and pass a fingerprint-based criminal background check of the National Criminal Information Database and a Child Protective Services background check.

The process to foster and adopt is as follows:

  • Call your local Child and Family Services Division (CFSD) office to get information.
  • Send your completed application to your resource family specialist or to your local CFSD office.
  •  A resource family specialist will contact you to begin the home study process. It will include home visits, paperwork, training, and a family assessment.
  • If you are licensed for foster care or approved to adopt, your family will be considered for placement of a child, dependent upon the needs of the child. Families are identified to meet the needs of children.

Costs to foster and adopt


There are no fees to foster or adopt through the Child and Family Services Division.


Agency contact and orientation information


Contact your county agency to receive information on orientation and training in your area.

Contact a private adoption agency in your area.


Post-adoption support services

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


Information on Montana's children


The children who are placed in foster care by the division range in age from infants to teenagers. Frequently sibling groups need placement together. The children come from many different backgrounds and reflect the cultural diversity of the state.

As of December 2016, there are 3,396 children in foster care in Montana; 375 of these children are waiting for adoptive families.


Upcoming events


The annual Child Abuse and Neglect Conference is usually held in April and is for foster and adoptive parents and professionals. Call 406-841-2400 for more information.