New York City foster care and adoption guidelines

Thank you so much for your interest in fostering, adopting, or foster-to-adopting!

On this page:

Foster care and adoption licensing requirements

Being a foster parent means providing a caring, nurturing home to a child or sibling group. It also means working with the birth parents as part of a team to help bring the family back together.

For those children who can't return to their birth family, adoption provides a new home and family to call their own. Being an adoptive parent means making a lifetime commitment to a child.

Sometimes, being a foster parent means that the child whom you have been fostering will become legally free for adoption. At that time, you will have the option of deciding if you want to adopt that child.

Learn more about how to become a foster or adoptive parent.

Costs to foster and adopt

No, it does not cost to foster through the City of New York.

Will I need to pay for adoption services?

There are no fees when adopting through the City of New York. The homestudy will be prepared without cost to you and financial assistance is often available to cover legal fees. Commonly asked questions about adoption.

If you choose to work with a private agency, they may charge fees. Also, fees may be charged to adopt a child who is waiting in foster care outside New York City. However, when families adopt children who are in foster care and eligible for subsidy, the families may be eligible for reimbursement of limited nonrecurring adoption-related costs, such as attorney’s fees and court fees, through the child’s state and federal options. Many families use low-cost adoption options every year.

Agency contact and orientation information

Adoption and foster care orientations happen throughout the City and in nearby communities. To learn more and to find an orientation session in your neighborhood please call 212-676-WISH. Find more information on how to become a foster or adoptive parent.

Or, request an information packet. The request form allows you to choose either:

  • I would like ACS to refer me to a Foster Care Agency in my neighborhood.
  • I would prefer to contact a Foster Care Agency on my own and would like to view or print a list of agencies and contact information. You will be able to see this list after you submit the form.

Parent support groups

Find a Circle of Support group in your borough (some of the support groups are bilingual). To learn about an LGBT support group, please contact: Shawnese Parker at 917-567-4710 or Greg Miller at 718-210-3191.

Circle of Youth

The Circle of Youth mission is to provide a comfortable environment where young adults and adolescents, ages 12 and up, in foster, adoptive, kinship homes can come together to learn their rights, express their feelings, set a positive example, and help each other achieve goals.

The LGBTQ group meets on the thirrd Tuesday of each month in Manhattan at the LGBT Center.
Address: 208 W. 13th Street NY, NY
Time: 6 to 8 p.m.

The Jamaica, Queens group meets on the fourth Thursday of each month in Queens ant the Gertz Mall Building
Address: 92-31 Union Hall Street, 3rd Floor
Time: 6 to 8 p.m.

For more information regarding the Circle of Youth, please contact Armando Rivero Jr., 212-341-0728.

Information on New York City's children

There are about 8,300 children in foster care in New York City. Of these children, about 2,500 are waiting for adoptive families.