State Adoption in Vermont

The first hope for children and youth in state custody is safe and timely reunification with their parents. When that can't happen, the state must pursue other options for achieving permanence.

We first pursue adoption with people who already have a connection to the children (e.g., relatives, family friends, and the current foster parents).  Sometimes, however, they are unable to adopt and new families need to be found.

The need for adoptive parents

On any given day in Vermont, there are about 60 children waiting in foster care for families to adopt them. 

Most are school-aged. Many have special needs related to the trauma they experienced. Some are part of a sibling group who want to stay together. What they all have in common is the desire to belong. They all want a place to go for the holidays. Someone to share good news with and ask for advice. Someone to rely on. They all want families.

Who can apply

To adopt a child in foster care:

  • You must be at least 21 years old.
  • You can be single, married, living with a partner, or joined through a civil union.
  • You must have enough room to house a child and sufficient income to support your family.

Applications are considered regardless of disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity/expression, race, religion, or sexual orientation.

Who we are looking for

Adoptive parents come from all walks of life, with diverse life experiences, levels of education, income levels, occupations, and lifestyles. Some have experience with children, while others are willing to learn.

Here’s what they all have in common:

  • The desire to help a child;
  • The self-assurance to ask for help when it’s needed;
  • The ability to recognize and celebrate small successes;
  • The willingness to stick by a child through difficult times;
  • The capacity to learn and grow;
  • Compassion, patience, tolerance, strength of character, and a sense of humor; and
  • An extended network of support.

Making the decision to adopt

Adopting a child will affect every aspect of your life and every member of your household. Everyone in your home needs to think about what it will mean to them and what adjustments they may have to make. It is a decision for the entire family. Click here for a list of questions that can help you make the decision

The application process

Click here to learn about the application process.

Support available to adoptive parents

Click here to learn about the support available to adoptive parents in Vermont.

For More Information

Call Project Family if you want more information about adopting a waiting child or to begin the adoption process. We are here to help!

Read the Adoptions Fact Sheet.


Project Family is a partnership between the Vermont Department for Children and Families and Lund — our state’s largest and oldest nonprofit adoption agency. Working together, we find and support adoptive parents for Vermont children in need.


Phone: 1-800-746-7000 toll-free throughout Vermont    
Email: Toni.Yandow@state.vt.us

Adopt a waiting child!

You'll get to:

  • Provide a child with safety, love, and a chance for a new life.
  • Experience the joy of parenting—again or for the first time.
  • Expand and enrich your life.
  • Learn and grow as a parent and person.