There are more than 13,000 foster children in the state of Missouri. More than 1,200 children are up for adoption.

Every Wednesday on KOLR10 News, a child waiting to be adopted by their forever family is featured. If you’re considering adopting or fostering a child in need, there are a few things you’ll need to do before consideration.

One of the most frequently asked questions is cost. According to the Missouri Department of Social Services website, there is little to no cost to become an adoptive parent. A home assessment and training is required, but provided by the state free of charge. The majority of adoption expenses are covered by the state, as well.

Other adoption requirements include:

  • Be at least 21 years of age

  • Complete a child abuse/neglect check and criminal record check including fingerprints

  • Be in good health, both physically and mentally

  • Have a stable income

  • Be willing to participate in and complete a free training and assessment process

  • Be part of a professional team willing to voice perspectives and concerns

  • Be willing to partner with the child’s family

If you’d like to see pictures of children up for adoption, the Missouri Heart Gallery has a profile of many of them. Keep in mind, you’ll have to be licensed by the state before receiving additional information on a specific child.