Who Can Refer a Child?

Eligible Referral Sources

Out of respect for the privacy of the children and families we serve, children who may be eligible to receive a wish can be referred by one of four sources:

  •  Medical professionals (typically a doctor, nurse, social worker or child-life specialist)
  •  Parents/legal guardians of the potential wish kid
  •  Potential wish kids
  • Family members with detailed knowledge of the child's current medical condition

We will only contact you after a wish referral has been submitted by an approved source. Make-A-Wish® does not cold call or telemarket.

How Can I Refer a Child

If you are not eligible to refer a child, please share the referral inquiry form with the family or ask them to visit our website.

* Please keep in mind that Make-A-Wish does not cold call the families of potentially eligible kids. We ask you to please exercise compassion and suggest to families that they contact us directly. A second-party introduction can be unsettling for a child or the family, and we would prefer that the process be as comfortable, inspiring and private as possible. Thank you for your consideration in this regard.

Wish Referrals in the United States

To learn more about referring a child who lives in the United States or one of its territories, use our online referral inquiry form. The inquiry form is not the official referral - it is a request to receive additional information.

International Wish Referrals

If you would like to learn more about referring a child residing outside the United States, please contact Make-A-Wish® International.

Who is eligible?

A child with a life-threatening medical condition who has reached the age of 2½ and is younger than 18 at the time of referral is potentially eligible for a wish.

Read more on eligibility criteria for a potential wish child.

What can a child wish for?

The child's imagination is always the driving force in determining, designing, and coordinating the wish experience. Wish requests typically fall into one of five categories, but every wish is unique and powerful.

Learn more about the most common types of wishes.