Modern speaker verification systems based on support vector machines (SVMs) use Gaussian mixture model (GMM) supervectors as their input feature vectors, and the maximum a posteriori (MAP) adaptation is a conventional method for generating speaker-dependent GMMs by adapting a universal background model (UBM). MAP adaptation requires the appropriate amount of input utterance due to the number of model parameters to be estimated. On the other hand, with limited utterances, unreliable MAP adaptation can be performed, which causes adaptation noise even though the Bayesian priors used in the MAP adaptation smooth the movements between the UBM and speaker dependent GMMs. This paper proposes a sparse MAP adaptation method, which is known to perform well in the automatic speech recognition area. By introducing sparse MAP adaptation to the GMM-SVM-based speaker verification system, the adaptation noise can be mitigated effectively. The proposed method utilizes the L0 norm as a regularizer to induce sparsity. The experimental results on the TIMIT database showed that the sparse MAP-based GMM-SVM speaker verification system yields a 42.6% relative reduction in the equal error rate with few additional computations.