Massachusetts Adoption Resource Exchange



Welcome to the section of the MARE website designed to meet the needs of social workers who are working with waiting children and/or waiting families. We at MARE value the collaborative relationships we have with social workers from the Department of Children and Families and adoption agencies in Massachusetts and beyond. Good communication is essential to these relationships, so please feel free to contact us if you have any questions and/or suggestions about our services.

Below are ways MARE can assist you in finding adoptive families for waiting children.

Register and Photolist a Child
The first step in utilizing MARE services for a waiting child is to register and photolist the child with MARE. When a child is registered with MARE, a child’s information will be entered into the MARE database, and the needs of the child will be compared with the criteria of families registered with MARE. If any potential matches are identified, MARE will forward the family’s homestudy to the child’s social worker. Follow-up on such referrals is at the discretion of the child’s social worker.

In order for a child to appear in the MARE Photolisting®, please also submit a close-up photo of the child. The picture can be sent hardcopy to the MARE office (please include child’s full name and date of birth on the back of the photo) or via email. Please note that emailed photos must be in .jpg format and include the child’s full name and date of birth in the email. Click here for a list of MARE’s photo tips. The deadline for submission for the MARE Photolisting® is the 10th of each month (i.e. for the July pages, all materials must be received by June 10th).

For sibling groups, MARE must receive a Child Registration/Photolisting form for each child as well as individual photos of each sibling and a group photo.

All waiting children who are legally free and are in the MARE Photolisting® will be automatically featured in the Online Photolisting and the national AdoptUsKids website.

Other Recruitment Options

Once a child has been registered with MARE and included in the MARE Photolisting®, he or she is eligible for a variety of other recruitment opportunities. The programs below allow waiting families at all stages of the process to get to know the children available for adoption.

Child-specific Media Campaigns
MARE coordinates numerous ongoing media campaigns featuring specific children available for adoption. Some of the most well known are Wednesday’s Child with Jack Williams on WBZ-TV 4 Boston, Sunday’s Child® in the Boston Globe and En Busca de Hogar with Sara Suarez on Univision. For a complete list, go to our media campaigns page.

Adoption Parties and Recruitment Events
Four to six times per year, MARE hosts adoption parties to bring together social workers, waiting children and prospective adoptive parents in casual and fun settings. Each party is held in a different region of the state. Families can learn more about adoption, meet waiting children and network with social workers. Adoption Party Guides are available for families and social workers.

In addition, MARE hosts matching meetings for social workers and single prospective adoptive parents with approved homestudies. At these meetings, social workers present specific waiting children through verbal descriptions, pictures, videos, etc. To find out about upcoming adoption parties and recruitment events, please go to our events page.

Heart Gallery
The Heart Gallery is a striking portrait exhibit of children in the Massachusetts foster care system in need of permanent families. Professional and amateur photographers volunteer their expertise to create visual images of the children, and the exhibit moves to different locations around the state in addition to permanent exhibits at all Jordan’s Furniture stores.

MARE Online Matching
This program gives social workers and families the opportunity to search for waiting children and families who are registered with MARE, including children who are at legal risk and those who are not in the MARE Photolisting®. Click here to view answers to Frequently Asked Questions about the Online Matching Program. Please note that MARE will delete accounts in this program if correspondence is undeliverable to the email address used.

AdoptUsKids is a national website of more than 3000 children awaiting adoption and families approved to adopt. The AdoptUsKids website allows families to search for children and for social workers to search for families throughout the United States. AdoptUsKids is an initiative of the Children's Bureau, which is being operated by the Adoption Exchange Association. Anyone can view the children on the website, but to find out more about a particular child, including contact information for the child's agency or social worker, you must have a current homestudy in the state where you live and become a site member.

Register a Family and Help Create a Family Profile
We encourage families from Massachusetts to register with MARE immediately after their homestudy is complete. Social workers can register waiting families from Massachusetts who have completed and approved homestudies to adopt from foster care. The families’ criteria will be compared with the needs of the children registered with MARE. If a potential match is identified, MARE will forward the family’s homestudy to the child’s social worker. Follow-up on such referrals is at the discretion of the child’s social worker.

All families are encouraged to utilize MARE's Online Photolisting and the Online Matching Program.

Families with completed and approved homestudies are encouraged to partner with their social worker to create a Family Profile that can be shared with social workers at MARE events such as Single Parent Matching Nights and Adoption Parties.

Social Worker and Agency Awards

MARE Awards for Social Workers
Established in 1998, the MARE Awards recognize the exceptional work done by adoption agencies and individual social workers to accomplish our common goal of finding permanent families for waiting children.


Below are a few key resources for social workers. Please visit the Adoption Resources section of the website for a complete listing.

Guide to MARE Programs and Services: This is a summary of MARE procedures and programs designed specifically for social workers.

Preparing Children for Media: This is a summary of suggestions that social workers can utilize to prepare waiting children for media recruitment.

Adoption Party Guide: MARE has created this guide to help social workers prepare children and families for adoption parties.

Events: The Events section of the website contains adoption-related events that are sponsored by MARE and other agencies.

Adopt Air: This is an Adoption Exchange Association (AEA) program offered in collaboration with Mercy Medical Airlift and The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption to all AEA members. It gives adoption exchanges and placement agencies throughout the country the ability to arrange for children to fly up to 1,000 miles from their place of departure to attend adoption parties; be videotaped for TV recruitment; travel to meet prospective parents or for placement visits. Please visit the AEA website for more information.


MARE is partially funded by the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families.
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