Other Family Support Services
Adoption is a lifelong journey and the need for support and guidance does not end when a child is placed in an adoptive home. The following is a list of services and resources provided by agencies other than MARE which support families at various stages in the adoption process.
Kid’s Net: a program of MSPCC, provides support to pre-adoptive, foster, and kinship parents who are caring for children in DCF custody. Their services are offered statewide and include respite care, short term childcare, training opportunities, and an after-hours emergency hotline (1-800-486-3730).
Adoptive Families Together (AFT): a program of MSPCC, is a network of adoptive families who understand the benefit of peer support while raising children with complex issues. Their parent support meetings, held throughout the state, are open to families at any stage in the process. AFT works to provide post-adoptive information, education, and support for people touched by adoption.
Adoption Journeys: a program of Child and Family Services, provides post-adoption support services to families throughout Massachusetts. Any family who has legalized an adoption is eligible to receive Adoption Journeys services, which include support groups for parents and children, adoption counseling, respite services, parent liaisons, adoption competency training, intensive crisis response, and clinician referral.
Adoption Subsidy: All children who are adopted through the Department of Children and Families are eligible for state administered Adoption Subsidy. Adoption subsidy is not guaranteed, rather subsidies are available to parents who adopt children with ongoing physical, emotional, and/or intellectual needs. Children who are adopted at older ages or as part of a larger sibling group are typically granted subsidy. Subsidy is re-evaluated annually. If a child does not have any defined special needs at the time of adoption, they will receive a deferred subsidy, making them eligible for subsidy in the future should a greater level of need become apparent. The benefits available through the adoption subsidy programs are determined on an individual basis and may include monthly care payments, health insurance coverage (Mass Health), or reimbursements for the cost of special services (PACT). The subsidy programs are intended to remove financial barriers to the adoption of children with special needs, but they are not intended to cover the full cost of raising a child.
Gift of Adoption: A national charity with a Massachusetts chapter that raises funds to provide grants to families to complete the adoptions of vulnerable children. Priority is placed on helping children at risk of not finding permanency, including children with critical medical conditions, those at-risk of separation from siblings, or teens at risk of aging out of foster care. Grants are given without regard to age, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation or marital status of the family. Applicants must be US Citizens, have an approved homestudy, and demonstrate financial need. Applicants must have a prospective child match identified for which there are financial barriers related to travel, home accomodations, medical equiptment, etc.
Tuition Waiver Program: Any child adopted through DCF since 2000 by a resident of Massachusetts or an employee of the Commonwealth will have 100% of the tuition for state-supported undergraduate courses waived until the adopted youth reaches his or her 25th birthday. This benefit applies to all state colleges and universities, as well as community colleges. The waiver is also available to any child who was in DCF care under a Care and Protection petition for 12 consecutive months and was neither adopted nor returned home (including children who were placed in guardianships). Eligible youth (or a parent if the youth is under 18) can request a waiver by writing to the address below. Youth must include a copy of their amended birth certificate.
Massachusetts Department of Children and Families
Director of Adoption Support Services
600 Washington Street 6th floor
Boston, MA 02111
BabySteps is Massachusetts’ first statewide seeded college savings account program, designed to empower families to plan and save for their children’s higher education. This announcement follows State Treasurer Deborah B. Goldberg’s college savings account pilot program (SeedMA) in Worcester and Monson. With the launch of BabySteps, every child born or adopted who is a Massachusetts resident after January 1, 2020, will be eligible* to receive a $50 seed deposit into his or her U.Fund account from the State Treasurer’s Office.
Federal Adoption Tax Credit: Since 2003, families who adopted a child with special needs from foster care can claim a federal adoption tax credit even if they had no adoption-related expenses. Children who receive adoption subsidy are considered children with special needs.
The Child Welfare Information Gateway: Provides information and resources on a wide variety of topics related to adoptive parenting to help protect children and strengthen families.
The North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACAC): a national organization founded by adoptive parents who offer advocacy, education, resources, and adoption support.
Adoption Search Unit - Massachusetts Department of Children and Families: For inquiries regarding Adoption Search including both DCF and private adoptions call 617-748-2240.