Other Family Support Services
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.
Local Support Organizations:
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 Search and Reunion: Massachusetts Department of Children and Families: For inquiries regarding closed adoption records including both DCF and private adoptions call 617-748-2240.
National Support Organizations:
AdoptUSKids: A national project working to ensure that children and teens in foster care get safe, loving, permanent families, by educating families about foster care and adoption and maintaining the nation’s only federally funded photolisting service that connects waiting children with families.
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.
Creating a Family: A national adoption & foster care education and support nonprofit, offering webinars, online resources and support group toolkits for foster, adoptive and kinship families.
Financial Support Resources:
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. Learn more about adoption subsidies here.
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
Transracial Parenting Resources:
There are an abundance of resources available to families who have taken on the responsibility of transracial adoptive parenting, or are considering doing so. Below is a list of resources curated by MARE staff to be of particular relevancy to families at varying stages of the adoption process.
For New Families Considering Transracial Adoption
This AdoptUSKids article offers advice and considerations shared by adoptive parents and child welfare professionals for families considering adoption transracially.
This article from the Children's Bureau cites an estimated 44% of US adoptions are now transracial, and this prominent community of families going through the same process has brought about plenty of public discussion, research and communities to guide transracial families.
For Families in Process
This publication from the National Council on Adoption addresses the privilege of growing one’s family through adoption, and the associated issues of loss, grief, identity formation, maintaining birth family connections and accessing health history information. These issues are compounded when adopting a child of a different race.
This article from NACAC recognizes that youth should not be expected to develop positive racial identity without support and reinforcement from their families, role models, and the community. Because children from minority groups who experience prejudice or discrimination are subject to developing negative racial identity, they require monitoring, with attention paid to their perception of racial identity. Parents can provide support and reinforcement through 7 tasks.
For Families Placed with a child/children of a different race
In this TED Talk, Susan Devan Harness shares her experience of being adopted transracially by a white couple at age two.
This podcast features Phil Bertelsen talking about his transracial adoption as a bi-racial person of color into a white family.