Adoption Glossary - M

As you begin to research adoption, you'll find that it comes with its own adoption terms and jargon. Although some adoption terms may be defined a little differently by another adoption professional, we hope the adoption glossary below will help you make sense of some buzzwords used in adoption. If you're unable to find the information you're looking for in the adoption glossary, call one of our knowledgeable Adoption Specialists at
1-800-ADOPTION.
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Mainstreamed - In education, a term that typically refers to the planned and sustained placement of a child with special educational needs into a regular education classroom for part or all of the school day.
Maltreatment - Physical abuse, child neglect, sexual abuse and emotional abuse. Federal CAPTA legislation (P.L. 104-235) provides definitions that identify a minimum set of acts or behaviors that characterize maltreatment. Each state is responsible for providing its own definitions of child abuse and neglect within the state's civil and criminal context.
Mandated Reporter - Individuals required by state statutes to report suspected child abuse and neglect to the proper authorities (usually CPS or law enforcement agencies). Mandated reporters typically include professionals, such as educators and other school personnel, health care and mental health professionals, social workers, childcare providers and law enforcement officers. Some states identify all citizens as mandated reporters.
Matching - The process of finding prospective families specifically suited to meet the needs of a waiting child, not to be confused with "placement.”
Maternity Home - Residences for pregnant women. The number of homes has decreased over the past three decades, and existing homes often have a waiting list of women. The women who live in a maternity home may pay a small fee or no fee to live in the home and they often apply for public assistance and Medicaid payments.
Mental Retardation - Impaired or incomplete mental development characterized by an IQ of 70 or below and characterized by significant functional limitations in at least two of the following skills: communication, self-care, home living, social/interpersonal skills, use of community resources, self-direction, functional academic skills, work, leisure, health and safety. Onset usually occurs before age 18. More than 200 specific causes of mental retardation have been identified. Degrees of severity reflect the level of intellectual impairment: Mild Mental Retardation - IQ level 50-55 to approximately 70; Moderate Retardation - IQ level 35-40 to 50-55; Severe Mental Retardation - IQ level 20-25 to 35-40; Profound Mental Retardation - IQ level below 20-25
MEPA - Acronym for Multi-Ethnic Placement Act of 1994.
Minority Children - Children of partial or full non-Caucasian parentage, or mixed Caucasian and non-Caucasian heritage.
Multi-Ethnic Placement Act - A federal law enacted in 1994 and implemented through state policy. The Multi-Ethnic Placement Act of 1994, as amended, P.L. 103-382 [42 USC 622] prohibits the delay or denial of any adoption or placement in foster care due to the race, color or national origin of the child or of the foster or adoptive parents and requires states to provide for diligent recruitment of potential foster and adoptive families who reflect the ethnic and racial diversity of children for whom homes are needed. The 1996 amendment, Section 1808 of P.L. 104-188, Removal of Barriers to Interethnic Adoption, affirms the prohibition against delaying or denying the placement of a child for adoption or foster care on the basis of race, color or national origin of the foster or adoptive parents or of the child involved [42 USC 1996b].
Multi-Racial - Refers to a child that has heritage of two or more races.
Multidisciplinary Team - Established between agencies and professionals within the child protection system to discuss cases of child abuse and neglect and to aid in decisions at various stages of the CPS case process. These terms may also be designated by different names, including child protection teams, interdisciplinary teams or case consultation teams.



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