There are 8,700 children in foster care in Massachusetts. 2,800 of those children hope to be adopted. For the majority of children who enter foster care in MA, the goal is to be reunited with biological family members, and for most of those children, that goal is achieved. But there are some children who are unable to return to the care of their biological family members, so adoption from foster care becomes their new goal.
American Adoptions specializes in the adoption of newborns and is not able to provide Massachusetts foster care adoption services, but adopting a child from foster care is an excellent family-building option for many people. The information below will give you more insight about foster care adoption in Massachusetts, so you can decide if it’s the right family-building option for you.
There are three ways to be involved with kids in Massachusetts foster care, which are:
As a foster parent in Massachusetts, you would be providing temporary care for children who are waiting a more permanent placement situation — either reuniting with their biological family or being adopted by a permanent adoptive family.
As a licensed foster parent, you can opt to adopt a child from foster care if a child in your care becomes legally available for adoption. This is known as foster to adopt in Massachusetts. While most MA foster children do not ever become eligible for adoption, as their foster parent you’d be considered as an option for permanent placement if their biological family is no longer able to care for them.
You don’t have to become a foster parent if you already know that you want to adopt from foster care in Massachusetts. Instead, you can apply for a foster care adoption in Massachusetts, and you’d be matched with children in foster care who are already eligible and awaiting adoption.
Families who foster to adopt or adopt through foster care in Massachusetts may be eligible to receive adoption assistance in the form of a state-funded adoption subsidy. The exact amount of the Massachusetts foster care adoption subsidy that you might be able to receive depends on the needs of the child(ren) you foster or adopt through foster care.
You must be at least 21 years old to foster or adopt a child from foster care in Massachusetts. All prospective foster parents must first be approved through a home study, as well. Some foster care adoption agencies will have varying requirements for prospective foster/adoptive parents.
In order to foster a child in Massachusetts, you must pass a series of training courses, including a 10-week course called Model Approach to Partnerships in Parenting (MAPP). To learn more about the requirements to foster a child or adopt from foster care in Massachusetts, contact the Massachusetts Adoption Resource Exchange (MARE).
A child’s biological parents must have their legal parental rights terminated before the child can become eligible for adoption from foster care in Massachusetts. Parental rights termination can be done voluntarily by the parents or involuntarily if the court determines that the parents were unable to meet the court-mandated demands to regain custody.
When a child in Massachusetts foster care turns 18, they “age out” of the foster care system, but they can still be adopted through an adult adoption by their former foster parents who love them and want to secure their status as legal and permanent members of their family.
The Massachusetts foster care adoption agencies and Massachusetts adoption photolisting sites listed below can help get you started if you wish to learn more about foster care and adoption in Massachusetts:
Call your Massachusetts foster care professional for information on their requirements and for additional MA foster care adoption resources.
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