Every family is unique, and the way in which families form happens in as many different ways. There are countless options to choose from in growing a family – from traditional conception to enhanced traditional conception, surrogacy, foreign and domestic adoption, foster care and family engagement. Regardless of the path that one chooses, and for many, there is a conscious choice to become family – especially in cases where more time and efforts are required to form a family. For those families who choose adoption, they understand that the journey to form their family isn’t easy; however, many believe that the road to adoption is the most rewarding.
The Massachusetts Adoption Resource Exchange (MARE) has been helping families connect to foster children awaiting adoption for over 60 years. With over 1,200 children currently awaiting adoptive placement from foster care in Massachusetts, we routinely host both matching and educational events for exactly that purpose; to offer education and support, but also to offer parents a chance to connect with others who have similar stories. National Adoption Month is part of a national celebration of adopted children and families.
On Thursday, November 7th, Mayor Sarno held a reception to highlight the need for foster and adoptive parents in Western Massachusetts. The fifth annual celebration opened National Adoption Month in Springfield. The event featured stories from adoptive families, as we seek to raise awareness of the need for adoptive homes for youth in Springfield and throughout Western Massachusetts. A reception following was hosted by Massachusetts Adoption Resource Exchange’s Lisa Funaro, Executive Director, and Maurine Albano, Western MA Child Services Coordinator.
Mayor Domenic J. Sarno stated, “You can’t put a price tag on how these families not only open their homes, but more importantly their hearts to these children. I know first-hand with family and friends, who have given a second chance to a child to be able to have and pursue a positive life.”
“One of MARE’s principle goals is to spread awareness about the need for adoptive families across the Commonwealth,” shared Joseph Sandagato, Director of Communications and Public Relations for MARE. “There are 1,200 children across Massachusetts seeking families right now. We hope to share that message with as many western Massachusetts community members as possible so that we can help to keep western Massachusetts children in their communities.”
National Adoption Day will be celebrated in six courthouses across Massachusetts, on November 22, 2019. The National Adoption Day celebrations feature opening ceremonies in each courthouse with remarks by judges, other dignitaries, and adoptive families, as well as musical performances and other entertainment. Committees of court personnel, Massachusetts Department of Children & Families (DCF) staff, Massachusetts Adoption Resource Exchange (MARE) staff, and community volunteers have arranged for every child being adopted to receive a gift bag of toys and more donated by local businesses and friends. National Adoption Day is sponsored by the Massachusetts Court Improvement Program, a federally-funded program administered by the Supreme Judicial Court.
Courts in all 50 states will also open their doors to legalize the adoptions of thousands of children from foster care and to celebrate and honor all families that adopt, marking the 19th annual nationwide National Adoption Day during the week before Thanksgiving. Nearly 70,000 children have left foster care for permanent families, since National Adoption Day started.
There is no cost to adopt a child from foster care. Prospective adoptive parents can be almost any age (18+); single, partnered, married, LGBTQ identified; homeowners or renters; experienced parents or new to parenting. Families of various income levels can adopt, as long as they have a stable source of income to support a child.
In Massachusetts, nearly 2,800 children currently in foster care have the goal of adoption, and more than 850 of those children have no relative or other potential adopter. Older, school-aged children, sibling groups, children of color and/or children with special needs tend to wait the longest for families.
For more information about adoption from foster care, please visit www.MAREinc.org or call MARE at 617-964-MARE (617-964-6273).
MARE is a private, non-profit organization, founded in 1957 with a mission to find adoptive homes for children and teens in foster care.