PROGRAMS & SERVICES
MARE focuses on children in the custody of the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families who are ages six and older, children of color of all ages, sibling groups, and children with emotional, physical and intellectual challenges. These children have one thing in common, the need for a permanent adoptive family. MARE tailors its recruitment activities to meet the needs of a particular child. MARE also acts as a central clearinghouse for information and referrals regarding all types of adoption. Below is a list of MARE Programs & Services.
Information & Referral
Anyone seeking adoption information can call MARE. Staff members are available Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. to answer questions regarding specific children and the adoption process in general. We can send an information packet and/or refer families to adoption agencies to start the process. Please contact us at 6617-964-MARE (6273) or 1-800-882-1176 or fill out an Information Request Form.
Registration & Matching
Social workers register waiting children with MARE to find families for them through our wide array of programs and services. Individuals and families from Massachusetts who have been homestudied and approved to adopt a child from foster care are encouraged to register their homestudy with MARE, a free service through which a family’s criteria is compared with registered children to identify potential matches. The Online Matching Program allows homestudied families and social workers to search and make inquiries on any child or family that is listed with MARE. Click here to view answers to Frequently Asked Questions about the Online Matching Program.
MARE Photolisting® and Online Photolisting
MARE maintains a book containing biographical descriptions and photographs of children who are registered with MARE and available for adoption. Updated monthly, the MARE Photolisting® is located in numerous public libraries throughout the state, as well as in many adoption agencies. We also have a MARE Online Photolisting on our website that includes a partial list of children who are legally free and photolisted with MARE. Homestudied families and social workers make inquiries regarding the children listed on the Online Photolisting.
Child-Specific Media Campaigns
MARE coordinates numerous ongoing media campaigns featuring specific children available for adoption. Some of the most well known are Wednesday’s Child with Jack Williams on WBZ-TV 4 Boston, Sunday’s Child® in the Boston Globe and En Busca de Hogar with Sara Suarez on Univision. MARE also coordinates weekly and/or monthly features in over 20 newspapers statewide. Please visit the Waiting Children section of our website to learn more about these campaigns.
MARE creates individual videos of waiting children. These videos are done in a variety of formats to best suit the particular child. A child’s video is included on the MARE website if the child is legally free for adoption and/or used by MARE and the child’s social worker during recruitment events and other opportunities to have families learn more about the child.
Adoption Parties & Recruitment Events
10 to 12 times per year, MARE hosts adoption parties to bring together social workers, waiting children and prospective adoptive parents in casual and fun settings. Each party is held in a different region of the state. Families can learn more about adoption, meet waiting children and network with social workers. Adoption Party Guides are available for families and social workers.
In addition, MARE hosts matching meetings for social workers and single prospective adoptive parents with approved homestudies. At these meetings, social workers present specific waiting children through verbal descriptions, pictures, videos, etc. To find out about upcoming adoption parties and recruitment events, please go to the Events section of our website.
The Heart Gallery
The Heart Gallery is a striking photographic exhibit of children in the Massachusetts foster care system in need of permanent families. Professional and amateur photographers volunteer their expertise to create visual images of the children, and the exhibit moves to different locations around the state in addition to permanent exhibits at all Jordan’s Furniture stores.
National Adoption Month
November is National Adoption Month. It is a month set aside to raise awareness about adoption of children from foster care. Each year there are national and state events to recognize and celebrate adoption. During this month, MARE coordinates National Adoption Day and other events.
Wendy’s Wonderful Kids
The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption is a non-profit public charity dedicated to dramatically increasing the adoptions of the more than 140,000 children in North America’s foster care systems. Wendy's Wonderful Kids is a signature program of the Foundation.
Wendy’s Wonderful Kids recruiters employ a child-focused recruitment strategy which involves case record review, regular meetings with children, assessment, adoption preparation, network building and the creation of recruitment plans for finding families for children who are waiting in foster care to be adopted.
MARE is a proud recipient of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption grants for two Wendy’s Wonderful Kids recruiters, one serving Western Massachusetts and one serving the greater Boston area.
Family Support Services
MARE established a Family Support Services program in FY’09 to focus on the recruitment and retention of prospective adoptive families for children in foster care. The director focuses on system changes as well as individual support and guidance to families in the early decision making stage through to the placement of a child.
Families in the process of adoption have consistently commented on the tremendous benefit of speaking with experienced adoptive parents. In response, MARE has created the Friend of the Family Program. This program matches experienced adoptive parents with those in the process of adoption to provide ongoing guidance, encouragement and support. Please visit the Ways to Help section of our website for more information on the Family Support Services program.
The mission of AdoptUsKids, a cooperative agreement with The Children’s Bureau, Administration of Children & Families, and the Department of Health and Human Services, is to recruit and connect foster and adoptive families with waiting children throughout the United States. This is done through a variety of programs and initiatives. MARE utilizes their website, www.adoptuskids.org to find families throughout the country for waiting children in Massachusetts.