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The Massachusetts Adoption Resource Exchange (MARE) was founded in 1957 to find adoptive homes for children and teens waiting in foster care, including sibling groups and children who are traditionally harder to place. We do this by recruiting, educating, supporting and advocating for families throughout the adoption process. 

MARE was one of the first five adoption exchanges in the United States, and the only one established under private auspices with trustees from both the private and public sectors of adoption.

MARE was then, and is now, the bridge between the state’s Department of Children & Families, private adoption agencies, and adults interested in adoption. We recruit, educate, support and advocate for families throughout the adoption process while targeting recruitment efforts to attract potential parents for specific waiting children. We are the Commonwealth’s central clearinghouse for adoption information and referral, and work to identify potential matches between children and families. 

Our goal is to find a safe, nurturing permanent family for every child in Massachusetts foster care who cannot be reunited with his/her birth family.  MARE has helped more than 5,750 children join nurturing, stable homes through its history of innovative programming.

Is MARE an adoption agency?
No, MARE is not an adoption agency. We are an information and referral service.  We can help you find an adoption agency to begin the process of adopting a child from foster care. Our services are free to all.  We are also there for you after the homestudy process.  MARE has several ways to help you find the child that’s right for your family (see  MARE's Role in the Adoption Process).

When should I contact MARE?
MARE is here to help you whenever you need information or advice on the process of adopting a child from foster care.  Here are the typical reasons someone would contact MARE:

  • You are interested in learning about adoption in general or about adoption from foster care.
  • You want to know which adoption agency(ies) you should call.
  • You have seen a waiting child’s portrait in the Heart Gallery, or a profile in a newspaper or on TV and want more information about that child.
  • You want to learn about the hundreds of waiting children to find those who might be a good match for your family.
  • You are interested in a specific child and want to contact that child’s social worker to be considered as a potential adoptive parent for that child.
  • You want to learn about adoption events and other ways you can find out about waiting children, and present your information to those children’s social workers.
  • You have questions, concerns, problems or achievements you would like to share.

How do I contact MARE?
Call 617-964-MARE (6273) or 800-882-1176. Our phones are answered Monday – Friday, 9:00 – 5:00 by staff who can provide you with personal, confidential counseling on the adoption process. You can also fill out our Information Request form or email our general mailbox at

Is MARE part of the state government?
No, MARE is a private non-profit charitable organization working in partnership with the Commonwealth’s Department of Children and Families.  Our state contract provides less than half of our funding; we raise the balance of our funds from the generosity of foundations, businesses, fundraising events, and individual supporter.





MARE - Massachusetts Adoption Resource Exchange, Inc. - 19 Needham Street, Suite 206, Newton, MA 02461
617-964-MARE (6273) – 1-800-882-1176 – Fax: 617-542-1006

MARE welcomes and serves all constituents without regard to an individual’s actual or perceived race, creed, color, ethnicity, national origin, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, physical or mental ability, veteran status, domestic partnership or marital status. This policy also applies to employment practice, internal promotions, training, opportunities for advancement, terminations, outside vendors, service clients, use of contractors and consultants, and dealings with the general public.

MARE is partially funded by the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families – DCF
Comments or Questions to: – Copyright @ 2011 MARE, Inc. All rights reserved