By Diane Tomaz, Director of Family Support Services
Massachusetts Adoption Resource Exchange (MARE)
Of the more than 600 children in Massachusetts foster care, every last one wants a family and a place to call home. What does it take to adopt a child from foster care? For starters, your home can be rented or owned. As long as you are 18 years old, you can adopt. Whether you are single, married, partnered, straight or LGBT, you are welcome to apply. Your race, ethnicity, and religion are not a factor either.
You may still be wondering if you are up to the task. There are no perfect parents, but there are qualities that you probably already possess that will be a great starting point:
- Have a sense of humor. Can you laugh at yourself? Your child’s antics? Laughter is an essential parenting tool.
- Be a team player. Will you work with social workers throughout the adoption process? Can you advocate for your child’s needs? Can you accept the support of others?
- Use problem solving skills. Are you okay with learning from your mistakes and making adjustments? Are you willing to try a different approach?
- Make a commitment. Can you persevere if attachment doesn’t happen overnight? Will you stick by your child when things are difficult?
- Keep perspective. Do you stay positive when things are unknown? Can you weather changes big and small?
If you are ready to start the adoption process or would like more information, please contact the Massachusetts Adoption Resource Exchange (MARE) at 617-54-ADOPT. We are a private, non-profit agency that exists to find home for children waiting in foster care of all ages, races, and abilities. We will help you to get started on the application process, begin training classes, and complete a home study. MARE will support you every step of the way!