Adoption, foster care , and group care services all share the fact that the children who receive these services are in care for 24 hours a day. Generically, this is termed residential care. The Department of Early Education and Care is responsible to license the service provider for this type of care. This responsibility means licensing the program actually delivering the care to the child. At other times, it means licensing the agency which makes the arrangement to place a child in custody of another person. These programs are called placement agencies. Adoption in Massachusetts is only allowed through a placement agency/adoption agency licensed by EEC. No private adoptions are permitted (international adoptions are not regulated). For a listing of regional offices, click here. Those interested in adopting a child who is waiting for a family, please call the Massachusetts Adoption Resource Exchange (see below).
The Massachusetts Adoption Resource Exchange is a private, non-profit office which serves all of Massachusetts and works with any licensed adoption agency in the state. It is a coordinating service for all 36 Massachusetts adoption agencies. The exchange does not place children directly but a central registry puts waiting adoptive parents in touch with children waiting for adoption.