Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Citizens' Guide to State Services

Published by
William Francis Galvin
Secretary of the Commonwealth
Citizen Information Service

Children: Adoption

B4 Adoption Agency Licensing

B5 Massachusetts Adoption Resource Exchange

B6 Office of Foster Care and Adoption

B4 Adoption Agency Licensing
Department of Early Education and Care
51 Sleeper Street 
Boston, MA 02210
Tel: 617-988-6600
Fax: 617-988-2451

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).

B5 Massachusetts Adoption Resource Exchange, Inc. (MARE)
45 Franklin Street, 5th floor
Boston, MA 02110
Tel: 617-54 ADOPT (542-3678)
Toll free: 1-800-882-1176
TTY: 617-542-7772
Fax: 617-542-1006 

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.

Regional Office:
c/o Department of Children and Families
140 High Street, 5th Floor
Springfield, MA 01105
Tel: 413-452-3431, or 3365

B6 Office of Foster Care and Adoption
333 South Street
Shrewsbury, MA 01545
Tel: 508-856-5397
Fax: 508-856-8515

The Office of Foster Care and Adoption conducts research and develops programs and policies in adoption and foster care that can meet the needs of children and their families, professionals and policy makers. The office was authorized by the Massachusetts Legislature to conduct research and make policy recommendations on matters related to adopted children and the care and custody of children in substitute and foster care in the state. The office has also been designated as the Commonwealth's official Data Archive for adoption. In order to expand awareness and understanding, the office has published "Adopting In Massachusetts", a comprehensive, consumer-friendly guide that takes the myth and mystery out of the adoption process.

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