For Immediate Release - November 22, 2013

Massachusetts Celebrates 11th Annual Adoption Day

136 children from foster care adopted in Boston, Brockton, Salem, Worcester, Pittsfield and Springfield

photo from courthouse on 11th Annual Adoption Day
Adoptive parents and children participate in the 11th Annual National Adoption Day in Springfield at the Hampden Juvenile Court. (Photo: MARE)

SPRINGFIELD — The Patrick Administration today celebrated the 11th annual National Adoption Day in Massachusetts. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Polanowicz joined the Department of Children and Families (DCF), the Massachusetts Trial Court's Juvenile Court Department and the Massachusetts Adoption Resource Exchange (MARE) as the adoptions of 136 children and youth were finalized at six courthouses across the Commonwealth.

The foster youth ranged in age from infancy to 15 years old, and were adopted into 115 families from across the state. Courthouses in Boston, Brockton, Salem, Pittsfield, Worcester and Springfield participated in today’s celebration.

"National Adoption Day is a day of celebration for children and families across our Commonwealth," said Health and Human Services Secretary John Polanowicz. "Massachusetts helped found this tradition, and I hope it continues to inspire others to provide loving homes for foster youth.”

Currently, there are 600 children and youth waiting and hoping to find permanent homes in Massachusetts. Children in the care of the Department of Children and Families (DCF) who are currently awaiting adoption vary in age and come from diverse ethnic, linguistic, and economic backgrounds. Adoptive parents from diverse backgrounds do not have to be married, wealthy, or have a specific education or background.

"National Adoption Day is an amazing day for our children and youth in foster care and I encourage anyone who is inspired by today's events to reach out and find out if adoption is right for you," said Department of Children and Families' Commissioner Olga Roche. "While we celebrate the adoption of 136 children across the Commonwealth, we are giving hope to our children still waiting to find their forever families. Adoption not only makes a difference in the life of a child, but has an equally amazing effect on the whole family."

The six Courthouses across the Commonwealth where adoptions were finalized included:

CityCourt HouseChildren AdoptedFamilies Participated
BostonEdward W. Brooke Courthouse35 children28 families
BrocktonGeorge N. Covett Courthouse21 children19 families
SalemEssex County Juvenile Court7 children6 families
WorcesterWorcester Trial Court40 children36 families
PittsfieldBerkshire County Juvenile Court11 children9 families
SpringfieldHampden Juvenile Court22 children17 families

“National Adoption Day is our favorite day," said Lisa Funaro, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Adoption Resource Exchange. "We're so thankful to see children finally with their “forever” families - and just in time for Thanksgiving."

The Commonwealth has a proud history in promoting awareness around the need for adoptive families. In 1976, Massachusetts was the first state to declare Adoption Week. After growing in popularity, President Reagan proclaimed the first-ever National Adoption Week in 1984. Eleven years later, in 1995, President Clinton expanded it to the entire month of November. National Adoption Day is now a national effort to raise awareness of the 114,000 children in foster care waiting to find permanent, loving families.

For more information about adopting through the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families, please call 1-800-KIDS-508 or visit www.mass.gov/dcf.

About the Department of Children and Families

The Department of Children and Families is charged with protecting children from abuse and neglect and strengthening families. There are currently 7,000 children in foster care across Massachusetts and over 40,000 children in all served by the Department. With the understanding that every child is entitled to a home that is free from abuse and neglect, DCF’s vision is to ensure the safety of children in a manner that holds the best hope of nurturing a sustained, resilient network of relationships to support the child’s growth and development into adulthood. DCF programs include foster care, adoption, adolescent services and domestic violence services.

About the Massachusetts Adoption Resource Exchange

MARE is a private, non-profit organization, working since 1957 to find a “permanent place to call home” for children in foster care, including sibling groups and children who are traditionally harder to place. This is done through recruiting, educating, supporting and advocating for families throughout the adoption process.

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