For Immediate Release - June 29, 2012

LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR MURRAY HOSTS FIRST MASSACHUSETTS POST ADOPTION SUMMIT

WORCESTER – Friday, June 29, 2012 – Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray led the first Massachusetts Post Adoption Summit this week to strengthen the services and supports available to families and adopted children in the Commonwealth. Lieutenant Governor Murray was joined by Department of Children and Families (DCF) Commissioner Angelo McClain, Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) Commissioner Sherri Killins, adoptive families and service providers at the summit. 

“We had a very productive summit, bringing together various state agencies, organizations, and families to discuss what is working and ways we can improve the delivery of services for adoptive families,” said Lieutenant Governor Murray. “We received immediate feedback and exchanged helpful dialogue that will increase collaboration, communication, and strengthen supportive services available to adoptive families in Massachusetts.”

Approximately 11 percent of people in Massachusetts have been adopted either domestically or internationally. The Commonwealth is looking for ways to effectively provide information, resources, referrals and support for these families. The summit was designed to engage key members of the adoptive community and adoptive families to determine the areas of service where increased efforts should be made. 

Massachusetts leaders heard from families, youth and adult adoptees, policymakers and practitioners who came together to discuss key topics impacting adoptive families. Panelists of national and local experts shared best practices, national trends and the work currently taking in place in the Commonwealth in support of post-adoption. 

Susan Smith of the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute served as the keynote speaker. The Adoption Institute provides leadership to improve adoption laws, policies and practices through research, education and advocacy. 

“Massachusetts has a long history of providing post-adoption services,” said DCF Commissioner McClain. “Foster and Adoptive parents help make the work of the Department of Children and Families possible, we are proud to support them when the need for services arises. The Summit was an opportunity to learn from one another how we can improve supports to our adoptive families in Massachusetts."

Massachusetts was one of the first states to create and fund post-adoption services to ensure that adoptive families had access to services that would support adoptive families. DCF provides post-adoptive services to families who have adopted from the Commonwealth, EEC licenses non-profit agencies that provide adoptive services and post-adoptive services such as counseling and general information about post-adoptive issues and practices. All post-adoptive services are provided at no cost to the families. 

“Children grow and develop in the context of relationships with their families and communities, and positive interactions with adults provide the strong foundation that our youngest citizens need to thrive and succeed,” said EEC Commissioner Killins. “It is critical that we support families and provide them with the resources they need to build a solid relationship with, and secure environment for, their adopted children.  Interagency partnerships and collaboration are essential to effectively achieving the positive outcomes that we want for the Commonwealth’s children and families.”   

To learn more about available services, please visit www.mass.gov/dcf

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