Massachusetts foster care and adoption guidelines


The Massachusetts Adoption Resource Exchange (MARE) is honored to help you in your efforts to learn more about how to create a lifelong family for yourself and a child. We would be happy to provide you with information to help you start your journey into the world of fostering, adoption, or both.

MARE works with the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (DCF) and  agencies that contract with DCF to find permanent, loving homes for these children.  We provide all of our services at no cost to families.

On this page:

State contact information

For foster care information:

Massachusetts Department of Children and Families
800-543-7508 (from in-state area codes)
617-748-2000 (from out-of-state area codes)
Online form (to request to be contacted)

For adoption information:

Massachusetts Adoption Resource Exchange Contact Form

Para información en español:

Ricardo Franco
Formulario de contacto


Foster and adoption licensing requirements


In order to be considered as a parent for a child in foster care, there are two main steps. The first is a training class known as MAPP (Model Approach to Partnerships in Parenting). This is usually a 10-week course (one evening per week), held in various locations across the state. The second phase of the process, known as the home study, consists of in-home visits that allow your social worker to come to know you as a family.

For more detailed information about the requirements to foster or adopt in Massachusetts, please contact MARE.

For more information about adoption, you may also visit the "How to adopt from foster care" page of the MARE website.


Costs to foster and adopt




Agency contact and orientation information


In Massachusetts, a family may work directly with their DCF office or one of the agencies with which DCF contracts. To obtain the contact information for the agencies that are located in your area and up-to-date information on MAPP trainings in your area, please contact MARE by phone or e-mail using the contact information above.


Post-adoption support services


See a comprehensive list of post-adoption and guardianship support services and support groups available to families who live in Massachusetts.


Information on Massachusetts' children


There are 8,143  children in care with 3,177 with a goal of adoption. Of those children, over 2,400 do not have an identified match and are waiting for a permanent adoptive family.


Upcoming events


Please contact the Massachusetts Adoption Resource Exchange at the above number or email for information on upcoming events in Massachusetts or visit the MARE website event page.