To the editor:
According to the Department of Children and Families, there are 1,100 children awaiting adoption in our foster care system.
Massachusetts is one of only two states that does not allow for siblings to adopt other siblings in the foster care system.
The current law in Massachusetts prohibits adoption of siblings regardless of the siblings age, stability, and financial situation. Currently, the law only allows for siblings to gain guardianship of their siblings. What guardianship lacks is the permanency of adoption — the protections and safety of a permanent home. That is why “An Act Expanding Access to Adoptions” is crucial legislation.
The Children’s League of Massachusetts reports that children in kinship care have equivalent, if not better, long-term health, schooling and employment outcomes as opposed to children raised by non-relative foster parents. Sibling adoption can allow for children to maintain healthy family connections, proactively avoiding children from being shuffled around to numerous foster home placements.
By enacting this legislation, we can work to provide permanent, safe housing with family to some of our foster youth awaiting adoption.
You can help children in the foster care system find permanent placement with family by calling your local representative and urge them to vote for the passing of An Act Expanding Access to Adoptions.