More than 50% of the children registered with MARE are of African-American or Hispanic descent and are in need of families to support their cultural, ethnic and linguistic identity.
Over 40% of the children registered with MARE are a part of a sibling group for whom we are seeking a family that will allow them to be adopted together. Additionally, many children being recruited for individually have sibling relationships that need to be maintained even if they are not able to be placed together.
All children in foster care have experienced some degree of abuse or neglect. How this trauma impacts a child’s development varies dramatically from child to child. Having suffered past losses and often finding the adults in their lives unreliable or unable to care for them, many of these children are slow to trust new people and may test a family with their behaviors until trust is won. Children with a history of rejection or loss may present challenging behaviors in order to test out if they will be disappointed again. Behaviors such as being withdrawn, argumentative, hoarding food, lying, or competing for attention are not uncommon as a child learns to establish a relationship with their new family.
Children are considered legally free when the parental rights of their birth parents have been legally terminated. While parental rights must be terminated for an adoption to be finalized, children are often placed into a pre-adoptive home prior to the conclusion of this legal process, a situation referred to as legal risk. Many children waiting for adoption, particularly younger children, join their adoptive families as a foster-to-adopt placement and may remain at legal risk for an indeterminate period of time.
Open adoption refers to any type of contact between the child and his/her birth family after the adoption legalization. This ranges from annual cards and letters, to occasional face-to-face contact. Open adoption agreements can be either informal or legally binding. The decision to have some form of open adoption between the birth and adoptive families will be determined in the best interest of the child and is often addressed as part of the legal process to terminate parental rights. Many waiting children also have important relationships with siblings, extended family and former foster families which they wish to maintain in an adoptive family.
Despite adverse circumstances that resulted in the child needing an adoptive family, youth in foster care are often very resilient, and bring dynamic talents, interests and joy into their adoptive families. Come get to know some of the incredible youth waiting in foster care today by visiting the Online Photolisting Profiles on our website at www.MAREinc.org, or in the Heart Gallery at any Jordans Furniture store.