About Bright Futures
A New Adoption Agency Takes A More Open Approach to Building Families
A new adoption agency located in Acton, MA takes an open and compassionate approach to the adoption process. The non-profit agency, called Bright Futures Adoption Center, Inc., offers adoptive parents and birth parents the opportunity to participate in the adoption process, to get to know and respect one another, and to work together to make an adoption plan that creates a healthy and secure beginning to the life of a child.
“Creating a comfortable environment for birth parents and adoptive parents to get to know and respect one another is a critical element of successful open adoption,” explains Karen B. Cheyney, adoptive mom, co-founder and director of the agency. “A successful open adoption means that birth parents and adoptive parents are working together to ensure that the child’s best interests are met, now and in the future.”
The agency, licensed by the Massachusetts Office of Child Care Services, provides a full range of adoption services and places white infants and infants of color who are born in the United States. Bright Futures believes that every adoption should focus on the best interests of the baby or child, be handled honestly and with respect for the participants’ feelings, and be accessible and affordable for all adoptive families.
Cheyney and Tamara J. Cadet, co-founder and director of social services for the agency, roommates more than 15 years ago at Tufts University, developed the idea for the agency after Cheyney and her husband adopted two children. “Karen’s adoption experience has helped us focus our goals for the agency and made clear the need for an agency in Massachusetts that makes the adoption process accessible to a wider audience of adoptive families,” comments Cadet. “As a mother of two young children myself and the child of an adoptee, I believe all children deserve a loving and supportive family in which to grow and discover their world.”
One of Bright Futures’ special projects is to attract adoptive families of color and to educate white families about transracial adoption. “There is a common refrain here in Massachusetts that there are no families of color to adopt the available children of color,” explains Cheyney. “Families of color are available and simply have not been welcomed into the adoption process. We believe that there are many families that would welcome a child into their hearts and their homes. Our goal is to find those families and make the adoption process accessible to them.”
After graduating from Tufts, Cheyney went on to receive her law degree from Harvard Law School. For the past 8 years, in addition to practicing law at a large Boston-based law firm, she has spent significant time advocating for victims of domestic violence and acting as a court-appointed guardian ad litem for children in custody disputes.
Cadet has spent the past 10 years working to help children in Massachusetts get a healthy start. She has worked as a health care educator for the Office of Child Care Services and has served on the Board of Directors of the Child Care Resource Center in Cambridge.
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