Section 15A. There is hereby established the center for adoption research and policy, which shall be operated under the direction of the board of trustees of the University of Massachusetts and based at the Worcester campus. The center shall be responsible for conducting research and formulating policy recommendations for the commonwealth, its agencies and any private adoption agency on matters relating to the care and custody of children in foster and substitute care under the care and protection of the commonwealth and all adopted children.
The center shall respond to requests from the general court, the judiciary, the department of children and families, the department of early education and care and any other state or private agency involved with the placement of children into foster or substitute care homes as well as pre-adoptive or adoptive homes for consultation, research assistance, research analysis, policy development, and the promotion of educational and training programs on foster and substitute care and adoption.
The center shall maintain the confidentiality of any individual whose personal information is made available to the center pursuant to section 7 of chapter 15D, and section 5E of chapter 210, but compliance with individual confidentiality shall not prevent the publication of aggregated research information or case studies wherein personal identifiers have been removed.
State or private agencies shall forward to birth parents, foster or adoptive parents, legal guardians and others requests from the center seeking participation in center research studies, but the center shall include in such requests a clear and understandable statement explaining that individuals receiving a request are under no legal obligation to comply with any request. State or private agencies are hereby directed to consult directly with the center for the purpose of applying for public and private grants in conjunction with the center.