Adoptions With Love Blog

How to Adopt a Child in Massachusetts

Do you wish to adopt a child in Massachusetts? Adoption is an incredible way to grow your family and provide a child with a loving, forever home. If you are just getting started, you may be looking for information on how to adopt a child in Massachusetts.

Adoption in MA is made easier with the support of an experienced Massachusetts adoption agency. In this short guide, we will walk you through the steps of the domestic infant adoption process. It is important for you to understand each choice you can make throughout this life-changing journey.

To begin your adoption journey, contact us today.

Adoption is a beautiful pathway to parenthood. It is a fulfilling, rewarding experience for anyone who is ready to raise and love a child. With the support of a full-service adoption agency, you can make your adoption in MA dreams a reality.

How Does Adoption in MA Work?

Before getting started with the adoption journey, it is important to do your research. You will want to be prepared for the road ahead. Follow the steps below to help understand how to adopt a child in Massachusetts.

1.     Choose an adoption  agency

You have decided you want to pursue a domestic infant adoption, but which adoption agency will best help you with the process? Massachusetts is an “agency” state, meaning you are required to work with a licensed adoption agency. Choosing an adoption agency is a crucial first step for Massachusetts families hoping to adopt. Adoption agencies can help you navigate the adoption process, answer your questions along the way, and help to create the best adoption plan.

Adopting domestically in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts can be done through a private adoption agency or through the foster care system. Many children within the foster care system are not eligible for foster care adoption, and many of the children who are eligible are older. If you have your heart set on adopting an infant or young toddler, consider working with a private adoption agency in MA.

How do you find the best private adoption agency for your family? Seek out an adoption agency that has years of experience, good testimonials, and that is licensed by the Commonwealth. It is also helpful to seek an agency that is “full service” and can support you from beginning to end. Some agencies only offer the home study, so asking about their scope of services is an important step.

Working with a local, private Massachusetts adoption agency allows you to personalize your adoption plan. You can meet face-to-face with social workers to talk through the laws of the state in which your child is born, as well as your hopes and concerns in designing an adoption plan that is comfortable for you. At Adoptions With Love, our goal is to match you with an expectant mother and child within six months to a year of completing your adoption home study. Our approach is very personal with a lot of hands-on support.

2.     Complete an adoption application

Once you have found your adoption agency, you can begin to tackle the next step of your adoption journey: the application. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts requires all potential adoptive parents to complete a thorough application process. This goes beyond filling out paperwork.

3.     Complete the home study

To get approved to adopt a child in Massachusetts, prospective parents need to complete an extensive home study and the required baby care training courses to prepare for parenthood.

A home study is a 2-3-month process to educate you and prepare you for adoption. It allows us to understand your home environment, your familial relationships, and your personal background. Home study requirements differ from state to state. Only a licensed adoption professional can assess your home and determine if you meet the Massachusetts adoption requirements. Your social worker will guide you through this home study process while also preparing to match you with expectant parents who are hoping to find the perfect family for the baby. The home study assesses things like:

  • Your financial, physical, and mental stability
  • Home safety and security
  • State and Federal background checks
  • Family dynamics and parenting outlook
  • Your ability to raise a child into adulthood

Though the home study process may be nerve-wracking, your social worker will attempt to make this a non-stressful experience. . Your adoption social worker is there to support you through the entire adoption process. At Adoptions With Love, the home study is also an educational process; we are looking for the best home for each child, while also making sure we find the best fit for you and your family.

4.     Create an Adoptive Family Profile

Once you have completed the home study process, it is time to share information about you as a prospective adoptive family. If you choose to work with Adoptions With Love, we will assist you to create an Adoptive Parent Profile. This profile is a compilation of photos, letters, and information that will help prospective birth parents get to know you and your family. This is the first impression you will have on expectant mothers, so it is crucial to put a lot of thought and dedication into your adoption profile. Some of the things you will want to include in your adoption profile include:

  • Your story – which may include your childhood, love story, journey to parenthood, etc.
  • Photos of your family doing things you love
  • Information about your family make-up
  • Your personal hobbies and interests
  • Details of your personal values, such as religious beliefs
  • Photos of your life – home, friends, travel experiences, etc.
  • Goals for your child’s (and your family’s) future
  • Your adoption story, and how you will share it with your child

To get a better sense of how to get started, read our blog on creating your Adoptive Parent Profile.

Not only do we help you design your adoption profile and draft letters to expectant mothers, but Adoptions With Love connects you with expectant parents. We work with expectant/birth parents from across the United States.

5.     Meet the expectant mother

If an expectant/birth mother chooses to make an open adoption plan, she may ask to meet or speak with you before the adoption occurs and sometimes prior to the baby’s birth. A licensed adoption agency can facilitate this contact, whether it be through an in-person meeting or via the phone or email. In this conversation, you will have the opportunity to get to know one another, ask questions, and discuss ongoing contact. If all parties choose to have a face-to-face visit, you may travel to the state in which an expectant/birth mother resides.

6.     Finalize the adoption

In each state, there is a specified period birth mothers must wait before signing legal papers and making a final decision regarding adoption. In Massachusetts, birth parents must wait four days after the baby’s birth to sign any adoption papers.

Once you have signed the necessary adoption papers and welcomed the baby home, you can expect a series of home visits from your adoption social worker. These post-placement visits will allow your social worker to see how well you and your baby are adjusting and offer any further support.

The next phase to complete the adoption, of course, is your adoption finalization hearing. This court day is incredibly special for adoptive families in Massachusetts. You may choose to mark the occasion with a post-court celebration with family and friends, as this is the day you are officially your child’s parent.

Types of Adoption in MA

There are many different types of adoption in MA. As you begin the adoption process, you will want to familiarize yourself with the several types of adoption plans available.

Private Adoption in MA

This is the most common type of adoption for those looking to adopt an infant domestically. Adoptions With Love is a private adoption agency. We are fully licensed and have been placing children with their adoptive families since 1986. At Adoptions With Love, there is one flat placement fee that covers all expenses related to the adoption. This can be helpful for anyone preparing to bring a baby into their home, as they can make their financial plans without worrying about added expenses.

Foster Care in MA

Foster care is another potential pathway to parenthood within the U.S. One of the key differences between foster care and private adoption in MA is the age of children available to adopt. Children placed in foster care have been removed from their homes. This can happen for a variety of reasons, but it most often occurs when a family court judge deems a child’s home an unsafe or unsuitable environment. There are situations wherein a child living with a foster family is reunited with a birth parent. This can be a painful separation for the foster parents. With private adoption, children are typically placed with their adoptive family shortly after birth, sometimes right from the hospital.

International Adoption

International adoption is the adoption of a child that lives in a foreign country. This requires traveling to the country, sometimes more than once. Adoption laws vary by country, so anyone interested in this path to adoption will want to consider an international adoption lawyer for assistance.

Who Can Adopt a Child in Massachusetts?

In learning about how to adopt in Massachusetts, you will want to be prepared for the adoption requirements in the Commonwealth of  Massachusetts requires. . Private adoption agencies can also have their own set of requirements, but according to Massachusetts state law, a potential adoptive parent must:

  • Be an adult over 21 years of age
  • Either rent or own a home
  • Have a home with adequate privacy, safety, and space for all family members, including the soon-to-be child (children of the same gender may share a bedroom)
  • Attend a training course that prepares you for adoption and parenthood
  • Provide personal letters of recommendation, in addition an adoption application
  • Complete a home study before being approved to adopt

There are no laws in Massachusetts that prohibit a competent adult from adopting children based on gender, sexuality, or marital status. LGBTQ+ families and individuals have an equal opportunity to adopt in MA. Adoptions With Love welcomes all responsible adults interested in adopting to complete an application.

Is Adopting a Child Right for You?

There is a lot to consider when it comes to adoption in Massachusetts. It is a life-changing experience. Choosing to adopt a child means choosing a lifetime of love and incredible memories. If you are ready to grow your family, adoption may be the right path for you. Whether you have struggled with infertility or dreamed of adopting a child, you can make your parenting dreams come true with adoption.

How to Choose Massachusetts Adoption Professionals

Finding the best adoption agency is the first step when researching how to adopt in Massachusetts. Adoptions With Love has a successful record of placing children with their adoptive families in the Bay State. Our personal approach helps build families and our success rates prove it. We place more infants for adoption in Massachusetts than any other local, private adoption agency. We have successfully placed over 2,500 children with families in Massachusetts.

Learn More

We are here for you and can help you get started today. Contact us at 617-964-4357 or contact us here.