Adoption is a life-changing journey. Whether you are considering adopting a child in MA, or you are planning to place your child for adoption, you may be wondering about the Massachusetts adoption laws that you should know about. You have come to the right place. Here, we will outline some of the adoption laws in MA before you begin the process.
Before diving in, it is important to know that adoption laws vary by state. They can also be complicated. For these reasons, it is helpful to have an agency or attorney who is well-versed with adoption laws. At Adoptions With Love, our adoption professionals have years of experience, they are familiar with the adoption laws within their state, and they can keep you informed of your rights – either as an adoptive parent or an expectant/birth parent. Adoptions With Love offers legal services at no cost to expectant/birth mothers. Whatever your circumstances, you will want to have a knowledgeable and trustworthy adoption agency by your side throughout the adoption process. Our expertise can guide you every step of the way.
To help get you started in the Massachusetts adoption process, we answer some common questions about MA adoption laws below.
Who Can Adopt in Massachusetts?
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts states that a person must be at least 18 years old in order to adopt a child. There are no marriage requirements when it comes to adoption, so a single person is welcome to adopt. If a prospective adoptive parent is married, however, they must file to adopt jointly with their spouse. There are no longer any restrictions against same gender couples adopting in the U.S., thanks to a Supreme Court ruling in 2015. Adoptions With Love welcomes families within the LGBTQIA+ community to adopt.
All prospective adoptive parents in Massachusetts must complete a home study before adopting a child. This ensures that the family, and their home, is healthy, safe, and stable. The home study is a several-month-long process that involves at-home visits, interviews, and review of important documents, such as medical and financial records. As a licensed agency in MA, Adoptions With Love follows all the required protocol in the state-mandated home study. We want to ensure that all families adopting are competent, responsible, and ready to bring a child into their home.
Who Can Be Adopted in Massachusetts?
In Massachusetts, anyone younger than the prospective adoptive parent may be adopted, except – of course – for a spouse or family member. Anyone over the age of 12 must give their own consent allowing for the adoption to take place.
In most cases, the adoptee is a minor. A minor’s birth parents must first terminate their parental rights for the child to be eligible for adoption in Massachusetts. This cannot happen until at least four days after the child’s birth. Once the four-day period has passed, birth parents may sign a written consent allowing the adoption to take place. There is no grace period or reversing this decision, so the four-day period can be helpful for birth parents to spend time with their baby, consider their decision, and take time before making a final choice. Birth parents can take more than four days before signing papers allowing the adoption.
Is Advertising for Adoption Allowed?
In Massachusetts, it is illegal for anyone other than the state foster care or a licensed adoption agency to advertise for adoption. Adoptions With Love is a private, licensed adoption agency that has been working with adoptive and birth families since 1986. Our team of trusted professionals can oversee an adoption from the initial consultation to the final court proceedings to ensure that everything goes smoothly. There are never any “loose ends” and – whether you are an adoptive parent or birth parent – your rights are always protected.
MA Laws Regarding Birth Parent Expenses
Massachusetts regulations specifies that a licensed adoption agency can pay for allowable expenses supporting expectant/birth parents. There are time and amount limitations on this monetary support. Each state addresses this aspect of adoption differently.
Direct payment in exchange for placing a child for adoption is illegal in Massachusetts. Birth parent expenses, however, may be granted through a licensed adoption agency. The adoption fee paid by adoptive families helps to cover the costs of pregnancy, childbirth, and adoption services. Some of this assistance includes:
- Medical bills
- Maternity clothing
- Food allowance
At Adoptions With Love, we understand that these costs can be burdensome for an expectant/birth mother. Facing an unexpected pregnancy is stressful enough. We can offer financial assistance during pregnancy and 6 to 8 weeks after giving birth.
Whether you are considering placing your child for adoption, or you are looking to grow your family through adoption, it is helpful to understand some of the adoption laws in Massachusetts. Of course, your trusted adoption professional can guide you even more throughout this journey.
To learn more about adoption in Massachusetts, please contact Adoptions With Love. Our caring staff can chat with you any time of day, any day of the week. Call us at 617-964-4357, or contact us online. We are here to help guide you through this adoption with care, compassion, and understanding.
If you are a hopeful parent looking to adopt in Massachusetts, you may also download our free eBook, “Massachusetts Adoptive Family FAQ” below: