Adoption is an incredible way to grow your family. If you reside in Massachusetts, the first step you must take in the adoption process is finding a credible agency. You will want to work with a reliable, trustworthy adoption agency with a track-record of proven success. Working with a licensed Massachusetts adoption agency is a state requirement, and will ensure your adoption is carried out legally, safely, and seamlessly.
MA residents may choose to work with Adoptions With Love. We are a non-profit organization. We are also a full-service adoption agency that provides an array of services to prospective parents across the Bay State. It is our mission to guide you through the MA adoption process and ensure that it is a positive, joyous, and smooth journey for your family. We work with expectant/birth mothers across the United States and are committed to finding the best possible home for each child. .(or do we need MA in there for rankings?)
Choosing the right adoption agency for your family is important. In addition, preparing yourself for the adoption process is a key step. At AWL, we believe an educated decision is the best possible decision you can make. Before adopting in Massachusetts, take time to learn all about the process. Ask your local adoption agency the below 5 questions before setting out in this journey.
What do I need to have, or do, in order to grow my family through adoption?
We wanted to address the biggest question first. Many hopeful adoptive parents often wonder: ‘Who can adopt?’ and ‘What steps must I take in order to qualify for adoption?’
Adoption laws vary by state and can change from time to time. That is one of the many reasons it is important to have an experienced, knowledgeable adoption agency at your disposal. Adoptions With Love works with adoption attorneys who are well-versed in the adoption laws of each state. When it comes to adoption in Massachusetts, the following qualifies adoptive parents:
- You are an adult over 21 years of age.
- You either rent or own a home.
- Your home has adequate privacy, safety, and space for all family members, including your soon-to-be child (children of the same gender may share a bedroom)
- You attend a training courses that prepares you for adoption and parenthood.
- You supply personal letters of recommendation, in addition an adoption application.
- You complete a home study before being approved to adopt.
The home study is a several months-long process that involves at-home visits and review of personal, financial, and medical documents. This step is required by law to ensure that every child adopted is being sent home to a safe, stable, and loving household. At Adoptions With Love, we look at this step as an opportunity to get to know you. It is also a chance to get to know your adoption agency and learn about the adoption process.
How long does the adoption process take?
You may be feeling anxious about the wait to adopt. In fact, you may have skipped down to this very question to get your answer faster. That is normal. Most parents are so excited about the notion of becoming parents that the wait can be hard. It can be particularly trying if you have experienced infertility and/or have been longing to start a family for many years.
Most private, domestic adoptions are completed – start to finish – within two years. At Adoptions With Love, infants are typically placed with their adoptive families within six to eighteen months of completing a home study.
Once the home study is complete, hopeful adoptive parents must wait for an expectant/birth mother to select them. This means the timeline will vary greatly and depends on the status of the pregnancy and the desires and flexibility of the prospective adoptive parents. The wait time for adopting is unique for each family.
In every state, birth mothers cannot consent to the adoption until after the baby is born. In Massachusetts, birth parents must wait four days after the baby is born to sign any adoption papers. This gives them time to consider their decision one last time and be sure they are confident in their choice. This part can be hard for both birth and adoptive parent, but Adoptions With Love works tirelessly to guide both groups through this phase, offering counseling and answering any questions. .
Of course, in any situation of becoming a parent, there is a wait time. When a family looks to conceive a biological child, there is the looming ‘When will it happen?’ question. The same can be applied to adoption. As any parent could tell you, the wait is more than worth it in the end. After all, the best things come in small packages, and the best things come to those who wait.
Once an expectant/birth mother has chosen my family, how can we connect with her moving forward?
Matching with a birth mother is an exciting. However, it can also bring up questions of “…now what?”
Once you have been matched with a birth mother, your adoption agency can help you navigate the next steps. If your child’s birth mother has opted for a semi-open or open adoption, you may communicate with the birth mother. You may choose to connect through a variety of methods – in person, over the phone, via email, etc. If you have not yet met in person, your adoption agency can help set up an introductory meeting. If distance or health/safety poses a challenge, you may opt for a virtual meeting on Zoom or FaceTime. Your adoption agency can offer you guidance on this next step. Adoptions With Love serves as a liaison between birth parent and adoptive parent, offering guidance through initial meetings and setting up the open (or semi-open) adoption agreement.
Where can I find support or connect with other adoptive families?
Adoption is a lifelong journey. The need for support does not end when your child is placed in your arms. As the old African proverb goes: “It takes a village to raise a family.” You will want to find your tribe. Parent friends are great, but adoptive parent friends are the ones who will better understand your experience.
Your adoption agency can also serve as a resource for you. As your child grows, Adoptions With Love will be there to guide you through the many phases and conversations that occur. We can help you with questions that come your way as a first-time parent. If you are in a closed adoption arrangement, you may consider taking advantage of our Search and Reunion program down the road.
Another great resource is the Massachusetts Adoption Resource Exchange (MARE). This organization is all about lending support to adoptive families in Massachusetts.
There are also countless groups online to offer virtual support. You can connect with Massachusetts adoptive parents via Facebook groups or chat forums. Thanks to the power of the internet, it is easier than ever before to connect with like-minded (and like-experienced!) people.
What happens after the adoption is finalized?
After your adoption is finalized, you may feel like you can breathe a deep sigh of relief. Yes, the wait is over, and you have your baby, but the adventure is only just beginning! You are embarking on one of the most joyous and rewarding experiences life has to offer: Parenthood. Watching your child grow is worth every ounce of energy and emotion you may experience in the adoption journey.
It is also important to keep in mind that adoption, much like parenthood in general, is a lifelong journey. Over the years, you will want to have positive conversations with your child about adoption, sharing age-appropriate information in an open, honest, and positive light.
If you are in an open adoption arrangement, you can prepare for ongoing contact with the birth mother. Adoptions With Love prepares the open adoption agreement just like any other contract. Of course, as a child grows and his developmental needs change, this agreement may be edited. If you are able to forge a strong bond with your child’s birth parents, you may want to schedule phone calls, email updates, or in-person visits. This relationship can be positive for your child, and Adoptions With Love can help you navigate these uncharted waters for years to come.
If you would like to learn even more about adoption in Massachusetts, contact Adoptions With Love any time of day, any day of the week. We are here to help guide you through this journey. Call us at 617-964-4357, text us confidentially at 617-777-0072, or contact us online.