Massachusetts Adoption Laws

Each state in the U.S. individually establishes their adoption laws. Massachusetts adoption laws will be different from those in any other state, so an adoption professional is needed to guide you through the complex legal processes of adopting a child in Massachusetts.

For families who work with a national adoption agency like American Adoptions, this is especially necessary since it’s often likely that you’ll adopt outside Massachusetts state lines. An expectant mother’s home state’s adoption laws may be different from the adoption laws in Massachusetts, so your adoption professional will need to adhere to both states’ adoption laws.

You can request free information about Massachusetts adoption laws online or by calling 1-800-ADOPTION now. The guide below will give you a better understanding of the domestic adoption laws in Massachusetts that may influence your Massachusetts adoption process and your child’s adoption.

*The information below should not be considered a replacement for legal counsel. For all legal questions, contact your adoption attorney.*

Who Can Adopt in Massachusetts?

Although Massachusetts adoption laws don’t specify age or marriage requirements to adopt a child in Massachusetts, hopeful adoptive parents will need to meet the adoption requirements of the type of adoption that they choose as well as the adoption professional that they choose to work with.

In order to adopt in Massachusetts, all prospective parents must first be approved by a MA-licensed home study professional. Background checks, home inspections, adoption training courses, family interviews and more are all required as part of your adoption home study and must be completed before you can adopt in MA.

Who Can Be Adopted in Massachusetts?

Any person younger than the prospective adoptive parent may be adopted, except for the adoptive parent’s spouse, sibling, aunt or uncle.

A minor’s biological parents must first terminate their legal parental rights in order for the child to be eligible for adoption in Massachusetts. Massachusetts adoption laws state that consent to an adoption must not be given by a child’s biological parents until at least four days after the child’s birth.

Adults and children who are 12 years old or older must offer their consent in order to be adopted in Massachusetts.

Massachusetts Adoption Laws about Advertising

It’s illegal for anyone other than the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families or a licensed child-placing adoption agency to advertise for adoption in Massachusetts.

Massachusetts Adoption Laws about Birth Parent Expenses

States individually regulate the expenses that are allowed to be paid by adoptive parents throughout the adoption process. Massachusetts does not specify much about birth parent expenses in its state adoption laws, but all paid birth parent expenses must still be reviewed by a Massachusetts court.

No two birth mothers will have the same financial needs, but generally, birth parent expenses can help pregnant women in Massachusetts offset the costs of pregnancy and childbirth while they create their adoption plan.

Payment in exchange for placing a child for adoption is illegal, in any form.

American Adoptions offers adoptive parents a unique Risk-Sharing program that financially protects them in case of a disrupted adoption and covers the costs of any lost expenses that were paid in the adoption situation when adoptive families would not usually be reimbursed by other agencies.

Learn more about adoption laws in Massachusetts by calling 1-800-ADOPTION, and find out which MA adoption laws may affect your adoption.





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