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Massachusetts Adoption Laws

Adopting a child can be a joyous occasion for prospective parents, and a chance to celebrate an addition to your family. That said, the adoption process can be complicated, both emotionally and legally. Each state has laws regarding who can adopt, who can be adopted, and how, and these laws can be hard to figure out.

Read on for a brief summary of Massachusetts adoption laws.

State Adoption Laws

Regulations and laws regarding adoption, including who may adopt and special requirements for adoptive parents, are similar among most states. While there may be minor differences in the statutes, states generally keep adoption regulations things pretty uniform. Massachusetts children 12 and older must give consent to adoption. Adoption is such a complicated (and important) process, it is wise to contact an experienced attorney for assistance.

Adoption Statutes in Massachusetts

The various state adoption laws can differ depending on where you live. Below are some of the highlights of Massachusetts adoption laws, including regulations on who may adopt, child consent requirements, and the relevant procedures.

Code Section

Ch. 210 of the Massachusetts Code

Who May Be Adopted

Any person younger than the adopter; special requirements are needed for children under age 14.

Age that Child's Consent Needed

12 years and older

Who May Adopt

Any person of full age, his spouse joining, may, subject to certain exceptions, petition to adopt any person younger than himself (other than the petitioner's spouse, brother, sister, aunt, or uncle of whole or half blood).

Home Residency Required Prior to Finalization of Adoption?

6 months if the adoptee is under 14 unless the requirement waived

State Agency/Court

Dept. of Children and Families/Probate

Statute of Limitations to Challenge

120 days for appeal; may only be made by a parent if notice not received

Related Resources for Adoption Laws:

State standards and regulations concerning adoption can be complex and are subject to change. You can visit FindLaw's Adoption Laws section to review some of these laws and get a more general overview in our Adoption section.

Get Legal Help With an Adoption

Adoption can be a complicated process. There are many state and federal laws that govern adoption. An attorney will help you navigate these laws. They will help review your case, provide helpful legal advice, and advocate for you and your future child.

If you would like legal assistance with an adoption case, you can find an experienced Massachusetts adoption attorney in your area to schedule a consultation.

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