Domestic Infant Adoptions can be completed through an adoption agency or adoption attorney. Click here for a directory of adoption service providers in Massachusetts.
International Adoptions must be completed through an accredited adoption agency or attorney. Find an international adoption service provider here.
Foster Care Adoptions in Massachusetts can be completed through the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (800-543-7508).
The information contained on this website is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional legal advice. Always seek the advice of a licensed and qualified professional. While the content of this website is frequently updated, information changes rapidly and therefore, some information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies, omissions or typographical errors.
Can I Adopt in Massachusetts?
Applicants must be at least 18 years old to foster, 21 to adopt. You can be married, single, or divorced. You can own or rent a home. Your home needs to have adequate space, privacy, and safety for all family members. Children of the same gender may share a room. You can have up to 6 children at any given time living in your home, including biological, adoptive, and day care children. Newborns under the age of 1 may share the parent’s bedroom. Parents need to attend a MAPP (Model Approach to Partnerships in Parenting) 10 week training course in order to prepare for adoption. Applicants must complete a home study to be approved for adoption.
What Adoption Regulations Exist in Massachusetts?
Advertising: The Department of Children and Families is allowed to implement a public adoption information program, including educational and informational print, audio, visual, and other electronic advertisements, public service announcements, and a toll-free hotline. No person or agency is allowed to advertise for the placement or reception of a child under 16 for adoption purposes unless the advertisement is placed by a licensed adoption agency. No person can place or receive a child for adoption purposes except a licensed adoption agency, unless the child is a blood relative. 119, § 391/2; 15D, § 6
Relinquishment: Consent cannot be given until at least 4 days after the birth of the child. Consent given in accordance with Massachusetts law is final and irrevocable from the date of execution. 210, § 2
Birth parent expenses: No laws currently regulate private domestic adoption expenses in Massachusetts.
Post-adoption contact agreements: To be enforceable, contact agreements need to be in writing, approved by the court prior to the adoption decree, incorporated but not merged into the adoption decree, and shall survive as an independent contract. Agreements are approved when the court finds that the agreement is in the child’s best interest, is fair and reasonable, and all parties enter into the agreement knowingly and voluntarily. The agreement ceases to be enforceable when the adoptee turns 18. 210, § 6C-6D
Birth father rights: Massachusetts currently does not have a putative father registry. Instead, paternity may be established by filing with the courts an acknowledgement of parentage executed by both parents to establish paternity. An acknowledgement of paternity is sufficient basis for seeking a court order of support, custody, or visitation in respect to the child without further proceedings to establish paternity. A putative father may also file parental responsibility claim, giving him the right to receive notice of adoption proceedings. 209C, §§ 2 and 11; 210, § 4A
Finalization: The child must live with hopeful adoptive parents for at least 6 months before adoption finalization.
Is Adoption Assistance Available in Massachusetts?
Many of the children waiting to be adopted in Massachusetts have special needs. Federal (Title IV-E) and state (non-IV-E) programs exist to help adoptive parents meet their child’s needs. In Massachusetts, the max daily amount ranges $20-25. For more information please visit NACAC.org.
Can I adopt a Child from another country?
It is always possible to adopt a child from another country, even if you live in the United States. Children under 18 adopted from a Hague Convention country entering the U.S. with an IH-3 visa may automatically receive U.S. citizenship.
Children adopted from a non convention country must qualify as orphans before receiving U.S. citizenship. When U.S. citizens finalize an adoption abroad, they must apply to the USCIS for an IR-3 visa for the child. An IR-3 visa classifies the child as an immigrant and provides the child with citizenship upon arrival in the States.
Massachusetts currently gives full effect and recognition to adoptions completed abroad in compliance with foreign and U.S. law.
Gallery of children waiting to be adopted: https://adoption.com/photolisting?page=1&search_type=region&range=UnitedStates
State subsidy contact:
Director of Adoption Support Services
Massachusetts Department of Children & Families
Adoption Support Unit
600 Washington Street, 6th Floor
Boston, MA 02111
Applicants must be at least 18 years old to foster, 21 to adopt. You can be married, single, or divorced. You can own or rent a home. Your home needs to have adequate space, privacy, and safety for all family members. Children of the same gender may share a room.
The department is allowed to advertise, including educational and informational print, audio, visual, and other electronic advertisements, public service announcements, and a toll-free hotline. No person or agency is allowed to advertise for the placement or reception of a child under 16 for adoption purposes unless the advertisement is placed by a licensed adoption agency.
Consent cannot be given until 4 days after birth. Consent given in accordance with Massachusetts law is irrevocable.