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.
Review Massachusetts adoption laws in detail