To be eligible to be an adoptive parent in the state of Massachusetts, the law states you must be at least 18 years old, and you or the child must be a resident of Massachusetts. In most cases, any married couple or single adult is eligible to adopt. If married, both spouses must be a part of the adoption. In nearly every adoption case, judges in adoption courts will consider the child’s best interests when making adoption decisions.
In Massachusetts, you can adopt anyone younger than you are, as long as they aren’t your spouse, sibling, uncle, or aunt. In most cases, any child you are adopting under the age of 14, must live with you for at least six months. Consent is required when adopting anyone being adopted over the age of 12.
It’s important to be aware that the state of Massachusetts does not allow private adoption, those which the birth mother makes an arrangement with the adoptive parents. The required criteria under Massachusetts law needs to meet one of these conditions:
- The child has been placed with you through the Department of Children and Families (DCF) or a licensed adoption agency.
- The child is your blood relative.
- The child is your step-child.
- You were nominated in the will of the child’s dead parent to be the child’s guardian or adoptive parent.
- DCF or an agency they authorize has approved the adoption petition in writing.
For legal assistance with an experienced adoption attorney, you can schedule a consultation with our office to discuss your case and learn more about the process.