To be eligible to be an adoptive parent in the Commonwealth 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 join together in the Petition for adoption. In nearly every adoption case, judges must 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 of the adoptee is required when adopting anyone over the age of 12.
It’s important to understand that no decree of adoption will be granted for a child under the age of 14 unless one of these conditions has been met:
- 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.