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Adopting in Massachusetts

Adoption in Massachusetts

The poet Henry David Thoreau was inspired by Massachusetts when he wrote, Walden Pond. We are inspired by their support for Birth moms through the adoption journey. Adoptive parent(s) can cover medical, legal, counseling, plus their related transportation expenses. Living expense may be paid for by Adoptive Parents when Birth Mom is unable to pay due to pregnancy (up to $980/mo. in lodging, food, utilities, and clothing; up to $500/mo. in educational, vocational, recreational, religious services). Adoptive Parents can also cover 2 round-trip airfares for birth parent to in-state agency for adoption services. Fun fact: The first post office was in Boston, and the first phone call was made in Boston.

Home Study Providers in Massachusetts

PairTree Home Study

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Adoption Attorneys in Massachusetts

3 Adoption Agencies in MA

3 AAAA Attorneys in MA

Academy of Adoption & Assisted Reproduction Attorneys

  • Attorney
    Karen K. Greenberg
    195 Worcester Road, Suite 201
    Wellesley Hills, MA 02481
    (781) 237-0033
    (781) 235-2755
    Services Offered Assisted Reproduction, Contested Adoption, Domestic Adoption, Grandparent Representation, Intercountry Adoption, Interstate (ICPC) Adoption, Mediation, LGBT Family Formation, Egg Donation, Embryo Donation, Sperm Donation, Surrogacy
  • Attorney
    Lisa J. Marino
    288 Walnut Street
    Newton, MA 02460
    (617) 964-8090
    (617) 964-7899
    Services Offered Assisted Reproduction, Contested Adoption, Domestic Adoption, Interstate (ICPC) Adoption, Mediation, LGBT Family Formation, Egg Donation, Sperm Donation, Surrogacy
  • Attorney
    Joyce Kauffman
    4238 Washington St., Suite 313
    Roslindale, MA 02131
    (617) 577-1505
    (617) 469-8440
    Services Offered Assisted Reproduction, Domestic Adoption, Mediation, LGBT Family Formation, Egg Donation, Embryo Donation, Sperm Donation, Surrogacy

Traveling For Your Adoption in Massachusetts

Length of ICPC
in Massachusetts

1-30 days


Massachusetts participates in the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC) – a statutory agreement between all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the US Virgin Islands. The agreement governs the placement of children from one state into another state. It sets forth the requirements that must be met before a child can be placed out of state. The Compact ensures prospective placements are safe and suitable before approval, and it ensures that the individual or entity placing the child remains legally and financially responsible for the child following placement.

Adoption Law FAQ in Massachusetts

Advertising Law Info

  • Can adoptive parents advertise for birth parents?
  • State Advertising Code of Law
    Citation: Ann. Laws Ch. 210, § 11A

    It is unlawful for any person or entity other than a duly authorized agent or employee of the Department of Children and Families or a child care or child-placing agency licensed under the provisions of chapter 15D to cause to be published in the Commonwealth an advertisement or notice of children offered or wanted for adoption, or in any way offer to place, locate, or dispose of children offered or wanted for adoption, or hold himself or herself out in any way as being able to place, locate, or dispose of children for adoption.

Adoption Law Info

  • Who Can Adopt?
    A single or married couple jointly, unless the court grants petition that excuses one spouse. A minor may adopt with his or her spouse if adopting the biological child of either spouse.
  • Can out-of-state residents finalize an adoption?
    Yes, if child is a state resident and probate court permits it.
  • Can adopting parents use an adoption facilitator or another paid intermediary?
    Yes, only a licensed or approved placement agency may act as an adoption facilitator.
  • What birth parent expenses may be paid, and in what time period?
    Medical, legal, counseling, plus their related transportation. Living allowed when birth mother unable to pay due to pregnancy. Up to $ in lodging, food, utilities, and clothing. Up to $500/mo. in educational, vocational, recreational, religious services. Payments must be made through agency. Up to 2 round-trip airfares for birth parent to in-state agency for adoption services. Payments must be made directly to third party. Contingent payments prohibited. Max. 8 mos., with 6 mos. Prebirth max.
  • When does consent become irrevocable? If consent is revoked, is return to birth parent automatic?
    When consent is signed. Return is not automatic.
  • Qualifications for Adoptive Parents for adoption
    Citation: Ann. Laws. Ch. 210, § 1; Code of Regs. Tit. 102, § 5.10
    Any adult or, jointly, husband and wife may petition to adopt a child.
    In regulation: The physical requirements for adoptive homes include, but are not limited to, the following:
    • The home must be clean, safe, free of obvious fire and other hazards, and of sufficient size to accommodate comfortably and appropriately all members of the household and the approved number of adopted children.
    • The home shall have adequate lighting and ventilation, hot and cold water supply, plumbing, electricity, and heat.
    • The home shall have sufficient furniture to allow each child to sleep in a separate bed and to have adequate storage space for his or her personal belongings.
    • The home shall be equipped with smoke detectors in working order.
    • If the home uses well water, it shall be tested and determined safe.

Home Study Info

  • Elements of a Home Study for Adoption
    Citation: Code of Regs. Tit. 102, § 5.10; Tit. 110, §§ 18.05; 18.08
    The assessment shall include at least one meeting in the applicant’s home. The agency shall interview applicants individually at least once and as often as is necessary to determine the applicants’ qualifications to adopt a child. The agency shall interview all other members of the applicants’ household, as appropriate to the age of the member of the household.
    The assessment shall be summarized in a written report and shall document he applicants’:
    • Motivation for adoption
    • Emotional stability and compatibility
    • Social, education, and health histories
    • Family composition, including pets
    • A description of the home, including sleeping areas
    • The family’s attitude toward accepting an adopted child
    • Parenting ability, including child rearing and discipline
    • Attitude toward the birth parents of the child
    • Characteristics of children desired, including age, sex, abilities or disabilities, behavior, and characteristics of children parents are not willing to adopt
    • At least three written references
    • A written statement from a licensed physician regarding the health of each member of the household
    • Evidence of birth certificates, marriage certificates, and/or divorce decrees
    • Financial ability to care for an adopted child
    • Ability to meet the physical, developmental, emotional, and educational needs of a child
    Prospective preadoptive parents will be required to disclose whether or not he or she has a criminal record, including the crimes charged and the disposition of the charge. The department shall conduct a Criminal Offenders Record Information (CORI) investigation of any household member age 14 or older during the initial home study of the preadoptive home.
  • Grounds for Withholding Approval for Adoption
    Citation: Code of Regs. Tit. 102, § 5.10; Tit. 110, § 18.10
    The agency shall determine that each applicant and each adult household member has a background free of conduct that bears adversely upon his or her ability to provide for the safety and well-being of children. In making this determination, the agency shall consider whether the applicant:
    • Engages in or has engaged in conduct that results in his or her child being adjudicated in need of care and protection
    • Uses alcohol or drugs to an extent that impairs his or her ability to care for children properly
    • Has engaged in conduct that resulted in a CORI report or has engaged in any other conduct, criminal or otherwise, that impairs the individual’s ability to care for children
    A CORI report shall consist of arrests, pending criminal charges, or criminal charges that have been finally disposed of for any offense involving sexual or physical abuse, any offense involving children, and violent or drug-related crimes, including driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. A CORI report shall also consist of the report of a restraining order, violations of such restraining orders and other arrests, pending charges, or findings relative to abuse of adult or child family members.
    An applicant shall not be approved for an adoptive placement when, after a review of the CORI record, the agency concludes that the applicant’s home poses an unacceptable risk to the safety and well-being of the child.
  • When Home Studies Must Be Completed for Adoption
    Citation: Code of Regs. Tit. 102, § 5.10
    The licensed agency, consistent with its current needs, shall evaluate adoptive parent applicants promptly.
    If a placement does not occur within 12 months of approval of the adoptive parent, the agency may perform a limited foster or adoptive parent assessment. A limited adoptive parent assessment shall be a review of the previous assessment and verification that such information remains current.
    The agency shall notify each adoptive parent applicant in writing of the results of the assessment within 1 month of the last visit to the applicant.
  • Postplacement Study Requirements for Adoption
    Citation: Code of Regs. Tit. 102, § 5.10
    The agency shall assign a social worker who will be responsible for providing direct services to the adoptive family until the adoption is finalized. The social worker shall assist the adoptive parents and the child with any adoption-related matters and shall make monthly supervisory contacts with the adoptive parents, beginning no later than 2 weeks after placement, and continuing until the adoption decree is entered. Beginning no later than 6 weeks after placement, such contacts shall be face-to-face at least every other month. At least two contacts shall be in the adoptive parent home with the child and parents. In addition, the social worker shall:
    • Inform the adoptive parents in writing of any postponement of the legalization of the adoption, the reasons for such postponement, the actions that the agency determines are needed to remedy such postponement, and the timeframes within which such actions must be taken
    • Provide updated medical and/or psychological information regarding the birth family, including relevant information about siblings
    • Assist the adoptive parents and the child in obtaining any needed services
    • Inform the adoptive parents of their right to update the information in their case record at the agency at any time
    • Document in case notes in adoptive family records all contacts with children and adoptive families
    • Assist the adoptive parents in maintaining, when appropriate, contact with siblings and providing support services for older sibling groups


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