Adoption is a life changing, overwhelmingly positive experience that changes a family forever often for the better. However, it isn’t without its challenges, many of which come about at the very beginning of the process in the legal arena. Thankfully, the Law Office of Danielle A. Thomason is a knowledgeable Massachusetts adoption attorney committed to helping children create a fresh start with a new family who loves them and desperately wants to welcome them into their home. Read on to learn more about adoption in the state of Massachusetts from a legal perspective:
Adopting a Child in Massachusetts
Each state varies slightly when it comes to their adoption laws and requirements. The state of Massachusetts allows any married couple or adult to adopt a child. In some situations, a married individual may even be able to adopt without her spouse’s consent.
Consenting to an Adoption
Massachusetts states that consent must be given by a child’s lawful surviving parents in order to be placed in adoption. If the child wasn’t born in wedlock, only the mother’s consent is legally required for placement. If a child is 12 years-of-age or older, they must also consent for adoption to be legally granted.
When Consent Isn’t Necessary
There are some situations where the consent of birth or legal parents are not required for an adoption to take place. This occurs when either the person being adopted is over 18 years of age or when the court determines the adoption is in a minor child’s best interest. This is often granted if the parent is deemed unfit for the following reasons:
- They parent abandoned the child.
- The child in question or another in the family was either neglected or abused.
- The child has been living outside of the home for at least 6 months and during that time, the parents didn’t maintain contact with the child.
- The child is 4 years of age or older and has been out of their parent’s custody for six of the past 12 months and cannot be safely returned home.
- The child is younger than 4 years of age and has been out of their parent’s custody for six of the past 12 months and cannot be safely returned home.
- The parent doesn’t take proper care of the child.
- The parent currently suffers from drug or alcohol addiction, mental illness or mental deficiency.
- The parent has failed to support or visit their child when not in their custody.
Next Steps to Take
If you or someone you love needs the help of a Massachusetts Adoption Attorney, consider the legal professionals at the Law Office of Danielle A. Thomason. Contact Danielle to determine if her firm can help you achieve your dream of adoption.