Attorney Lewis  

Eastern & Central

or 508-879-3262
(outside Eastern & Central Mass)


The following is provided for informational purposes only. It is not meant to be comprehensive or to be interpreted as legal advice. It also shall not be interpreted in such a manner as to form an attorney-client relationship.
For such advice, consult an experienced Family Law attorney.



The matter of adoption in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is extensively covered under Chapter 210 of Massachusetts General Law, "Adoption of Children and Change of Names." According to the law, a person of full age may petition the probate court in the county in which he resides to adopt as his child another person younger than himself, excepting his or her wife or husband, brother, sister, uncle, or aunt, whether whole or half blood. No decree of adoption shall be entered for the adoption of a child under the age of fourteen until one of several conditions has been met:

  • The child sought to be adopted has been placed with the petitioners for adoption by the department of social services or its authorized agent;
  • The petitioner is a blood relative of the child;
  • The petitioner is step-parent of the child;
  • The petitioner was nominated in the will of a deceased natural parent of the child as a guardian or an adoptive parent; or
  • The petition for adoption has been approved in writing by the department of social services or by its authorized agency.

Every decree of adoption entered by the court shall include the words "This adoption is final and irrevocable."

Special Circumstances

There are several circumstances involving adoption and divorce, including the adoptive rights of fathers of children born out of wedlock; religious designation requests; agreement of post-adoption contact or communication; and step-parent and same sex couples (particularly in the case of remarriage after divorce where one spouse wishes to adopt the other spouse's biological child). These are too involved to discuss in depth here; what matters is that one realizes that a family law specialist is prepared to help one navigate the various issues surrounding the adoption of a child.


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