What is adoption?
Adoption is a legal process which establishes a parent/child relationship between two people who are not related by blood. There are three sets of participants in an adoption: the petitioners (the adoptive parents, who are seeking to adopt the child); the child to be adopted; and the birth parents (the biological parents of the child to be adopted). An adoption creates a new legal relationship between the adopted parents and the child. The adoption also severs or terminates any legal relationship existing between the child and the child’s biological parents.
Does Kajko, Weisman & Colasanti, LLP place children for adoption?
No, this Law Firm is not an adoption agency, and we do not locate or place children for local, national or foreign adoptions.
I do not need an adoption agency and know the child that I wish to adopt. How can your firm help me with my adoption?
Kajko, Weisman & Colasanti, LLP specializes in legalizing the adoption through the appropriate Probate & Family Court.
What information or documentation do I need to provide to your firm?
Once you become a client of the firm, you will provide us with personal and financial information regarding your family and employment situation. The information is utilized by your attorney to convince the court that you are fit to adopt the child. Necessary documentation includes the child’s original birth certificate. If the adoption involves a deceased parent, you will need an original death certificate.
What procedures are followed to ensure that adoptive parents are fit to adopt a child?
The Probate and Family Court performs a criminal records background check (“CORI”). In addition, Massachusetts regulations provide detailed requirements for home study assessments and criteria for evaluation of applicants. Your attorney at the firm will assist you in meeting all of the requirements to establish your suitability as an adoptive parent.
Is there an age requirement to be an adoptive parent?
In Massachusetts, you must be at least 21 years old to adopt.
How long does the adoption process take?
The typical process leading to an adoption takes approximately three (3) months, if you are an active participant in the process and provide all of the necessary information and documentation timely.
Do I have to go to court? What happens while at court?
The adoptive parent or parents, along with the adoptive child, must attend a court hearing to finalize the process. All adoption proceedings are heard privately in the Judge's chambers or in a closed courtroom. Friends, family, and cameras are always welcome. While in court, the adoptive parent(s) sign a new birth certificate which names them as the parents. The original birth certificate will be sealed.
What is the process for accessing adoption files, including identifying information in Massachusetts?
a. Adoptees over the age of 18 may access non-identifying information in their file. After age 21, they may access identifying information in their file as long as the appropriate consents are in the file.
b. Birth parents may be given non-identifying information regarding the family that adopted their child.
c. Adoptive parents may be given non-identifying information about the adoptee until the adoptee is 21 years of age.