Providing Adoptive Parents With Information About Adoptees and Their Birth Families - Massachusetts

Date: August 2020

Agency or Person Preparing the Report

Citation: Ann. Laws Ch. 210, §§ 5A; 5D

The Department of Children and Families shall conduct the investigation of the adoption petition.

A placement agency may release records that it holds relating to an adopted person or the birth parents of an adopted person.

Contents of Report About the Adopted Person

Citation: Ann. Laws Ch. 210, §§ 5A; 5D

The department shall make appropriate inquiries to determine the condition and antecedents of the child for the purpose of ascertaining whether he or she is a proper subject for adoption.

In any petition for adoption, the department shall submit to the court verification that the adopted person is not registered with the Federal register for missing children and the central register.

The agency, in its discretion, shall further release such nonidentifying information concerning the circumstances under which the adopted person became available for adoption as it deems to be in the best interests of the person so requesting.

Contents of Report About the Birth Family

Citation: Ann. Laws Ch. 210, §§ 5A; 5D

The placement agency shall release to an adoptive parent, upon the adoptive parent's written request, information about the adopted person and his or her birth parents that will not identify or tend to lead to the identification of the birth parents or their present or former locations. Such information shall include such nonidentifying information that the agency has concerning the medical, ethnic, socioeconomic, and educational circumstances of the person.

When the Report Is Made

Citation: Ann. Laws Ch. 210, § 5A

Upon the filing of a petition for adoption of a child under age 14, notice shall be given to the Department of Children and Families to make an investigation of the child and his or her family. The department shall submit its written report to the court no later than 30 days after receipt of the notice.

Exceptions for Stepparent or Relative Adoptions

Citation: Ann. Laws Ch. 210, § 5A

The court may waive the provisions of this section in the case of a petition for the adoption of a child of one of the parties petitioning for said adoption.