There is no filing fee for an adoption. However, you will need to pay the Sheriff or Constable for providing notice. These costs will vary.
Forms That Must Be Filed
- Petition for Adoption (not online). You need one for each child you are adopting. Contact your local court to get this form
- Affidavit of Petitioner for Adoption (Not online). Contact your local court to get this form.
- Certified Long-Form Copy of Child’s Birth Certificate. This is available from the Registry of Vital Records or from the city or town where the child was born. If you cannot get the birth certificate from the birth parents, you need to be the guardian of the child to get the birth certificate. See Guardianship of a Minor. If you are filing a Petition for Adoption of a child from a foreign country, you must include the original foreign documents and a copy of the same documents.
- CARI Record Check (CP2) (Not available online) Contact your local court to get this form.
- Home Study. The Home Study is a report done by DCF or the Adoption Agency. If this is a stepparent adoption, you can file a Motion to Waive the Home Study instead.
- Affidavit Disclosing Care or Custody Proceedings
- Federal and Central Registers of Missing Children Search Request. The court will send this to you after you have filed the other papers, and then you will need to send it to DCF so they can do a search and make sure your intended child was not reported missing.
You May Also Need to File
- If you are married: Certified copy of your Marriage Certificate. This is available from the Registry of Vital Records or from the city or town where you were married.
- If you are divorced: Certified copy of your Divorce Judgment. You can get this from the Probate and Family Court where your divorce was filed. You can find the address at Courthouses by County, by clicking on the appropriate county. You will need the names of the people, the approximate date of the divorce, and if you have it, the docket number. The fee is $20.00 for a certified copy plus one dollar per page for every page except the first.
- If you are asking the court to waive the Home Study: Motion to Waive Investigation Report of Department of Children and Families.
- If you are adopting a child whose birth mother wasn’t married and the birth father has not signed a surrender: Affidavit from DCF Regarding a Search of the Parental Responsibility Claims. This is a document DCF will provide to you.
- If either of the parents gave up legal rights to the child: Surrender Forms. The surrender form must be in the proper format. See G.L. c.210, s.2 . A parent cannot surrender a child until four days after the date of birth of the child to be adopted. It must be signed in front of a notary public with two witnesses watching, and the birth parent must have chosen at least one of the witnesses.
- If a court ended the legal rights of one or both parents: Certified copies of Judgments from Other Legal Proceedings. You will need to obtain and include a copy of the court judgment from that court.