1. How long will I have to wait for a placement?
  2. Will I be able to meet the child before the placement?
  3. Is there an age requirement to be an adoptive parent?
  4. How many children can be in my care at one time?
  5. Can I be an adoptive parent if I don't own my own home?
  6. Are there minimum income requirements to be an adoptive parent?
  7. Are there any adoption fees?
  8. How long will it be before my child's adoption can be legalized in court?
  9. Will I have an opportunity to adopt another child?

1 . How long will I have to wait for a placement?
The length of your wait will depend on when you have been approved, which children are available at that time, and the potential of a match between the child's needs and your ability to meet those needs. Individuals and families seeking to adopt very young children may wait for a significant period of time.

2 . Will I be able to meet the child before the placement?
The Department of Children and Families follows an extensive placement matching process for prospective adoptions.

  • When a Department of Children and Families adoption worker determines that you and your family may be a good match for a child, you will be contacted and given non-identifying information about the child. If you believe that you may be a good match for the child, the process will move forward.
  • You will attend a full disclosure meeting to discuss the child's history and current situation before you meet the child.
  • We ask that you take a few days to think about what you have heard and to determine whether you want to proceed with meeting the child. You may also be asked to talk to the child's foster parent, or teacher(s), or other professionals.
  • When you and the adoption worker have decided to proceed, you will begin a series of planned visits with the child at his or her foster home.
  • Following foster home visits, you will meet with the child outside of the foster home, leading to visits at your home.
  • When everybody feels comfortable and ready, the child can be placed with you.

3 . Is there an age requirement to be an adoptive parent?
In Massachusetts, you must be at least 21 years old to adopt.

4 . How many children can be in my care at one time?
You may have up to six children residing in your home at any given time, including birth children, adoptive children, relatives' children, foster children, and children in day care in the home.

5 . Can I be an adoptive parent if I don't own my own home?
You may either rent or own your home. During the Physical Standards Check that is part of the approval process, we ensure that the living and sleeping quarters in your home provide adequate space, privacy and safety for all family members. We allow children of the same gender to share a room. Children less than one year old may share a parent's room.

6 . Are there minimum income requirements to be an adoptive parent?
You must be able to support a child on your current income. Special needs children are eligible for subsidy that often provides financial support and insurance coverage until the child is 18 or in some cases 22 years of age.

7 . Are there any adoption fees?
There are no fees involved in adopting a child through The Massachusetts Department of Children and Families.

8 . How long will it be before my child's adoption can be legalized in court?
By law, a child must reside in your home for at least six months before an adoption can be legalized. When adopting through the Department, it is not unusual to wait at least a year from the time of placement until the adoption is legalized. In some cases we are placing very challenging children and we want to be sure that the family feels fully supported and prepared to meet the child's needs before we legalize the adoption.

9 . Will I have an opportunity to adopt another child?
The Massachusetts Department of Children and Families has a re-evaluation process to assess your readiness for another adopted child. Generally, families should wait for one year after the first child is placed before beginning the steps for an additional placement. During this one-year period, celebrate important anniversary dates with your current adopted child to enforce the special moments that brought him or her into your family.


This information is provided by the Department of Children and Families.