Can I Adopt My Younger Sibling in Massachusetts?

Can I Adopt My Younger Sibling in Massachusetts?

Losing both parents is one of the toughest things any child can go through, especially when they are still very young. Not only does this create a considerable amount of emotional turmoil for them, but it also raises the issue of adoption. Who is the best person to adopt a child who has no one left to care for them? If you think that a surviving member of their family is the best choice, the state of Massachusetts may not agree with you.

At first, an older, responsible, and independent sibling might seem like the ideal person to adopt their little brother or sister. After all, two siblings likely already have an established sense of trust and love for one another. However, this might not be easy to accomplish in Massachusetts. If you are trying to handle the adoption of a younger family member, your best bet is to consult with a qualified, experienced family law attorney as soon as possible. These experts can help you provide the best possible environment for your loved one.

Massachusetts Does Not Allow Siblings to Adopt Siblings

As of this writing, Massachusetts specifically bans siblings from adopting younger siblings. On the official Massachusetts government website that explains the requirements for adoptions, you will find the following statement: “You can adopt anyone who’s younger than you are, as long as they aren’t your spouse, sibling, uncle, or aunt.”

In addition, private adoptions are not allowed in Massachusetts. This is when the birth mother makes an arrangement with the adoptive parents. Of course, this would not be much help anyway if the child had lost both parents.

Progress is Being Made

Many people are not sure why Massachusetts specifically does not allow older siblings to adopt their younger siblings. In 2019, it was reported that a new bill was being proposed that would address this issue. State Representative Jack Lewis tried to show lawmakers that there could be many situations in which an older sibling might be the best choice for an adoptive parent. Two siblings might be born 20 years apart – one aged 10, and the other aged 30. In 2020, it was reported that the bill was advancing closer to being passed. With this in mind, Massachusetts might change its restrictions very soon.

You Can Still Get Guardianship

If adoption is not an option for older siblings, there are other options available. For example, a family law attorney may be able to help them become the guardian of their younger sibling. However, this is not quite the same as adoption. The legal responsibilities of a guardian end
when the child turns 19, while adoptive parents remain legal parents for their entire lives.

Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney Today

If you have been searching for a qualified, experienced family law in Massachusetts who can help you with this matter, look no further than the Law Offices of Johnson, Sclafani & Moriarty. These experts are extremely familiar with the various ins and outs of adoption law in
Massachusetts, and they can help you move forward in a manner that is beneficial to everyone.

Contact the offices of Johnson, Sclafani & Moriarty now for a free, initial consultation. 413-732-8356.