MAKE ADOPTION BY FAMILY MEMBERS EASIER (S 2616)

By Bob Katzen
Senate 39-0, approved and sent to the House a bill that would repeal a current law which prohibits adoption of children by family members including older siblings, aunts and uncles.

The proposal would allow these family members, with the permission of the county probate courts, to legally adopt their family members. Current law only allows these family members to apply to become a guardian.

Sponsor Sen. Joan Lovely (D-Salem) said that this archaic law was put in place at the beginning of the last century to prevent the potential for inheritance abuse, but the commonwealth has since adopted legal protections, such as conservatorships, to prevent this from occurring.

“Our families are often our largest sources of support and what a family looks like can mean different things to different people,” said Lovely. “I filed [the bill] to better reflect the realities of the lives of Massachusetts residents who love and care for one another … our most vulnerable youth deserve to be cared for by the people who know and love them, and who can best assess their needs.”

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