Massachusetts Divorce Cases / Adoption
On this page we are compiling links to the full text of important Massachusetts Appellate Cases on Family Law and Divorce decided by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court and the Massachusetts Appeals Court.
These cases are for educational purpose only and should not be used for any official or legal purpose. Please consult official reports. Below you will be able to search for Massachusetts Appeals Court Slip Opinions and Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Slip Opinions relating to Adoption.
Adoption Cases in Massachusetts
Adoption of Anisha, Docket: 15-P-1611 (2016):
Adoption of Cecily, 83 Mass. App. Ct. 719 (2013): Mother appealed a Juvenile Court decree finding her daughter in need of care and protection and dispensing with her consent to adoption. The court held that the trial court did not err in: admitting maternal grandmother's grand jury testimony that was inconsistent with her testimony at trial, denying mother's motion to recall the maternal grandmother as a witness, finding the mother unfit, finding the mother was present during father's shaking of the child, drawing a negative inference against mother for not testifying, and denying post-termination visitation. Additionally, the court noted that even if the trial court did err in admitting the entire transcript of the maternal grandmother's grand jury testimony, it was a harmless error.
Adoption of Douglas, 473 Mass. 1024 (2016):
Adoption of Erica, 426 Mass. 55 (1997): In a proceeding to bypass a mother's right to consent to her child's adoption, the trial court improperly disqualified that child's attorney who represented her grandfather in a different proceeding. No evidence was presented to the trial court to indicate that the grandfather had access to confidential records or that the attorney had "sympathies" which would have affected his zealous advocacy for the child. The attorney's prior representation of the child's grandfather was not in the same or substantially related matter as the present case and there was not a substantial risk of the representation being materially adverse to the child's best interests. Therefore, no conflict of interest existed and the attorney's representation was allowed.
Adoption of Gabe, Docket 12-P-1237 (2013): On appeal, the court addressed whether father was entitled to representation during the adoption trial terminating his parental rights. The Probate and Family Court approved the adoption of his two sons and terminated his parental rights. Petitioners were the mother and stepfather. Four days after the decrees entered, the Supreme Judicial Court held in Adoption of Meaghan (461 Mass. 1006, 1007-1008 (2012)) that indigent parents and the children are entitled to representation in a termination and adoption action initiated by a private party. The court concluded that the decision in Adoption of Meaghan applied retroactively to adoption cases that were not final at the time of the decision; hence, the father (if indigent) and the children had a right to representation in this case.
Adoption of Ilona, 76 Mass. App. Ct. 481 (2010):
Adoption of Ilona, 459 Mass. 53 (2011): The Supreme Judicial Court found that the trial judge did not err in terminating mother's parental rights or in leaving visitation between the mother and child to the discretion of the pre-adoptive parents. The court noted there was no reason to doubt that the child's pre-adoptive parents would use their discretion in accordance with the child's best interest, nor was there any reason to order visitation to protect the child's best interest.
Adoption of Marlene, 443 Mass. 494 (2005):
Adoption of Norbert, Docket No. 12-P-651 (2013):
Adoption of Odetta, 87 Mass. App. Ct. 576 (2015):
Adoption of Quan, 470 Mass. 1013 (2014):
Adoption of Zander, 83 Mass. App. Ct. 363 (2013): The court remands to provide a schedule for post-termination and post-adoption sibling visitation rather than leave it to the adoptive parents' discretion. When siblings are separated by adoption, the judge shall ensure that siblings have visitation if reasonable, practical, and in the best interest of the children.
White v. Laingor, 434 Mass. 64 (2001):
A divorced father and mother agreed to a modification of child-support payments. The mother had remarried and her new husband wished to adopt the children: if the father consented to the adoption, his lump-sum payments would be reduced. One of the children objected to the adoption, and thus the adoption did not occur. The father claimed that he was entitled to the reduced child-support payments because he consented to the adoption. The Supreme Judicial Court determined that the reduction in child-support payments was not enforceable because the probate court did not take into account whether adoption by the new husband would be in the child's best interests.