Sunday, December 8, 2013

Adoption of Tammy case brief

Adoption of Tammy case brief summary
619 N.E.2d 315 (1993)

Petitioners, two unmarried women, one of whom was the biological mother, sought to jointly adopt a child under Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 210, § 1. The Probate and Family Court Department (Massachusetts) entered a decree allowing the adoption and reported the evidence and questions of law to the appeals court. The case then was transferred.

The child was conceived by artificial insemination by the non-biological mother's cousin.


  • On appeal, the court concluded that the trial court had jurisdiction under Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 210 to enter the decree. 
  • There was nothing on the statutes' face that precluded the joint adoption, which accomplished the legislative goal of promoting the child's best interests. 
  • The statute permitted adoption by the child's natural mother, and the required joinder of spouses, jurisdictional in nature, did not apply to joint petitions by unmarried persons. 
  • The biological mother's request to adopt her own child and her consent to the non-biological mother's adoption satisfied Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 210, § 2 (1992). 
  • Because both were blood relatives of the child and the department of social services approved the adoption, Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 210, § 2A was satisfied. 
  • Adoption would not result in any tangible change in the child's life. 
  • It would entitle her to inheritance, support, and insurance from the non-biological mother and would allow the non-biological mother custody if the biological mother died. 
  • The natural mother's legal relationship to the child did not terminate on entry of the decree.
The court affirmed the decree of adoption by both petitioners.

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