This legislation expands and codifies several key rights important to foster families and strengthens the partnership between foster parents and the Department of Children and Families.
The ban on child marriage was enacted through language included as an outside section in the FY2023 budget. The adopted language prohibits a child under the age of 18 from entering into a marriage in Massachusetts, without exceptions. The adopted language also ensures that “any minor who is married may avail themself of all legal remedies and relief that would otherwise be available if they were not a minor” including the ability to initiate proceedings for divorce or annulment, and to seek protective orders.
This law closes a gap in the law that denied adopted persons born in Massachusetts between July 17, 1974 and January 1, 2008 access to their original birth certificates.
This law removes a ban on adoptions of extended kin, including aunts, uncles, and siblings.
The comprehensive police reform law includes provisions that protect youth from overzealous policing, particularly in schools, and expunges some crimes from youth records, ensuring these do not become a barrier to future employment, housing, and other opportunities. CLM remains active in ongoing state-level work on School Resource Officers and juvenile justice reforms.
This law ensures that youth who have aged out of DCF (i.e., former foster youth) will receive MassHealth benefits until they turn 26. Additionally, it requires that these youths are automatically enrolled annually until no longer eligible.
This law bans gay conversion therapy on minors, making Massachusetts the 16th state to prohibit the medically discredited and controversial practice.