ADOPTION OF YADIRA (and two companion cases). 
Heard: November 7, 2016.
filed in the Suffolk Division of the Probate and Family Court
Department on March 20, 2014.
motion to deny the petitions was heard by Virginia M.
Ward, J. The Supreme Judicial Court granted an
application for direct appellate review.
M. Kaiser for the mother.
Pariser for Department of Children and Families.
S. Negron for Yadira & others.
Michael F. Kilkelly, for the father, was present but did not
Present: Gants, C.J., Botsford, Lenk, Hines, Gaziano, Lowy,
& Budd, JJ.
granted an application for direct appellate review in this
case to determine whether the Code of Federal Regulations, 45
C.F.R. § 400.115(c) (1998), allows the Department of
Children and Families (department) to petition for
termination of parental rights on behalf of unaccompanied
refugee minors whose parents also are present in the United
States. We hold that the regulations do allow such petitions.
December, 2010, four minor siblings arrived in Massachusetts
from a Nepalese refugee camp through the Federal
Unaccompanied Refugee Minors Program (minor refugee program).
See Custody of Victoria, 473 Mass. 64, 65 n.l
(2015). The department placed two of the children in a foster
home in Fitchburg and the other two in a foster home in
Ashby. No later than April, 2013, the
children's mother and father had entered the United
States and settled in North Dakota and Ohio, respectively.
Since coming to the United States, both the mother and the
father have had "very limited contact" with the
March, 2014, the department petitioned the Probate and Family
Court to free the children for adoption by terminating
parental rights pursuant to G. L. c. 210, §
3. The mother moved to deny the
department's petition. The judge denied the mother's
motion and subsequently reported the matter to the Appeals
Court. In her report, the judge framed the following question
for the court's consideration:
"Is it permissible under the Code of Federal Regulations
for the [department] to proceed to seek a termination of
parental rights where the child(ren) are present in the
United States pursuant to the [minor refugee program] and
both parents are also believed to be present in the United