Chapter 119 of the General Laws is hereby amended by striking out section 39D and inserting in place thereof the following section:-
Section 39D. If the parents of an unmarried minor child are divorced, married but living apart pursuant to a temporary order or judgment of separate support, or if either or both parents are deceased, or if the unmarried minor child was born out of wedlock whose paternity has been adjudicated by a court of competent jurisdiction or whose father has signed an acknowledgement of paternity, and the parents do not reside together, the grandparents or great-grandparents of the minor child may be granted reasonable visitation rights to the minor child during his minority by the probate and family court department of the trial court upon a written finding that the visitation rights would be in the best interest of the minor child; provided, however, that the adjudication of paternity or acknowledgment of paternity shall not be required in order to proceed pursuant to this section where maternal grandparents or great-grandparents are seeking the visitation rights. No visitation rights shall be granted if the minor child has been adopted by a person other than a stepparent of the child and any visitation rights granted pursuant to this section prior to the adoption of the minor child shall be terminated upon the adoption without any further action of the court.
A petition for grandparent or great-grandparent visitation authorized pursuant to this section shall, where applicable, be filed in the county within the commonwealth in which the divorce or separate support complaint or the complaint to establish paternity was filed. If the divorce, separate support or paternity judgment was entered without the commonwealth but the child presently resides within the commonwealth, the petition may be filed in the county where the child resides.
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