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ADOPTION IN MARYLAND

THE BURTON FIRM > Adoptions  > ADOPTION IN MARYLAND

ADOPTION IN MARYLAND

FAMILY LAW ATTORNEY IN MARYLAND

Family Law Attorney in Maryland

ADOPTION IN MARYLAND

In the State of Maryland, “adoption is the creation of a parent-child relationship by a judicial order between people who are not a natural parent and a child” (The people’s Law Library of Maryland.) Under the law, once the court orders an adoption, it ends the parental rights and responsibilities of the natural parents.

Any adult who is not the natural parent may petition the court for an adoption. The petitioner may be single or married and is required to complete a 27-hour home study course. Maryland law also requires that the legal guardians of the person to be adopted consent to the adoption; and, if the child is over the age of 10, the child must also consent.

However, there are situations when a nonconsensual adoption may be granted. Outlined below are some situations when a nonconsensual adoption may be granted. The petitioner

  • Has had custody of the child for more than 180 days;
  • The natural parent has not had contact with the child while the petitioner had custody;
  • The natural parent has not contributed to the child’s support.
  • The natural parent abuses the child significantly; or
  • has been convicted of serious crimes of violence.

Maryland law defines three different types of adoptions: public agency, private agency and independent. These different types of adoptions have similar procedures that petitioners must adhere to. In order to begin the adoption process, the first step for any petitioner is filing a petition for adoption with the Circuit Court. The natural parents are then located and asked to consent to the adoption and given the opportunity to object. Lastly, the adoption is either granted or denied. If the petitioner is denied, he or she may appeal the case with The Court of Special Appeals.

Adoption is an excellent way to build your family. We believe that people who chose to adopt are exceptional individuals because they vehemently believe that every child deserves their own loving family.

If you desire to include an extraordinary addition to your family through adoption, call us today. We can help by answering any questions and concerns, advice you of Maryland adoption laws, and assist you with the adoption process.

FAMILY LAW LAWYER IN MARYLAND

SAME SEX ADOPTION IN MARYLAND

It is pretty simple for anyone, whether single, married or part of a same sex couple to adopt in the state of Maryland. In order to adopt, all applicants must be:

  • at least 21 years of age
  • must be able to meet family’s financial obligations
  • submit an initial medical examination and reexamination every two years for every member of the household to determine their physical and emotional ability to care for children
  • provide three references regarding their parenting ability
  • be required to complete a minimum of 27 hours of pre-service education
  • allow their home to be inspected from the health department for safety and sanitation
  • complete a child support clearance
  • in agreement to not to use physical punishment

Also keep in mind that if you are considering a domestic adoption, you have to be a legal resident in the country but not necessarily a U.S. citizen. There are a couple of different routes you can go when adopting a child. If you choose to go through your local department of social services, there will be no fees but if you choose to go through a private agency, it is up to them to decide how much they will charge. Also keep in mind, if you choose to use an attorney for such services, you will be responsible for paying the legal fees and court costs.

Before you choose to adopt a child, it’s important to keep in mind that this is a lifelong commitment. Relationships, whether they are same sex or not, can change over time, especially throughout the phases of a child’s growth so keep in mind the responsibility that will be inflicted upon you should you choose to adopt. Also keep in mind the rocky road you have ahead of yourself. Most children experience teasing growing up for a variety of reasons – appearance, personality, intelligence, sports, etc and have same sex parents is another thing children could be teased about. But don’t let that discourage you for adoption. Whether you are a heterosexual couple or a same sex couple, the point of adoption is to love and nurture your child so if you are ready to make that commitment, consult an expert to explain the process even further.

MARYLAND FAMILY LAW ATTORNEY

ADOPTION PETITIONS

According to the state of Maryland, there are three different kinds of adoptions: public agency, private agency and independent.

All three have similar procedures with the beginning stages of a petition in Circuit Court. Any adult who is not the child’s natural parent may petition the court for adoption. You do not have to be married to petition for an adoption, but if you are and as long as you are not separated, the spouse will be joined to become the legal parent of the child. Those who pursue an adoption through a public agency will be required to complete a 27-hour home study course. Maryland law required that the legal guardians of the child to consent to the adoption.

For agency adoptions, the agency itself is often the guardian of the child and can consent directly. However, for most independent adoptions, the petitioner seeking adoption will need the consent of all living parents. Any person or organization that places children for adoption must be licensed through the Social Services Administration, but any parent or close relative that puts a child up for adoption, can do so without a license. If the natural parents can be found, they are asked to consent to the adoption but are also given the opportunity to object.

The Maryland Department of Human Resources places children for public agency adoptions and some of these agencies already have an order from the court terminating the parental rights of the natural parents. In these occurrences, only agency consent is required if a parents rights have been terminated.

If the parental rights have not been terminated and the parents are still alive, at least one parent will need to consent. If the parents are alive and have not been in contact with the department for 180 days, the court can grant adoption. There are a few instances when revocation can take place. For example, public agencies may revoke consent up until the court grants adoption and parents may revoke consent within 30 days of signing the consent or the petition filing, whichever is later. Private agencies may revoke consent within 14 days of signing the consent or 14 days of the petition filing, whichever is later and in an independent adoption, the parent has 30 days after signing consent to revoke.

CONTACT MARYLAND FAMILY LAW ATTORNEY FOR HELP

Hiring an experienced and knowledgeable Maryland family law attorney who will give you the answers to all your questions, and will be on your side is critically important. Our attorneys will spend the necessary time to design a plan that will achieve your goals, and explain the consequences of each strategic move. Active and aggressive representation is critical in this field.

THE OUTCOME OF YOUR CASE MATTERS TO US

Contact our office as soon as possible so our team of Family Law attorneys can properly evaluate your case and protect your rights.

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