Maryland’s Adoption Laws
The laws that deal with adoptions are complex, as they vary from one state to another. If you live in Maryland, you are required to follow the Maryland adoption laws whether you are adopting domestically, internationally, a foster child, or a stepchild.
If you are considering adopting and child and need an attorney familiar with Maryland’s adoption laws, we can help. Just complete the short form on this page and take the first steps.
Independent vs. Agency Adoptions
The laws in Maryland only recognize two types of adoptions: independent adoptions and agency adoptions. However, there is another type that has become increasingly common in recent years that falls somewhere between the other two. This type of adoption is called a designated adoption.
What are the differences?
- Independent adoptions are between two parties that find each other on their own, without the help of a third party.
- Agency adoptions are facilitated by a licensed child placement agency. This can be a private agency or a public one.
- Designated adoptions occur when the adoptive parents and birth parents find one another without the help of an agency but use an agency’s resources in finalizing the adoption.
Maryland Adoption Process
In order to adopt a child in the state of Maryland, the adoptive parents must go through several steps. These steps vary depending on the type of adoption, but follow this general pattern:
- Parent or parents register with an agency or begin to advertise for a birth mother. This can involved mandatory classes and a house visit to ensure a safe environment for the child.
- The adoptive family is matched with birth parents or a foster child who then comes into their physical custody. The birth parents, adoption agency, or the state retains legal custody until the adoption is finalized.
- The parties involved file the paperwork and appear before a circuit court judge who must approve the arrangement. The judge then grants an order of adoption, giving the adoptive family full custody.
- There is a period in which this order can be challenged, usually thirty days.
While an overview of the adoption laws in Maryland can help you understand the process before you, it is important to consult a local, Maryland lawyer with adoption experience in this state if you are considering adding a child to your family through adoption. Hiring a lawyer will help the process go more smoothly and ensure that important details do not go overlooked.
Our Service Areas
The Rodriguez-Nanney Law Firm has our primary offices in Annapolis. However we serve residents throughout the greater Maryland area. Other cities and counties we serve include:
- Severna Park
- Anne Arundel County
- Prince George
- Queen Anne
- Baltimore City
- Baltimore County
Get Started Today
For help with adoptions in Maryland, contact the Rodriguez-Nanney Law Firm in Annapolis. We have been working in adoption law since we opened our doors in 1998 and are ready to help you at this exciting time in your life.