Adoption Law in MD
Maryland offers adoptive parents the opportunity to complete their families through adoption and helps local mothers cope with unplanned pregnancies. Adoption laws in Maryland are in place to protect the biological parents, prospective adoptive parents, and the adopted child. Adoption under Maryland family law is a legal process in which the rights and responsibilities of parents are transferred from a biological parent to an adoptive parent. The natural parent or legal guardian of the child to be adopted must consent to the adoption, and the parental rights of the biological parents must be terminated before the adoption can be completed.
An international adoption may be completed in Maryland, but is not required if the adopted child was adopted in accordance with the laws of his or her country of origin and if the child has been issued a valid visa. The child will be issued a new birth certificate through Maryland upon receipt of an overseas adoption order, confirmation of the child’s date and place of birth, and a request from the court, the adopters, or the adoptee if the child is 18 years of age or older. The Secretariat of Health and Mental Hygiene will issue an overseas birth certificate upon receipt of a certified copy of the adoption order (and translation if necessary), confirmation of the date of birth and place of birth of the child, confirmation of the child’s IR-3 visa. status, proof that the adopter(s) reside in Maryland, and requesting a certificate from the court, parent or child if they are 18 years of age or older. The law removes the requirement to provide certain required documents for other types of adoptions in Maryland (such as tax and health declarations) and now requires parties to provide only the child’s birth certificate, the parties’ marriage certificate (or, if they are not married, evidence of a common clear intention of the parties to parent the child by assisted reproduction) and a statement explaining the circumstances in which potential adoptees were conceived (for example, Maryland also requires the adoptee’s legal guardians to consent to the adoption and, if the child is over 10 years of age, the child must also give agreement.
Consent to an adoption in Maryland cannot be given before the child is born. Although laws vary from state to state, a natural parent in Maryland may consent to an adoption at any time after the child is born. To give a child up for adoption without the consent of the fathers in Maryland, the rights of biological fathers must be forcibly removed. Maryland law requires that the parental rights of both biological parents be revoked in order for the adoption to take place.
A state adoption occurs after a child is taken from the birth parents’ home by the state of Maryland and placed with a foster family. To complete the adoption process, a Maryland court must review and approve the new parent-child relationship. Once a Maryland court approves an adoption request, the new parent-child relationship has the same legal effect as the original relationship. In some cases, independent adoption may also occur without the consent of the biological parent, as detailed in Section 5-3B-22 of the Maryland Family Law Code.
Before an adoption happens, Maryland has some laws, rules, and requirements about who can adopt or how. If you are interested in adopting a child in Maryland, the following information will help you better understand the laws and adoption process in your state. In Maryland, any adult is eligible for adoption. If you are a foster family in Maryland, here is information about Maryland adoption laws (what you can and cannot do), as well as a list of other adoption agencies in Maryland. We’ll help you understand the rights and responsibilities of biological and adoptive parents under Maryland law, and then process the legal documents needed to complete a private adoption.
From the initial consultation to the day you send your child home, The Law Offices of SRIS P.C will guide you through the steps and support you as we represent your biological parents, adoption agencies and family court judges you meet, interests and goals. We’ll examine some of the legal considerations for adoptive parents in Maryland, including adopting a baby through the family adoption process and adopting a newborn or older child through the adoptive parenting system. While an overview of Maryland adoption laws can help you understand the process before you begin, if you are considering adding a child to your family through adoption, be sure to consult a local Maryland attorney with Maryland adoption experience.
If you live in Maryland, you must abide by Maryland’s adoption laws whether you are adopting a national, international, adopted child, or stepchild. All adoptive parents in Maryland upon adoption must complete home schooling and post-adoption assessment; regardless of the type of adoption you are seeking or the adoption professional you are working with. Maryland, Homeschooling in Maryland will not be approved if the individual refuses to consent to a permit from Child Protective Services or proves child abuse or neglect. Post-adoption services must be provided to all children and families until the adoption is completed. Once the adopting family and agency social worker decides it is time to complete the adoption process, the social worker will prepare the necessary paperwork and obtain approval for the adoption from the local department supervisor. Maryland’s law doesn’t address that. Any interstate adoption is governed by the provisions of the Interstate Child Placement Treaty (ICPC). Families wishing to adopt an adopted child with custody of the child are considered foster families with legal risk. Read the sections below for frequently asked questions about Maryland adoption laws. Consent can be given at any time after the child is born. Married couples must jointly adopt unless the spouse is legally separated from the adoptive spouse, is deemed incapacitated, or is the parent of the child and agrees to the adoption.