Elkton Adoption Lawyers
Call (410) 670-4939 to Schedule a Free Consultation Today
Expanding your family by adopting a child can be one of the happiest moments of your life. But individuals or couples considering adoption must meet the legal requirements in Maryland. Since the adoption process can be complex, having an experienced family law attorney to guide you through all the important steps can ensure you welcome a new addition into your family.
At the Law Office of Cricket Browne, LLC, we can provide compassionate and personalized legal help throughout your adoption journey. With more than three decades of combined experience and thousands of legal issues handled, our Elkton adoption attorneys can sit down with you, listen to your questions and concerns, and determine if you qualify for adoption in Maryland.
Contact ustoday for more information about our legal services.
Maryland Adoption Requirements
Any adult in the state can petition to adopt a child. If you are married, your spouse must approve the petition to adopt unless he/she is separated from you, is deemed incompetent, is the parent of the prospective child and approves stepparent adoption.
Same-sex couples can petition for adoption in Maryland. Keep in mind, you don’t have to be married in order to adopt. When a child is at least 10 years of age, he/she must consent to adoption, if his/her natural parents do not have parental rights.
The following are three types of adoptions in Maryland:
- Public agency adoption – Once parental rights are terminated, the department of social services files an adoption case. Prospective couples/parents must pay for hospital, medical, and legal services.
- Private agency adoption – A private adoption agency files an adoption case after identifying a prospective child and a willing family who qualifies for adoption. Prospective couples/parents must pay for hospital, medical, and legal services.
- Independent adoption – Typically the route stepparents and co-parents take to adopt a child, a private party files an adoption case. Prospective couples/parents must pay for hospital, medical, and legal services, as well as adoption counseling.
A prospective couple or parent must register with an agency or start to advertise for a birth mother. This process often entails mandatory classes and home study, which consists of background checks, a home inspection, and interviews to determine if a couple/parent can provide the child with a safe and stable home environment.
The child’s natural parents—if found—must consent to the adoption. If they don’t consent, they must file an objection to the adoption. The court may hold a hearing and determine whether to grant adoption based on the child’s best interests.
If a child’s natural parents consent to adoption, it becomes irrevocable 30 days after signing. If consent is revoked within the 30-day period, the return is automatic.
Adoption from Foster Care in Maryland
In order to be a foster parent in Maryland, you need to meet the following requirements:
- Be at least 21 years of age
- Pass criminal background check, along with every adult member of the household
- Submit medical examinations to ensure you are physically and emotionally able to provide care
- Meet the family’s financial obligations
- Obtain three references
- Finish at least 27 hours of training
- Pass a home inspection
- Complete two home visits
- Agreement to avoid physical punishment
International Adoption in Maryland
If adoption was completed in compliance with a foreign government’s laws, the adoptive parents do not need to petition a Maryland court, as long as the child is issued a visa that verifies a valid adoption. When the state receives a foreign adoption decree, proof of the child’s birth date and place of birth, and request from the court, the child will be issued a new birth certificate (also known as “Certificate of Foreign Birth”).
Let Us Help You Grow Your Family!
If you are interested in experienced legal assistance with an adoption case, our Elkton adoption lawyers at the Law Office of Cricket Browne, LLC can help. Do not hesitate to let us protect your rights and best interests throughout the legal process.
Call (410) 670-4939 to discuss your case with our legal team today.
Over 30 Years of Combined Experience
Thousands of Legal Issues Handled
Personalized Approach Tailored to Your Needs
Former Law Clerks
Legal Representation at an Affordable Price
Local Attorneys Who Know The System