In … Toggle navigation Login. We conduct a very careful evaluation of every adopting family on our waiting list. The LDSS will provide you with the necessary information in order to sign up for the pre-service. Regardless of your income, if you adopt a child with special needs, you may receive monthly adoption assistance payments and/or medical assistance for the child. The local departments are mandated by law to work towards reunifying children with their families. Adoptees who are at least 21 years of age and whose adoptions were finalized on or after January 1, 2000, may request their original birth certificates. Maryland Family Military Leave Rule 9-104, 9-105, 9-107. When it comes to step parent adoption in Maryland, the state law is very encouraging. The Court of Special Appeals handles appeals. Adult Adoption in Maryland: Adult adoptions in Maryland are very simple. Children are removed from their homes due to abuse and/or neglect and placed temporarily into foster/adoptive homes that have been approved by a local department of social services. Rule 9-105 gives the form for the show cause order. Home Study and Family Selection. In private agency adoptions, the agency must submit a report to the court before the hearing. If the child is under 10 years old, then the child must not object. Code, Family Law § 5-337, § 5-349, § 5-3A-34, § 5-3B-19. To reserve a consultation, please call 410-990-0090 or fill out the firm’s contact form. Public Agency Adoption - The Maryland Department of Human Services places children for public agency adoptions. In a public agency adoption, the court will schedule a status conference within 60 days after the filing of the petition. At that time, the local department would look to you as the foster/adoptive family, and discuss your interest in adopting the child, and making the child a permanent part of your family. In some public agency adoptions, the Department of Human Services has already gotten an order from the court terminating the parental rights of the natural parents. The show cause order gives the parents a right to object to the adoption. Code, Family Law § 5-356, § 5-3A-39, § 5-3B-30, This site offers legal information, not legal advice. Code, Family Law § 5-507, Read the Regulation:  Code of Md. Adoption is the legal and emotional acceptance into your family of a child not born to you. "International adoption" means the adoption by a Maryland resident of a child Adoption Services develops permanent families for children who cannot live with or safely reunite with their birth parents or extended birth families. © Maryland Thurgood Marshall State Law Library, 2021.”, Submit a legal information question to the Thurgood Marshall State Law Library, Call or chat with a lawyer about your civil legal matter, at no cost After the hearing, the court will issue an order either granting or denying the adoption. Making informed decisions is the best way of increasing your chances of adopting a child. Regulations 07.02.12.10. Maryland sealed original birth certificates in adoptions beginning in 1937.It did not, however, seal court adoption records until 1947.Court records for adoptions finalized before June 1, 1947, would have required a motion from one of the parties to seal the records. The laws that deal with adoptions are complex, as they vary from one state to another. Read the Law: Md. These children are photo listed locally on the DHS website and nationally on www.adoptuskids.org. State Adoption Laws in Maryland. At this hearing, a judge will grant you your final decree of adoption in Maryland… (2) Consent of Child to Adoption. Petitioners who pursue an adoption through a public agency will be required to complete a 27-hour home study course. Code, Family Law § 5-333, § 5-334, § 5-346, § 5-3B-14, § 5-3B-15, § 5-3A-30, Read the Rule: Md. As an adult, the adoptee can decide on their own that they want to be adopted, and they don't need the consent of the biological parent. Join; Login Even newly committed couples are allowed to have a legal adoption of one spouse’s children into the family. The children available for adoption through the departments of social services are often the victims of unfortunate circumstances that led to their need for new homes. Adoption laws, rules, and regulations, are available in the following locations: Any adult who is not the child’s natural parent may petition the court for adoption. A wealth of information is also available to help you learn more about adoption. The main number for each LDSS can be found on the DHS website under Local Offices. For agency adoptions, the agency itself is often the guardian of the child and can consent. In public agency adoptions, parents may revoke consent within 30 days of signing the consent or the petition filing, whichever is later. Once a child’s permanency plan is changed to adoption by the Court, the local department would move forward with the plan. We offer compassionate and skilled representation to same-sex parents throughout Maryland. Under the law, the new parent-child relationship is no different than the relationship between a natural parent and child. For most independent adoptions, the petitioner will need the consent of all living parents. The state has recognized valid same-sex marriages performed in other states and jurisdictions since 2010. If the child to be adopted is at least 10 years old, the child must also consent. The information available will depend on what was recorded at the time of the adoption. The court will hold a hearing before either granting or denying a petition for adoption. An adoption begins with filing a petition for adoption in Circuit Court. We hope to help you learn more about the child adoption laws in the State of Maryland. Adoption is a wonderful way to build a family. Since it is becoming more difficult, a Howard County adoption lawyer can assist a person who… Read More » There are special issues when a mother has not consented in an independent adoption. The basic process for the adoption of an adult is the same as for the adoption of a minor. 311 West Saratoga Street, Baltimore, MD 21201, Maryland’s Federally Approved Family First Prevention Plan, Two-Generation Family Economic Security Commission, Mobile Point of Sale Equipment Program (MPOSEP), Statewide Nutrition Assistance Equipment Program (SNAEP), The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Request for Expressions of Interest Archives, Reporting Suspected Child Abuse or Neglect, Notification of Petition for Guardianship and Adoption. The court also issues a show cause order that is sent to parents in cases when parental rights have not been terminated. Code, Family Law Title 5, Subtitle 3A. These children are already legally free for adoption, and are in need of a permanent family. Code, Family Law § 5-3B-22. Read the Law: Md. Adoption Leave This law states that employers who provide leave with pay to an employee following the birth of the employee’s child shall provide the same leave with pay to an employee when a child is placed with the employee for adoption. If signed on or after July 1, 2007, the consent of a child to an adoption shall be substantially in the applicable form set forth at the end of this Title as Form 9-102.6 (Consent of Child to a Public Agency Adoption or Private Agency Adoption) or Form 9-102.7 (Consent of Child to an Independent Adoption). Code, Family Law § 5-331, § 5-3A-29, § 5-3B-13, Read the Regulation: Code of Md. Maryland families don't have to be wealthy to be approved to adopt or provide foster care for a child. The court will also make sure that all the proper paperwork has been done. By law, no birth parent can change his or her mind once the contract for the MD adoption is set up. Code, Family Law § 5-339, § 5-351, § 5-3A-35, § 5-3B-21. We make every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information and to clearly explain your options. Code, Family Law § 5-338, § 5-350, § 5-3A-35, § 5-3B-20, § 5-3B-22. In an independent adoption, the parent has 30 days after signing consent to revoke. Read the Law: Md. Read the Law: Md. In some cases, children are unable to be returned home to their parents or relatives for many different reasons. Any adult may adopt. Rule 9-103 lists in detail what information must be included in the petition, and what additional documents must be filed as exhibits along with the petition. He compared opening adoption records to allowing a third party to review the … A married couple must adopt jointly, unless the spouse is legally separated from the adopting spouse, is deemed incompetent, or is the child’s parent and approves of the adoption. Code, Family Law § 5-338, § 5-350, § 5-3A-35, § 5-3B-20, Read the Law: Md. Maryland Adoption Leave Law Employers that provide paid parental leave following the birth of a child must make the same amount of leave available to adoptive parents. Laws Related to Intercountry Adoption Effect and Recognition of a Foreign Adoption Decree. Maryland does not bar adults from being adopted. Adoption is the creation of a parent-child relationship by judicial order between people who are not a natural parent and a child. Ask to speak to someone about becoming an approved foster/adoptive family. Independent adoptions generally refer to adoptions arranged by and between a biological parent and a prospective adoptive parent, and the biological parents and prospective parents negotiate with one another (either directly or through lawyers). People who choose to adopt are very special. Maryland’s Adoption Laws. Speak to your adoption attorney about your options. The local department may recommend to the Court that the child’s “permanency plan” be changed to adoption. Code, Family Law Title 5, Subtitle 3B. In independent adoptions, the court cannot enter an order of adoption until the revocation period expires. If the parental rights have not been terminated, and the parents are still alive, at least one parent will need to consent. Our program is a foster to adopt program. Code of Md. Your local department of social services will educate you about the Maryland Adoption Assistance Program. The child will have your name and the … The new law, found in Maryland Family Law Article 5-3B-27, applies to an adoption by “1) an individual who is the spouse of the prospective adoptees mother at the time of the child’s conception or birth; OR 2) an individual who, together with the prospective adoptee’s mother, consented to the conception of the prospective adoptee by means of assisted reproduction with the shared express … MARYLAND ADOPTION LAWS & STATUTES Who can adopt in Maryland? In these cases, the local department would begin the process of locating an adoptive home for the child. This law applies only to employers with at least 15 employees. In a public agency adoption, the court must rule on the adoption within 180 days, but after the show cause order and time for revocation expires. Have not had contact with the child while the petitioner had custody; Have not contributed to the child’s support; Have been convicted of serious crimes of violence. Cross reference: See Code, Family Law Article, §§ 5-307 and 5-338 as to a Public Agency Adoption without Prior TPR; 5-307 and 5-350 as to a Public Agency Adoption after TPR; 5-3A-07 and 5-3A-35 as to a Private Agency Adoption; and 5-3B-06 and 5-3B-20 as to an Independent Adoption. Once you become an approved foster/adoptive family in Maryland, local department of social services staff will be available to help prospective foster/adoptive parents search for children that are legally free for adoption, using the AdoptUSKids database service. If the parent who does not consent is still alive, the court can still grant the adoption if the parent cannot be located, has not been in contact with the department for 180 days, and fails to object to notice of the adoption put in the newspaper. Attend a Foster/Adoptive Parent Information Meeting held by the local department. Read the Law: Md. If you are interested in becoming an approved foster/adoptive family the following steps should be taken: Adopt US Kids, is an initiative of the federal Department of Health and Human Services’ Children’s Bureau that was developed and operated by a collaboration of nationally recognized organizations that include the University of Texas, Austin School of Social Work, Northwest Adoption Exchange, North American Council on Adoptable Children, The Adoption Exchange, and spearheaded by the Adoption Exchange Association. For example, you may request a specific age range, gender, and special needs of a child. An adult adoption can be finalized as soon as 45-60 days. See their website for more details, Read the Law: Md. The adopting parent must list the desired name of the adoptee in the petition and on the MDH Certificate of Adoption form. The petitioner and the natural parents may enter into an agreement to grant visitation after the adoption. Md. Call Our Toll Free Adoptive Family Help Line 866-910-5615 24 Hours a Day — 7 Days a Week to talk with a live person about our adoption services. When it comes to laws that govern Maryland adoption, trying to find a quick and simple answer can be frustrating. Read the Law: Md. The person to be adopted may revoke consent up until the court grants adoption. Finally, the court will either grant or deny the petition. Private agencies may revoke consent within 14 days of signing the consent or 14 days of the petition filing, whichever is later. Maryland law requires that the legal guardians of the person to be adopted consent to the adoption. Critics say law is mistake "The Maryland legislature made a terrible mistake," said William Pierce, president of the National Council for Adoption, a Washington right-to-privacy group. Anyone who has a right to be a part of the proceeding has 30 days to object to the adoption. Adoption Services develops permanent families for children who cannot live with or safely reunite with their birth parents or extended birth families. Regulations Title 7, Subtitle 2, Code of Md. Type family law topics in the Title Search box to filter by adoption, child custody, visitation, child support, divorce, guardianship, domestic violence, juvenile, change of name, financial, etc. By law, the birth parent must hand over the rights of the child. Complete at least 27 hours of training with your foster care agency. In Maryland, we dually approve our resource families as foster/adoptive homes. Since 2009, Maryland provides employee benefits to the same-sex partners of state employees. The court will also make a determination about the fitness of the petitioner to be parents. You are free to copy the information for your own use or for other non-commercial purposes with the following language “Source: Maryland's People’s Law Library – www.peoples-law.org. Contact the Local Department of Social Services (LDSS) in the county where you reside. If the natural parents can be found, they are given the opportunity to consent or object to the adoption. If you do not know which agency facilitated the adoption, the Adoption Search Contact and Reunion Services office of the Department of Human Services may be able to assist you in finding the medical records you are looking for. The State of Maryland Adoption Program also utilizes the AdoptUSKids photolisting service to feature some of the available children who are legally free for adoption in Maryland. Most Maryland family law court forms are in this index. Md. But there is a whole different set of rules that must be navigated when the adoption is of a child from overseas. Read the Law: Md. Read the Law: Md. In the absence of file-specific attribution or copyright, the Maryland Thurgood Marshall State Law Library may hold the copyright to parts of this website. A critical part of our evaluation is called our Home Study. When the court orders an adoption, it also ends the parental rights and responsibilities of the natural parents. Code, Family Law § 5-308, § 5-3A-08, § 5-3B-07. In private agency adoptions, the court may not enter an order for adoption until 30 days after the agency received the order for guardianship of the child. If the child becomes legally free, the foster parents (prospective adoptive parents) may adopt the child. This meeting will help you learn all about becoming an approved foster/adoptive family. Deployment Leave Read the Law: Md. Family Law § 5-3B-04(d) Maryland adoption laws and international adoptions In Maryland, an adoption immigration lawyer frequently encounters people who would like to consider adopting a child from another country. The Maryland adoption law establishes three separate paths for a child to be adopted: adoption with a county department of social services, adoption with a private licensed adoption agency, and private adoption with attorneys. adoption records, the current Maryland law,the current laws of other states, and legal various and policy arguments for and against retroactively opening adoption records in Maryland. Under Maryland law spouses must join in the adoption unless they are legally separated. Maryland Adoptions Can Be Costly Believe it or not, but the filthy rich … The child will have your name and the same legal rights as a child by birth. Parents and other close relatives may put a child up for adoption without a license. These arrangements are made when the child is placed with you and will continue after the adoption is finalized. Maryland adoption laws are a concern for people hoping to bring a child into their home. Code, Family Law § 5-3A-31, § 5-3B-16. The legal responsibility of the local department ends when the adoption is finalized in a court of law. Although many of the children have special needs, their greatest need is for a permanent family where they can be loved and nurtured by dedicated individuals. For most independent adoptions, the petitioner will need the consent of all living parents. The Maryland Thurgood Marshall State Law Library, a court-related agency of the Maryland Judiciary, sponsors this site. In Maryland the maximum monthly adoption assistance payment shall not exceed the applicable foster care board rates, which are as follows: The amount of the adoption assistance payment for a child adopted by his or her treatment foster parents may not exceed the foster care payment received by the treatment foster parents up to a maximum of $2000. Maryland Child Adoption Laws. Prospective parents in Maryland can be single, married, or part of a same sex couple. It is not required that the petitioner be married. There are many children in Maryland that want nothing more than to become part of a loving stable family. Has had custody of the child for more than 180 days, and, Has significant emotional ties to the petitioner. Maryland law requires that the legal guardians of the person to be adopted consent to the adoption. MARYLAND ADOPTION LAWS & STATUTES Each state maintains its own adoption policies, so the process can vary considerably for families, from state to state. Therefore, the foster parents (prospective adoptive parents) take the risk of having the child removed from their home, but the child does not face the risk of living in many foster homes before the court makes a decision. Financial Assistance: Financial and medical help to support a child’s adoptive placement is called Adoption Assistance. Read the Law: Md. If parental rights have been terminated, only agency consent is required. Private Agency Adoption - Any person or organization that places children for adoption must be licensed through the Social Services Administration. For more information about adoption laws and procedures, see the People's Law Library. Before starting to search for a child to adopt or an agency to assist you, it is a good idea for you understand how the adoption laws in Maryland may affect your decisions. Family Law § 5-3B-04(c) An order for adoption entered in compliance with a foreign jurisdiction’s laws shall have the same legal effect as an order for adoption entered in this State. The adoption process begins with a petition for adoption. A legal adoption process in Maryland does not automatically result in permanent resident or citizen status for a foreign born child. You may also indicate if you are interested in a sibling placement. Child Adoption Laws Maryland. Once the child is deemed legally free for adoption, the local department would move forward with finalizing the child’s adoption. 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. 8:30 am - 8:00 pm, Mon - Fri, Md. OBCs are currently available only by court order. Some families have birth children, and some don’t. They have a strong belief that all children deserve a loving family to call their own. State law permits single LGBT adults and … In some cases, a child may be in an approved foster/adoptive home; however the family is not interested in adopting the child. The most important consideration in the hearing is what is in the best interest of the person to be adopted. Adoption is the legal and emotional acceptance into your family of a child not born to you. Click the following link to read the child adoption laws of Maryland, or the following link to find the adoption laws of other states. Maryland Minimum Wage and Overtime Law. There are many steps involved in making a child legally free for adoption. However, both public and private agencies will provide direct assistance or referral services when asked, even after the adoption is finalized. However we do not provide legal advice - the application of the law to your individual circumstances. Code, Family Law § 5-338. Non-identifying medical information can be requested directly from the agency that facilitated the adoption. Potential Challenges to Inclusive LGBT Adoption Laws While it is unconstitutional for married same-sex couples to be denied the right to adopt by a state agency, unfortunately, there are several states which have passed laws against gay adoption based on religious freedom. When the petition is filed, the clerk of the juvenile court sends notice of the filing to each person who is required to give consent and attorneys for the child and parents. In most cases, the child has been in your home for 12 months or longer. This organization also provides technical assistance to local departments of social services throughout the United States. Adoption Laws in Maryland There are also cases, where the local department may be searching for an adoptive home for a child. Attend a mandatory 27 pre-service training. Have to be a part of a parent-child relationship is no different than the relationship between natural... § 5-338, § 5-3A-29 bring a child ’ s contact form before. Subtitle 5, department of social Services will educate you about the child will have name... Individual circumstances on www.adoptuskids.org not legal advice found on the DHS website under local Offices 's Law.... S laws will have your name and the parents are still alive, at least 15 employees,... Code, Family Law § 5-338, § 5-3A-33, § 5-350, § 5-3B-21 legal Effect as child. With the plan Law to your individual circumstances information, not legal advice, you must: be least! Called our home Study course emotional ties to the court will also a..., gender, and all three have similar procedures ) consent of child to adoption Records consent of all parents! Creation of a Foreign adoption Decree in your home for the show cause order that sent! State of Maryland the foster parents ( prospective adoptive parents can be on! What to expect at the Maryland department of social Services ( LDSS ) in best! Contract for the Md adoption is of a permanent Family for adoption in Circuit court is no different than relationship! In some cases, the court will either grant or deny the petition filing whichever... Right to object to the court, the court grants adoption 5-338, § 5-3A-34, § 5-3A-29 concern. Months or longer you must: be at least 10 years old, the new relationship... Are not a natural parent and child set up couples are allowed to a! Even newly committed couples are allowed to have a strong belief that all the proper paperwork has done! Has recognized valid same-sex marriages performed in other states and maryland adoption laws Since 2010 one state to.! They can inform you of when the adoption is finalized the show cause order is. The MDH Certificate of adoption form to call their own s adoption Study course relationship is no different the! Adoption Decree deployment Leave when it comes to step parent adoption in Maryland, the local department social! Must hand over the rights of the adopting parent completed in compliance with a petition for adoption the. Of Human Services places children for adoption must be licensed through the social Services LDSS.: Md parents and other close relatives may put a child ’ s last name of the child ’ “... Under local Offices to grant visitation after the adoption by a Maryland resident of a child the! Legally separated laws Related to Intercountry adoption Effect and Recognition of a same sex.... The proper paperwork has been in your home for 12 months or longer up for without... Health histories of the Law to work towards reunifying children with their birth parents or extended birth families access. May enter into an agreement to grant visitation after the adoption Circuit.. Of rules that must be navigated when the next information meeting will be held, then the is! S adoptive placement is called our home Study course, department of Human Services places children for adoption in court. Or deny the petition filing, whichever is later parents throughout Maryland cause order are... In this index a wealth of information is also available to help you learn more about laws. Explain these post-placement requirements in more detail and help you learn more about.... Website and nationally on www.adoptuskids.org from one state to another online ” through photographs and biographies call their own answer! Maryland families do n't have to be a part of a child by birth in making a (. Maryland order of adoption laws are a concern for people hoping to bring a child from.... Consent within 14 days of the petition a concern for people hoping to bring a child - Any or... Name and the same as for the pre-service adoption '' means the adoption of an adult in! Services ( LDSS ) in the hearing is what is in the unless! ” be changed to adoption by a Maryland resident of a minor organization that places children public! Before the hearing out the firm ’ s laws will have your and... Possible for an adopted minor child to take the last name ( Any! Title 7, Subtitle 3A issues when a mother has not consented in an independent adoption brings children! Parent must hand over the rights of the petitioner to be approved to adopt or provide foster care Maryland! Be approved to adopt or provide foster care for a child legally free, the court not. - Any person or organization that places children for adoption without a license consent to the petitioner married. Laws will have your name and the parents a right to be parents and jurisdictions Since 2010 care... Adopt or provide foster care for a child ’ s laws will have your name and the parents are alive. § 5-336, § 5-351, § 5-3B-18 your individual circumstances care in Maryland: adoptions... § 5-348, § 5-3B-18 ) in the petition local departments are mandated by Law, parent! The form for the Md adoption is a wonderful way to build a.. And biographies 2, code of Md the opportunity to consent very careful evaluation of every adopting Family on waiting! Of signing the consent or the petition and on the DHS website and nationally on www.adoptuskids.org sent to parents cases! Rule 9-105 gives the form for the show cause order gives the parents right. Birth certificates § 5-356, § 5-3B-22 directly from the agency itself is often the guardian of the parents! Foster parent or adopt from foster care for a child up for the Md adoption is the best interest the... Deployment Leave when it comes to laws that govern Maryland adoption Finalization hearing a... To become part maryland adoption laws a child from overseas where you reside from the agency facilitated... Online ” through photographs and biographies many different reasons for an adult the. The pre-service Assistance or referral Services when asked, even after the filing of the child for more information adoption! Petitioner be married proceeding has 30 days after the adoption anyone who has a right to be may! Information, not legal advice made when the next information meeting held by the local are! Adults and … Maryland adoption Assistance Program public agency adoption - Any or! Changed to adoption code of Md site offers legal information, not legal advice, you may also indicate you! Call their own original birth certificates as 45-60 days laws & STATUTES who can not enter an order of.. The consent of all living parents speak to someone about becoming an approved foster/adoptive home ; however the is! Court forms are in this index one parent will need to consent a whole set... Either granting or denying the adoption process begins with filing a petition for adoption people who are a! The proper paperwork has been done our evaluation is called adoption Assistance Program 2010... Who has a right to be a part of a Foreign adoption.. Or denying the adoption of an adult adoptee to take the adopting ’! More details, Read the Law, no birth parent must hand over rights! Ask to speak to someone about becoming an approved foster/adoptive home ; however the Family also the. Relationship between a natural parent and child in a court of Law ( 2 consent. Loving stable Family a determination about the fitness of the adoptee in the petition chances of adopting a (! Information available will depend on what was recorded at the time of petitioner! For agency adoptions, the court will either grant or deny the petition filing, is. You with the plan be a part of the adoption of a.! Be wealthy to be returned home to their own Leave when it comes step..., even after the adoption of one spouse ’ s last name ( Any! Prepare for what to expect the DHS website under local Offices petition for must... Will hold a hearing before either granting or denying the adoption is finalized in a sibling placement s.. Support a child to another to parents in cases when parental rights and responsibilities of the to! In private agency adoptions, the state Law permits single LGBT adults …... … Maryland adoption laws and procedures, see the people 's Law Library, child. Or her mind once the child for more details, Read the Regulation: code of.. Your options 5-356, § 5-348, § 5-3B-20, Read the Regulation: code of Md has days! As soon as 45-60 days mental Hygiene Certificate of adoption form and, has emotional! We dually approve our resource families as foster/adoptive homes adoptions in Maryland their... Is what is in the county where you reside begin the process of locating adoptive. A loving stable Family we make every effort to ensure the accuracy of the has. By judicial order between people who are not a natural parent and child all children deserve loving! Statutes who can not live with or safely reunite with their birth parents or birth... Can change his or her mind once the contract for the Md adoption finalized. A part of a same sex couple be frustrating that all children a... County where you reside given the opportunity to consent name desired ) be finalized as soon as 45-60.. That want nothing more than to become part of a Foreign adoption Decree on www.adoptuskids.org process of an., code of Md is no different than the relationship between a natural parent and a hearing before either or!