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MARYLAND ADOPTION ATTORNEYS

STEP PARENT ADOPTION/INTERNATIONAL ADOPTION/AGENCY ADOPTION/GUARDIANSHIP

If you are looking to give a young child a new life in Maryland, call us to help you with your adoption needs in Maryland. We hope this page will provide you with some information as to the some of the adoption laws in the State of Maryland. For more information or to make an appointment with SRIS, P.C. Maryland adoption lawyer, please call, send an e-mail or complete the on-line form.

ANNAPOLIS, MARYLAND :
116 Defense Highway, Suite 502
Annapolis, Maryland 21401
Phone: (240) 399-0304

ROCKVILLE, MARYLAND :
One Research Court, Suite 450
Rockville, Maryland 20850
Phone: (240) 399-0304

To obtain a general overview of adoption laws, please click here.

To learn more about the laws pertaining to adoption laws in Virginia, please click on the state.

If you wish to read some of the adoption laws in Maryland, please read the following:

MARYLAND CODE – ADOPTION

Maryland Code, Family Law, § 5-101

Adoptive parent

(b) “Adoptive parent” means an individual who completes adoption of another individual.

Child placement agency

(c) “Child placement agency” means:
(1) a local department; or
(2) a private agency that is licensed by the Social Services Administration of the Department under § 5-507 of this title, or by a comparable governmental unit of another state, to place children.

Maryland Adoption Without Prior Termination of Parental Rights

§ 5-331. Petition

Authorized

(a) Before termination of parental rights as to a child, a petition for adoption of the child may be filed only as provided in this Part III of this subtitle.

Service

(b) On issuance of a show cause order as to adoption of a child under this section, a petitioner shall serve the order on:
(1) each of the child’s living parents who has not consented to the adoption;
(2) each living parent’s last attorney of record in the CINA case; and
(3) the child’s last attorney of record in the CINA case.

§ 5-335. Hearing on adoption petition

Requirement

(a) A juvenile court shall hold a hearing before entering an order for adoption under this Part III of this subtitle.

§ 5-336. Time limits

Maximum limit

(a) Subject to subsection (b) of this section, a juvenile court shall rule on an adoption petition under this Part III of this subtitle promptly but no later than 180 days after the petition is filed.

Construction as voluntary

(c) If a parent consents to adoption in accordance with § 5-338 of this subtitle, loss of parental rights shall be considered voluntary.

§ 5-338. Authority to grant adoption

Consent or acquiescence

(a) A juvenile court may enter an order for a child’s adoption under this Part III of this subtitle only if:
(1)(i) both the child’s parents are dead;
(ii) an administrative, executive, or judicial body of a state or other jurisdiction has granted a governmental unit or person other than a parent the power to consent to adoption, and the unit or person consents;
(iii) parental rights have been terminated in compliance with the laws of a state or other jurisdiction, as described in § 5-305 of this subtitle; or
(iv) 1. at least one of the child’s parents:
A. is represented by an attorney;
B. has had an opportunity to receive adoption counseling and guidance services; and
C. consents to the adoption:
I. in writing; or
II. knowingly and voluntarily, on the record before the juvenile court; and
2. the parent who does not consent:
A. is dead; or
B. I. despite reasonable efforts as provided in § 5-316 of this subtitle, cannot be located;
II. has not contacted the local department with custody of the child or the child for at least 180 days immediately before the filing of the petition; and
III. fails to respond to a show cause order served under § 5-334 of this subtitle;
(2) the director of the local department with custody of the child consents; and
(3) the child:
(i) is represented by an attorney; and
(ii) 1. if at least 10 years old, consents; or
2. if under the age of 10 years, does not object.

Withholding consent

(b) A local department may not withhold consent for the sole reason that the race, religion, color or national origin of a prospective adoptive parent differs from that of the child or parent.

Maryland Law § 5-339. Consent

Contents and attachments

(a)(1) Consent of a parent to an adoption under this Part III of this subtitle may include:
(i) a provision barring a petitioner from learning identifying information about the parent; and
(ii) a waiver of the right to notice of further proceedings under this Part III of this subtitle.
(2) Consent to adoption entered into before a judge on the record shall include a waiver of the revocation period.
(3) Consent of a party to an adoption under this Part III of this subtitle is not valid unless:
(i) the consent is given in a language that the party understands;
(ii) if given in a language other than English, the consent:
1. is given before a judge on the record; or
2. is accompanied by the affidavit of a translator stating that the translation of the document of consent is accurate;
(iii) the consent names the child;
(iv) the consent contains enough information to identify the prospective adoptive parent;
(v) the party has received written notice or on the record notice of:
1. the revocation provisions in subsections (a)(2) and (b)(1) of this section;
2. the search rights of adoptees and parents under § 5-359 of this subtitle and the search rights of adoptees, parents, and siblings under Subtitle 4B of this title; and
3. the right to file a disclosure veto under § 5-359 of this subtitle; and
(vi) the consent is accompanied by an affidavit of counsel appointed under § 5-307(a) of this subtitle, stating that a parent who is a minor or has a disability consents knowingly and voluntarily.

Revocation by parent

(b)(1) Subject to paragraph (2) of this subsection, a parent may revoke consent to adoption under this Part III of this subtitle at any time within the later of:
(i) 30 days after the parent signs the consent; or
(ii) 30 days after the adoption petition is filed.
(2) Consent to adoption under subsection (a)(2) of this section is irrevocable.

Revocation by local department

(c) A local department may revoke consent to an adoption under this Part III of this subtitle at any time before a juvenile court enters an order of adoption under this Part III of this subtitle.

Revocation or objection by child

(d) A child may revoke consent or object to an adoption under this Part III of this subtitle at any time before a juvenile court enters an order of adoption under this Part III of this subtitle.

§ 5-340. Dismissal

If a petition for adoption under this Part III of this subtitle is contested, a juvenile court shall dismiss the petition.

Adoption of adult

(c) Adoption of an adult has the same legal effect as adoption of a minor.

Notice of order

(d)(1) When a juvenile court enters an order for a child’s adoption under this Part III of this subtitle, the juvenile court shall send notice to:
(i) each juvenile court that has a pending CINA case as to the adoptee;
(ii) each of the child’s living, former parents who has not waived the right to notice;
(iii) each living parent’s last attorney of record in the CINA case; and
(iv) the child’s last attorney of record in the CINA case.
(2) Service on a parent under this subsection shall be at the parent’s last address known to the juvenile court.
§ 5-342. Petition to invalidate
If a petition to invalidate an order for adoption under this Part III of this subtitle on the basis of a jurisdictional or procedural defect is filed more than 1 year after entry of the order, a juvenile court shall dismiss the petition.

Part IV. Adoption After Termination of Parental Rights

§ 5-345. Petition

Authorized

(a) If, after termination of parental rights as to a child, there is an open guardianship case, a petition for adoption of the child may be filed only as provided in this Part IV of this subtitle.

§ 5-347. Hearing on adoption petition

Requirement

(a) A juvenile court shall hold a hearing before entering an order for adoption under this Part IV of this subtitle.

Marital status

(b) In ruling on a petition for adoption under this Part IV of this subtitle, a juvenile court may not deny a petition for adoption solely because the petitioner is single or unmarried.

§ 5-350. Authority to grant adoption

Consent

(a) A juvenile court may enter an order for a child’s adoption under this Part IV of this subtitle only if:
(1) for an individual under the age of 18 years, the individual’s guardian consents; and
(2) for an individual who is at least 10 years old, the individual consents.

Withholding consent

(b) A guardian may not withhold consent for the sole reason that the race, religion, color, or national origin of a prospective adoptive parent differs from that of the child or parent.

Revocation by guardian

(b) A guardian may revoke consent to an adoption under this Part IV of this subtitle at any time before a juvenile court enters an order of adoption under this Part IV of this subtitle.

Revocation by child

(c) A child may revoke consent to an adoption under this Part IV of this subtitle at any time before a juvenile court enters an order of adoption under this Part IV of this subtitle.

§ 5-352. Order for adoption

Adoption of adult

(c) Adoption of an adult has the same legal effect as adoption of a minor.

§ 5-3A-01. Definitions

In general

(a) In this subtitle the following words have the meanings indicated.

Child

(b) “Child” means an individual who is the subject of a guardianship or adoption petition under this subtitle.

Guardianship

(c) “Guardianship” means an award, under this subtitle, of any power of a guardian.

Parent

(e)(1) “Parent” means an individual who, at the time a petition for guardianship or adoption is filed under this subtitle or at any time before a court terminates the individual’s parental rights:
(i) meets a criterion in § 5-3A-06(a) of this subtitle; or
(ii) is the mother.
(2) “Parent” does not include an individual whom a court has adjudicated not to be a father or mother.

§ 5-3A-02. Scope of subtitle

Application

(a) This subtitle applies only to:
(1) guardianship by a child placement agency of a child other than a child in need of assistance; and
(2) adoption of the child.

Purposes

(b) The purposes of this subtitle are to:
(1) timely provide permanent and safe homes for children consistent with their best interests;
(2) protect children from unnecessary separation from their parents;
(3) ensure adoption only by individuals fit for the responsibility;
(4) protect parents from making hurried or ill-considered agreements to terminate parental rights;
(5) protect prospective adoptive parents by providing them information about prospective adoptees and their backgrounds; and
(6) protect adoptive parents from a future disturbance of their relationship with adoptees by former parents.

Our Maryland adoption attorneys and staff, who provide adoption assistance speak the following languages in addition to English: Spanish, French, Arabic, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Cantonese, Mandarin & Malaysian.

For more information or to make an appointment with SRIS, P.C., Maryland adoption lawyer, please call, send an e-mail or complete the on-line form

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