A Maryland adoption attorney — typically a lawyer with a family law practice representing individuals and families — is in an excellent position to represent the interests of those who want to pursue adoption. If that is you, you've found the right law firm. We've handled thousands of cases spanning the full range of family law practice.
When it comes to Maryland adoption, we will help you make the choice between a traditional "closed" adoption, where the parents and adoptive family are not revealed to each other, and an "open" adoption, where not only the biological mother and father and adoptive parents are known to each other, but arrangements allow for visitation.
It's basically the difference between anonymity and an ongoing relationship with minimal or heavy involvement. You decide, but we can help you make that decision. Call 443-709-9999 or send us an e-mail to arrange a consultation.
The Adoption Process in Maryland
The most common types of adoptions include:
- Stepparent adoptions (and those that arise out of an existing familial relationship) — These adoptions formalize an existing relationship.
- Agency adoptions — An agency acts as a go-between and handles much of the adoption process for you.
- Independent adoptions — The birth mother and father have more control over how their child is placed with prospective adoptive parents.
Every type of adoption can be either contested — usually meaning that a birth parent is against the adoption of his or her child — or uncontested. An uncontested adoption (typically a stepparent adoption) is one of the least costly types of adoption and is also the most common. On the other hand, international adoptions can cost thousands of dollars and involve complex provisions of law.
No matter which type of adoption you pursue, we will help you. With years of experience in the practice of family law (serving clients throughout Maryland since 1992), we've been inside nearly every single courthouse in the state.
Stepparent Adoptions under Maryland Law
Stepparent adoption is the process of formalizing a relationship that you probably already have with your spouse's son or daughter. But it gives you the same parental rights as though you were the biological parent. As a stepparent, you can make important decisions and be fully present in your stepson's or stepdaughter's life.
When you remarry, your new spouse often has kids from a prior marriage. That's why stepparent adoptions are the most common type of adoption. They're usually uncontested and relatively uncomplicated. As we wrote above, you are formalizing the relationship you've built with your spouse's kids since you began dating.
But there can be one big problem. You need consent from the other biological parent.
- Since the consent of the other biological parent is generally required for the stepparent adoption to happen, that parent will be giving up his or her parental rights. This is a difficult thing to do.
Occasionally, stepparent adoptions involve actively terminating the parental rights of the other parent, which complicates the process.
Attorneys for Adoption in Baltimore, Maryland
We recognize that adoption is a thoughtful process, not a one-time, impersonal transaction. The emotional issues in adoption are no different than in divorce because it's about your family.
To that end, feel free to contact us at 443-709-9999 for more information about Maryland adoption and whether it's right for you.