Adopting a child is a big and life-changing step for a person or a couple. There are many children that need homes with loving families throughout Baltimore and the State of Maryland. However, it is important to ensure that you take the appropriate steps when it comes to adopting a child in Baltimore. If you wish to adopt a child in Baltimore, you should consult with an experienced Baltimore adoption attorney as soon as possible.
We at the Law Offices of Randolph Rice would like to help you on your journey to adopt a child. The decision to adopt a child can be extremely rewarding for a family, and we are prepared to guide you through the adoption process in Baltimore. To schedule a free legal consultation to discuss the details of your adoption case, contact the Law Offices of Randolph Rice at (410) 694-7291. You may also contact the firm online to schedule your appointment with our skilled attorneys.
How Do I Adopt a Baby in Baltimore?
The process of adoption is when a judicial order is passed that creates a legal parent and child relationship between two people who are not biologically related. Once a court allows a parent to adopt a child, the parental rights of the biological parents will be extinguished. It is also possible for an adult to adopt another adult in Maryland.
In Maryland, there are three types of adoption that a prospective parent can perform:
- Public agency adoptions – Public agency adoption is a program that is operated by the State of Maryland. Children in Maryland’s adoption program were typically saved from their homes due to abuse or neglect.
- Private agency adoptions – Private adoption agencies are licensed by the Social Security Administration. These private agencies offer prospective parents many services such as counseling, assistance with adoption application, home study, and placement services.
- Independent adoptions – Independent adoptions do not involve orphanages and foster homes. Instead, the adoptive parent and the biological parent and allow parents to adopt children or adults based on the best interests of the child.
While there are some differences between the adoption procedures used in each type of adoption, much of the legal procedure remains the same. The Law Offices of Randolph Rice is here to help guide you through the process of adoption. To learn more about the requirements for adoption in Maryland, you should continue reading and speak with an experienced Baltimore adoption lawyer as soon as possible.
Adoption Requirements in Baltimore, MD
When adopting a child in Maryland, it is important for a prospective parent to understand the many requirements they will have to fulfill.
Age, Marriage Status, and More
One initial requirement is that the adult performing the adoption cannot be the natural parent of the child, and they must be at least 21 years of age. Additionally, while Maryland does not require the petitioner to be married, a married adoption petitioner’s spouse will be automatically included in the process to adopt a child. However, there are some exceptions. If the spouses are separated, or one spouse is already the biological parent of the child, they will not have to be included in the adoption petition.
Consent for the Adoption
You should be aware that it is possible for an adoption agency to revoke consent for the adoption until the point the court approves the adoption. Revocation of consent can also vary depending on the type of adoption being performed and the wishes of the subject of the adoption. For example, a private agency could revoke their consent within 14 days of providing consent.
It is also required for the adopting parent to seek consent for the adoption. Specifically, the adopting parent must obtain consent from the legal guardians of the child, which could be the natural parents or the adoption agency caring for the child. Additionally, if one parent of the child is absent, it is possible for the other parent to provide consent for the adoption. If the absent parent does not respond to the published adoption notice or does not make contact with the agency, they will be unable to challenge the adoption.
Once a petition has been filed with the court, a notice of the hearing will be sent to all interested parties. The court will then set a hearing to decide whether to approve or deny the petition for adoption. When determining an adoption petition, there are a number of factors that the court will consider:
- The best interests of the child
- Whether the petitioner is financially capable of caring for the child
- Whether the petitioner has a criminal history or the criminal background of other persons that live with the petitioner
- The living conditions of the petitioner
This is not an exhaustive list. There are other factors the court may consider when determining whether to approve a petition for adoption.
Speak with Our Experienced Baltimore Adoption Lawyer Today
If you and your spouse want to get started on the adoption process, you should work with an experienced Baltimore adoption lawyer today. The skilled legal team at the Law Offices of Randolph Rice possesses years of experience handling complex legal claims, and we would be pleased to use this knowledge to assist you in your adoption claim. To schedule your free case evaluation to handle your adoption case with our Maryland family law attorneys, contact the Law Offices of Randolph Rice at (410) 694-7291. You may also schedule your free consultation by using our online submission form.