Maryland Adoption Attorneys Assist Prospective Parents
Established Glen Burnie firm handles all types of placements
If you would like to add to your family through adoption, the lawyers at Forman Clothier Law Group, LLC in Glen Burnie bring a unique perspective to this process. As an adoptee herself, firm partner Jenna Forman Clothier understands the impact adoption can have on one’s life. Adoptive parent Alan S. Forman will use his personal experience to ensure that you are prepared for this journey. Our firm assists prospective parents throughout Maryland, and you can trust us to provide reliable advice and personalized service as you seek to complete your placement.
What is Maryland’s adoption process?
Adoption isn’t just a joyous event, but a profound responsibility. You must provide extensive documentation regarding your background and financial situation. Following that, you must agree to an interview and home study to determine if your home will be a suitable environment for a young person. Additionally, any child who is at least 10 years old must consent to the adoption. Should everything be in order, the judge will issue a decree granting you legal parenthood.
What types of adoptions are available in Maryland?
Various options exist when a Maryland resident or family chooses to bring a child into their home through adoption. Our experienced family lawyers can advise you on the various choices you need to make pertaining to:
- Public and private agency adoptions — Children who are under the care of the state’s Department of Human Services because their parents are deceased or have lost their legal rights can be placed for a public agency adoption. Private adoption agencies must be licensed by the state.
- Independent adoptions — When the parties to an adoption connect without the assistance of a placement agency or government agency, it is referred to as an independent adoption. This frequently occurs when another family member or stepparent seeks to establish parental rights.
- Same-sex adoptions — Under Maryland law, same-sex couples are entitled to adopt children. In certain situations, one partner in a same-sex relationship might wish to adopt their partner’s biological son or daughter.
- International adoptions — Depending on a family’s specific circumstances and priorities, an international placement might be the best option. These adoptions can be quite complicated, but we can outline the steps you need to take here as well as the regulations set forth by the child’s birth country.
- Open, semi-open and closed adoptions — The description of an adoption as open or closed hinges on the type of placement the birth mother and adoptive parents will have after the placement is completed. In an open adoption, the parties will communicate directly, while a semi-open process gives the biological mother the opportunity to learn about the child over their lifetime through updates from a third party. A closed adoption is where the parties cut off contact once the placement is finalized.
- Stepparent and grandparent adoptions — When a custodial parent remarries and the noncustodial parent is not willing or able to uphold their responsibilities, a stepparent adoption might be appropriate. Likewise, a grandparent could seek to adopt their grandchild in cases where the parents are deceased, abusive or neglectful.
- Surrogacy adoptions — Depending on the circumstances, it might be necessary for the intended parents in a surrogacy agreement to adopt the child shortly after birth. This could be the case if the surrogate is in another state or if a pre-birth parentage order was not obtained for some other reason.
Each process differs, but once successful, the outcome is the same. We represent birth parents, adoptive parents and adoptees from all over Maryland, other states and foreign countries.
How are parental rights terminated?
Parents who recognize that they are no longer capable of providing adequate care for their child may voluntarily surrender their parental rights so that their son or daughter can be adopted into another family. In other cases, the birth parent(s) could object, necessitating a contested court proceeding to decide if their parental rights should be terminated.
Who can adopt a child in Maryland?
Maryland does not restrict adoption among certain residents in the way that some other states have over the years. Any adult can adopt a child as long as they can ensure the child’s safety and welfare. Discrimination is not permitted based on prospective parent’s marital status, sexual orientation, gender, race or ethnic background. Likewise, the law does not favor homeowners over renters.
Contact a knowledgeable Maryland adoption lawyer for a free consultation
If you would like to learn more about moving ahead with the adoption process, turn to the trustworthy attorneys at Forman Clothier Law Group, LLC in Glen Burnie. For a free consultation, please call 410-324-3140 or contact us online. Our team proudly serves individuals and families from all over Maryland, other states and foreign countries.