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ADOPTION IN
Maryland
Maryland

Domestic Infant Adoptions can be completed through an adoption agency or adoption attorney domestically. Click here for a directory of adoption service providers in Maryland.

International Adoptions must be completed through an accredited adoption agency internationally. Find an international adoption service provider here.

Foster Care Adoptions in Maryland can be completed through the Department of Human Resources. Parents will need to contact their Local Department of Social Services in the county they reside in to learn more about the adoption process.

Gallery of children waiting to be adopted.

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The information contained on this website is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional legal advice. Always seek the advice of a licensed and qualified professional. While the content of this website is frequently updated, information changes rapidly and therefore, some information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies, omissions or typographical errors.


 

Can I Adopt in Maryland?

Applicants can be single, married, or divorced. You must be at least 21 years old to adopt. Parents must be financially stable to support a growing family. You can own a home or rent. Applicants will need good physical and mental health. Hopeful parents must attend 27 hours of pre-service training to become a foster/adoptive parent.

 

What Adoption Regulations Exist in Maryland?

Advertising: A person may not charge or receive, from or for a parent or prospective adoptive parent, any compensation for placement of an individual to live with a pre-adoptive family or an agreement for custody in contemplation for adoption. Fam. Law §§ 5-362

 

Relinquishment: Consent to an adoption can be given any time after the child’s birth. Parents have 30 days after signing consent to revoke, or 30 days after the adoption petition is filed. After this time period the consent becomes irrevocable. A department, guardian, or the adopted child may revoke consent at any time up until the final adoption decree. Fam. Law § 5-3B-21(2); 5-339; 5-351

 

Birth parent expenses: In agency adoptions, hospital, legal, and medical fees are permitted. In independent adoptions, adoption counseling, legal, or medical fees are permitted. Fam. Law §§ 5-3A-45; 5-3B-32

 

Post-adoption contact agreements: Contact agreements in Maryland are legally enforceable by a juvenile court or another Maryland court. The prospective adoptive parents and the birth parents may enter into a written agreement to allow contact after adoption finalization between the adoptee and his/her family. Fam. Law § 5-308

 

Birth father rights: While no putative father registry exists in Maryland, the birth parents may sign an affidavit of parentage, which constitutes as a legal finding of paternity. Fam. Law § 5-1028

 

Finalization: Out of 265 adoptions completed in 2014, the average time between TPR and adoption finalization was 6.9 months. (acf.hhs.gov)

 

Review Maryland adoption laws in detail.

 

Is Adoption Assistance Available in Maryland?

Many of the children waiting to be adopted in Maryland have special needs. Federal (Title IV-E) and state (non-IV-E) programs exist to help adoptive parents meet their child’s needs. In Maryland, the max monthly amount ranges from $835-965 a month. For more information on adoption assistance visit NACAC.org.

 

Can I adopt a Child from another country?

It is always possible to adopt a child from another country, even if you live in the United States. Children under 18 adopted from a Hague Convention country entering the U.S. with an IH-3 visa may automatically receive U.S. citizenship.

 

Children adopted from a non convention country must qualify as orphans before receiving U.S. citizenship. When U.S. citizens finalize an adoption abroad, they must apply to the USCIS for an IR-3 visa for the child. An IR-3 visa classifies the child as an immigrant and provides the child with citizenship upon arrival in the States.

 

Maryland currently gives full effect and recognition to adoptions completed abroad in compliance with foreign and U.S. laws. Readoption is an option in Maryland, but not required. Maryland currently accepts foreign adoption decrees when parents petition the court for a U.S. birth certificate for their child.

 

State Contacts

 

Gallery of children waiting to be adopted: https://adoption.com/photolisting?page=1&search_type=region&range=UnitedStates

 

State subsidy contact:

Sean Bloodsworth

Department of Human Resources (DHR)

Social Services Administration

311 W. Saratoga Street

Baltimore, MD 21201

410-767-7912 • fax: 410-333-6556

sean.bloodsworth@maryland.gov

 

Summary

Adoptions in Maryland can be completed through the Department of Human Resources.

 

Applicants can be single, married, or divorced. You must be at least 21 years old to adopt. Parents must be financially stable to support a growing family.

A person may not charge or receive, from or for a parent or prospective adoptive parent, any compensation for placement of an individual to live with a pre-adoptive family or an agreement for custody in contemplation for adoption.

 

Consent can be given any time after the child’s birth. Parents have 30 days after signing consent to revoke.

 

In agency adoptions, hospital, legal, and medical fees are permitted. In independent adoptions, counseling, legal, or medical fees are permitted. Contact agreements are legally enforceable.

While no putative father registry exists, the birth parents may sign an affidavit of parentage.

The average time between TPR and adoption finalization in 2014 was 6.9 months.

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