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What should I know about adoption in Maryland?

Some people who are trying to expand their family might not be able to do so in the traditional manner. Some people might be able to expand their family in a traditional manner but aren’t willing to do so. For those families, the answer might be adoption. There are several things that a person who is trying to adopt a child in Maryland should know.

Who can adopt a child in Maryland?

Any adult can adopt a child in Maryland as long as they successfully go through the adoption process. The adult can’t be the child’s biological parent. The adult isn’t required to be married to adopt a child; however, if the adult is married, the spouse must go through the adoption process unless certain conditions are present. An adult who is legally separated wouldn’t have to include his or her spouse on the adoption petition.

Does the child have to agree to the adoption?

The age of the child determines if the child has to agree to the adoption. If the child is 10 years old or older, the child would have to agree with the adoption in order for it to proceed.

How does the adoption process start?

The adoption process in Maryland starts with a petition to adopt. That petition must be filed with the court to get the process started.

You might have some questions about the adoption process in Maryland. If you are considering adoption, learning about the process and finding out about your rights can help you to decide if adoption is the right option for you.

Source: The People's Law Library of Maryland, “Adoption,” accessed Nov. 17, 2015

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