Will adoption of child cost Maryland family their pet?

A Maryland family generously opened their home to a young cousin who had been living in foster care in another state. However, in order to adopt the child, they may have to give up a family dog that they adopted five years ago. The family has already signed an agreement that, if government authorities who are overseeing the child’s case so request, they will get rid of the dog.

As a Howard County adoption lawyer would tell Maryland residents, Maryland adoption laws give state social welfare agencies considerable input when a family seeks to adopt a child under their supervision.

Before consenting to an adoption, these authorities can require the family seeking to adopt to make certain changes in their home. These requirements can include getting rid of pets that the authorities deem dangerous.

The trouble with this family’s dog is that it is part pit bull. Even though by the family’s account the dog is gentle and good around children, the state agency has its concerns because of the dog’s breed. Pit bulls have a bad reputation for aggression. Nevertheless, the family hopes to get permission to keep the animal.

A social worker managing the case has met the dog and spoke favorably about the animal, saying it would be a “shame” if the dog has to leave the home.

Nevertheless, just to be safe, the family is actively seeking another good home for their pet. The family fears that if the dog winds up in an animal shelter, he will be difficult to place and may ultimately be put down.

Adoption can mean making considerable financial and personal sacrifices. While many families will find these sacrifices well worth it, a Maryland adoption lawyer may be able to help those families bring home another child with as little cost and personal expense as possible.


WGRZ, “Maryland family may lose pet over adoption,” Jan. 30, 2013.

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