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Adopting in Maryland

Adoption in Maryland

Maryland loves their blue crab. They are also pretty supportive when it comes to the adoption process. Any adult may adopt, and adoptions can be finalized out of state. Adoptive Families can financially support the Birth Mom through pregnancy and postpartum by covering the cost of medical, living and any transportation and accommodation expenses related to pregnancy or court appearance. For as small as it is, Maryland has extraordinarily varied environments - marshes, freshwater rivers, beaches and dense forests.

Home Study Providers in Maryland

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Adoption Attorneys in Maryland

6 Adoption Agencies in MD

5 AAAA Attorneys in MD

Academy of Adoption & Assisted Reproduction Attorneys

  • Attorney
    Jeffrey Ewen Badger
    P.O. Box 259
    Salisbury, MD 21803
    (410) 749-2356
    (410) 749-8731
    Services Offered Contested Adoption, Domestic Adoption, Interstate (ICPC) Adoption
  • Attorney
    Margaret "Peggy" Swain
    P.O. Box 219
    Riderwood, MD 21139
    (443) 857-3350
    (410) 558-6456
    Services Offered Assisted Reproduction, Domestic Adoption, Intercountry Adoption, Interstate (ICPC) Adoption, LGBT Family Formation, Egg Donation, Embryo Donation, Sperm Donation, Surrogacy
  • Attorney
    Catelyn Slattery
    827 Woodside Parkway
    Silver Spring, MD 20910
    (240) 245-7765
    (240) 491-9551
    Services Offered Contested Adoption, Domestic Adoption, Grandparent Representation, Interstate (ICPC) Adoption, LGBT Family Formation
  • Attorney
    Harvey Schweitzer
    4520 East-West Highway, Suite 700
    Bethesda, MD 20814
    (301) 469-3382
    (301) 469-3371
    Services Offered Contested Adoption, Domestic Adoption, Grandparent Representation, Interstate (ICPC) Adoption, Special Needs Children, Private Networking
  • Attorney
    Jennifer Fairfax
    Silver Spring, MD
    (240) 863-2441
    (240) 491-9551
    Services Offered Assisted Reproduction, Domestic Adoption, Grandparent Representation, Interstate (ICPC) Adoption, LGBT Family Formation, Private Networking, Egg Donation, Embryo Donation, Sperm Donation, Surrogacy
  • Attorney
    Cheryl L. Hepfer
    Bethesda, MD
    (240) 507-1717
    Services Offered Domestic Adoption, Mediation

Traveling For Your Adoption in Maryland

Length of ICPC
in Maryland

N/A days

Email: charles.gentemann@Maryland.Gov

Maryland adheres to the Interstate Compact On The Placement of Children (ICPC) – a uniform law in all 50 States that establishes procedures for the interstate placement of children. The ICPC also places specific responsibilities on those involved in placing the children. The three principle goals of the ICPC are to:

Protect the children being placed.
Ensure that they receive the services they need.
Facilitate permanent placements for those children who are in state custody

Adoption Law FAQ in Maryland

Advertising Law Info

Adoption Law Info

  • Who Can Adopt?
    Any adult may adopt. A married couple must adopt jointly, unless the spouse is legally separated from the adopting spouse, is deemed incompetent, or is the child’s parent and approves of the adoption.
  • Can out-of-state residents finalize an adoption?
  • Can adopting parents use an adoption facilitator or another paid intermediary?
  • What birth parent expenses may be paid, and in what time period?
    Reasonable and customary medical and legal expenses may be paid, as well as costs for adoption related counseling. In addition, as of 2013, prospective adoptive parents may also pay reasonable expenses for:

    • transportation for medical care associated with the pregnancy or birth of the child;
    • food, clothing, and shelter for a birth mother, if, on written advice of a physician, the birth mother is unable to work or otherwise support herself because of medical reasons associated with the pregnancy or birth of the child;
    • any required court appearance relating to the adoption, including transportation, food, and lodging expenses.

    There is no particular time limit, but a reasonableness standard is likely to be considered by the court
  • When does consent become irrevocable? If consent is revoked, is return to birth parent automatic?
    30 days after signing. Return is automatic.
  • Qualifications for Adoptive Parents for adoption
    Citation: Code of Regs. §§;;
    The length of residence in Maryland is important only when it indicates that the family cannot provide a stable living environment for a child.
    Adoptive parents shall be at least age 18. Additionally, the age of an adoptive parent shall be evaluated in relation to that of the child considered for placement, unless the local department finds that other factors outweigh the importance of age.
    Married couples should have been married long enough to have made basic adjustments to each other and to have established a stable marital relationship. Verification of marriage is required. If single, the person shall have an adequate support system, and sufficient physical and emotional strength to undertake sole parental responsibility for a child.
    When both parents work, the local department shall evaluate the specific employment situation and work schedule to determine the applicant’s ability to fulfill parental responsibilities.
    Adoptive applicants shall provide medical reports to confirm that their physical and emotional health are not hazardous to a child and would not impair their ability to parent a child.
    Home ownership is not required; however, the residence shall have adequate space for an additional family member consistent with the safety and well-being of the total family.
    Family members shall have achieved a sufficient degree of emotional maturity and stability to give them the capacity to meet responsibly the needs of an adopted child.
    The adoptive family’s income shall be sufficient to meet the family’s needs. Actual income is not as important as the family’s capacity to manage sufficiently to meet current family needs, plus the expected needs of another family member or members.
    The local department may not deny an individual the opportunity to become an adoptive parent based on race, color, or national origin of the prospective parent or the child involved.
    All applicants shall complete 27 hours of preservice training.

Home Study Info

  • Elements of a Home Study for Adoption
    Citation: Code of Regs. §§;;
    Each residence shall obtain a sanitary home approval and fire safety approval. If the home uses a local health department-approved water supply and sewage disposal, sanitary approval may be waived, if there is no question of an unusual health hazard. The residence shall meet the standards for general household safety requirements.
    Adoptive applicants shall provide the names and addresses of three individuals as references, only one of whom may be a relative. The local department shall make face-to-face contact with at least two of the three references and request references from school personnel for school-aged children in the prospective adoptive family.
    The home study shall consist of a minimum of four interviews. Married couples shall be seen separately for at least one interview to evaluate individual commitment and purpose in seeking a child through adoption. Individual interviews shall be conducted for each family member as appropriate to the situation and the age of the family member.
    Before an adoptive home may be approved, an applicant and all household members age 18 and older shall apply for a criminal background investigation. In addition, the applicant and all household members age 18 and older shall consent to a child protective services clearance to determine if there is a prior indicated or unsubstantiated finding of abuse or neglect for any family or household member.
    Before an adoptive home may be approved, the local department shall conduct a background check of child support arrearages on an applicant and consider any arrearage in determining approval or disapproval of the home.
  • Grounds for Withholding Approval for Adoption
    Citation: Code of Regs. §
    The local department may not approve or continue to approve as an adoptive home any home in which an adult in the household has been convicted of:
    • A crime, if the local department feels there is serious concern for a child’s safety
    • Any crime enumerated in 42 U.S.C. 671(a)(20)
    The local department may not approve or continue to approve as an adoptive home any home in which an individual:
    • Refuses to consent to the child protective services clearance
    • Has an indicated child abuse or neglect finding
    The director of the local department shall review unsubstantiated rulings related to any adult in the household to determine the possible risk to a child’s safety. Based on the findings, the local director may deny, suspend, or revoke adoptive home approval.
  • When Home Studies Must Be Completed for Adoption
    Citation: Code of Regs. §
    The local department shall complete the home study within 90 calendar days, except when there are delays caused by crises, problems, or ambivalence in the family.
  • Postplacement Study Requirements for Adoption
    Citation: Code of Regs. §
    Postplacement services shall be provided to all children and families before the adoption is finalized to strengthen and support the family functioning and integration. The agency caseworker shall:
    Visit the adoptive family as often as indicated, but at least three times during the first 6 months following placement
    Use observations during the visits in determining the frequency of visits and the family’s readiness for finalization of the adoption
    Include the child in these visits according to the child’s age and capability
    The agency shall:
    Provide evaluative, supportive, and educational services geared to adoptive family development with emphasis on the unique nature of adoption and its continuing impact on the parent-child relationship
    Place special emphasis on the integrity and continuity of the child’s heritage and genetic histories as to the continuing growth and development of the child as an individual, and to the development of the family as an integrated unit
    Once the family and the caseworker have determined that it is time to finalize the adoption, the caseworker shall:
    Prepare the necessary documents to support the family’s finalization of the adoption
    Acquire the local department director’s consent to the adoption


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