Step-parent and Family Adoption Questions

Why step-parent and family adoption?

There are estimated to be over six million children living with step-parents in the United States at this time. One and a half million children live with their grandparents. This is result of death, divorce, separation and unplanned pregnancies, among other causes. Fortunately, today many step-parents are seeking to be more then just the often-maligned step-parent and are becoming more to the child that they live with. They are undertaking to be the parent by adopting the child. Many grandparents also are taking over the primary parenting role for their grandchildren and are becoming parents through adoption.

It is a truly remarkable experience to stand in court with a step-parent who looks at a step-child and tells the court and the child that he chooses the step-child as his own child! A step-parent can give no greater gift to a child than adoption. It also is reassuring to see grandparents stepping up and becoming parents for children who often desperately need parents.

What is the process?

Step-parent and family adoptions involve a relatively straightforward procedure in most circumstances. The step-parent or family member petitions the court for adoption. Various documents and information must be supplied to the court. Oftentimes in step-parent adoptions and even family adoptions, the most difficult aspect of the adoption is making sure all people who have parental rights under Maryland law either consent or do not object to the adoption. The parents' rights must be terminated, either by consent, by serving them with papers and having them not object, or by publication in a newspaper. Obviously if the parent will sign a proper consent, that will eliminate much effort and cost and permit the adoption to proceed quickly. Once this has been done and the appropriate consents and documents are filed, the court will hold a finalization hearing to order the adoption. It is usually a celebration. In almost all courts in Maryland, the family can bring a camera to court to record this happy occasion.

Relevant Links
  • Adoption Help
  • Children Awaiting Adoption
  • Greene's Adoption Blog

    It is always exciting to attend "adoption" day!   Over the years I have been blessed with attending hundreds adoption days all over the State of Maryland in many different courts.  The way adoption finalizations are conducted is different from court to court.&nb....more

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