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Do You Meet These Maryland Adoption Requirements?

For many couples who consider adoption in Maryland, one of the first stages is wondering whether they meet the adoption requirements in their state. These requirements are in place to ensure every hopeful adoptive family is capable of bringing a new little bundle of joy into their family.

For more information about Maryland adoption qualifications, please call 1-800-ADOPTION at any time.

Since these vary across the country, we’ve compiled this cheat sheet of Maryland adoption requirements to help you on your adoption journey.

What do I need to adopt a child in Maryland?

The specific Maryland qualifications for adoption are fairly broad. Any adult in Maryland can petition to adopt a child. If that petitioner is married, the spouse must be on board unless he or she is:

  • Separated from the spouse who made the petition

  • Not competent to join in with their spouse on the petition

  • Is a parent of the child being adopted and consents to the adoption (as in a stepparent adoption)

So, if you came to this article with questions such as, “Is there an adoption age limit in Maryland?” or “Do you have to be married to adopt?” the answers to both of those are no. However, there are general adoption qualifications that all adoptive families must follow, no matter which state you may hail from. For example, any couple that plans to adopt must first complete a home study.

An adoption home study is essentially an assessment of your readiness to adopt. It has three phases: a documentation stage, a home inspection, and interviews with each family member in your home. The documentation stage will include background checks and will require that you gather financial and medical records to indicate that you are financially and medically capable of providing a safe home for another child.

The home inspection will entail a social worker entering your home to make sure it is safe for a child, and while he or she is there, each family member living in the home will be interviewed to ensure that everyone is on the same page about adoption.

It’s also important to note that different adoption professionals will have their own qualifications to adopt a child that must be met. To learn more about the Maryland adoption qualifications American Adoptions requires of its adoptive families, call us at 1-800-ADOPTION.

Can a felon adopt a child in Maryland?

This is a question we receive occasionally, and the answer to it is not a hard yes or no. Whether you meet the requirements for adopting a child in Maryland will depend largely on the nature of the felony you committed. If the crime was a violent one or involved someone under the age of 18, it is unlikely that you will meet Maryland adoption qualifications. There is a possibility, however, that a felon could still adopt if the crime was non-violent. If this is the case, you would need to speak to your social worker to talk about the circumstances of the crime as well as what you’ve learned since committing it. He or she will then be able to determine if you meet Maryland adoption requirements.

What are the emotional qualifications to adopt a child?

While it’s simple enough to determine whether you meet Maryland’s legal adoption requirements, it’s equally important to meet the emotional adoption qualifications. Before you begin the adoption process, make sure you have:

  • Become just as excited to adopt as you would have been to have a child biologically

  • Fully grieved infertility, if applicable

  • Come to understand that the adoption process itself will come with emotional lows as well as highs

  • Told your family members and closest friends about your decision to grow through adoption

Only when you have completed each of these steps will you be ready to adopt a child in Maryland.

What are Maryland’s requirements for adoption from foster care?

If you are interested in adopting from foster care in Maryland, you must:

  • Have sufficient means to financially provide for a child

  • Be at least 21 years old. There is no maximum age.

  • Complete a minimum of 27 hours of training

Foster parents in Maryland can be married, single, or part of a same-sex couple. They can own their own homes or be renters, and they can have previous children or be first-time parents.

For more information about our agency's adoption requirements in Maryland, call American Adoptions at 1-800-ADOPTION.

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