If you are considering adopting a stepchild or other family member read below for some information about the process. For more information fill out our contact form and speak with an attorney who can help.
- Q: Should I adopt my step child?
- A: Adopting your stepchild gives you all of the rights and obligations of a natural parent and takes those rights and obligations away from the other biological parent. Step-parent adoptions can be complicated if the parent who is losing their parental rights objects to the adoption. In very basic terms, if the parent losing their rights does not consent to the adoption you must be able to show that the adoption is in the child’s best interests. Additionally, the other biological parent may be absent, and you may be unable to locate them to ask for their consent. In this case you must still justify the adoption to the court. There are a number of ways that this can be accomplished. If you are dealing with an objecting or absent biological parent it is best to consult an attorney to help you through the process and ensure your best chance of success.
- Q: Can I adopt my grandchild, or other family member?
- A: Yes. Relative adoptions are much like stepparent adoption. Relative adoptions require that the biological parents consent and relinquish their parental rights, or that the adopting relative make a showing in court that justifies an order terminating the biological parents’ rights.
- Q: Can you adopt an adult?
- A: Yes. In Maryland and adult person can adopt another adult person. An adult adoption would proceed under the same laws and rules as the adoption of a child. If an adult is to be adopted his/her biological parents must relinquish their parental rights or the adopting person must make a showing in court to justify the adoption. The adoptee’s legal relationship with his/her biological family will be severed and a new legal relationship formed with the adopting person and their family.