Adoption in Maryland [The Complete Guide]

There are many choices and paths you can take throughout a Maryland adoption journey. Whether you’re pregnant and considering placing your baby for adoption, or you’re hoping to adopt a child domestically, internationally, through foster care,  private agency or independent adoption, we can help.

Looking for information specific to your city? Explore our guides to adoption in:

Baltimore | Frederick | Rockville

Below, you’ll find a step-by-step overview of the process of adoption in Maryland and some answers to the most common questions about Maryland adoption laws. Remember: If you have any questions about adopting a child or placing a baby for adoption in Maryland, you can always contact us to get answers and information.

In the meantime, here’s what you need to know about adoption in Maryland:

The Maryland Adoption Process in 6 Steps
For adoptive parents, the adoption process will largely depend on the type of adoption you choose to pursue, whether that’s international or domestic, private or public, independent or agency-assisted. Expectant parents who are planning to place their baby for adoption will have a more straightforward path, although everyone’s experience will still be unique.

Here’s a broad look at the steps of a typical adoption in Maryland:

Step 1: Choose adoption.

For some pregnant couples and hopeful adoptive parents, adoption is an easy choice. Others may be unsure at first. Adoption isn’t the right path for everyone — but could it be the best choice for you?

Adoptive parents will also need to choose the type of adoption they want to pursue, whether that’s:

  • Domestic or international
  • Public (foster care) or private (direct infant placement)
  • If private, agency-assisted or independent (without an agency)

We can help you with all of these types of adoption. And, if you're not sure which path is right for you, we'll be available to answer any questions you may have and to talk to you more about the different types of adoption in Maryland.

Contact us today if you’d like more information about adopting or placing a baby for adoption in Maryland.

Step 2: Choose an adoption professional.

Prospective birth parents will want to choose a professional that they feel meets their needs, listens to their desires and can help them realize their ideal adoption plan. Our attorneys are here to help you create a personalized adoption plan that you feel 100% comfortable with, and then help you execute your plan so that your child has the life you want them to have.

Adoptive parents will want to choose a professional that can complete the type of adoption they're interested in, in addition to meeting their needs and desires. Whichever type of adoption you choose, we can help you complete the Maryland adoption process, legally, safely and ethically.

Regardless of whether you decide to work with additional adoption professionals and regardless of whether you’re a prospective birth or adoptive parent, you’ll always need a licensed and experienced adoption attorney to complete an adoption in Maryland. We’d be honored to serve as your legal guide and advocate during this life-changing experience.

Step 3: Create your adoption plan.

This step is all about envisioning your ideal future. Prospective birth parents will want to consider their wishes for the adoption, including the level of openness they desire and the type of adoptive family they're looking for. Prospective adoptive parents will be thinking about the adoption situations they'd be open to.

 All of these choices and more will be discussed under the guidance of your adoption attorney.

We’ll all work together to create an adoption plan that everyone feels comfortable with, and that will most benefit the child at the heart of your adoption.

Step 4: Find an adoption opportunity.

In a private agency or independent adoption, this is the stage in which prospective birth and adoptive parents search for another and connect. Hopeful parents pursuing international or public agency (foster care) adoption will receive a referral for a child who is waiting to be adopted. Depending on the type of adoption and professional you choose, this process will look different. However, no matter what, we’ll be there to help guide you through it all.

Step 5: Complete placement.

We'll be there to ensure that this step is complete under Maryland adoption laws, which can be complex. Placement is an emotional experience for everyone involved — we’ll be ready to handle the legal side of things so that you can all focus on what’s most important.

Step 6: Complete finalization and begin post-adoption life.

The final stage of adoption in Maryland is finalization. We’ll walk you through this step, and make sure that everything has been completed correctly. Then, the child will be a legal, permanent and beloved member of his or her (adoptive) family.

Depending on the level of openness desired in each adoption situation, we’ll help the birth and adoptive families communicate throughout the years in whatever manner they’re all most comfortable with. No matter what, birth and adoptive families share a lifelong connection of love through their child.


3 of the Most Common Questions About Adopting a Child in Maryland

We know that you probably have some questions about how to adopt a child in Maryland. As the legal experts on adoption, we’re here to help. Again, if you have additional questions, please reach out to us.

“What are the requirements to adopt a child in Maryland?”

This will depend on the type of adoption you pursue and the adoption professional you choose. However, requirements may include:

“Is it legal to advertise that you’re looking to adopt in Maryland?”

Yes. However, it's best if we help guide you through Maryland adoption advertising laws if it's something you wish to explore. Our years of adoption experience will be just as helpful as our legal expertise.

“How can we find an adoption opportunity in Maryland?”

We cannot directly match you into an adoption opportunity, but we can refer you to an adoption professional who offers this service or give you tips on finding a match on your own. We can also guide you through Maryland’s adoption advertising laws, to help you find a match more quickly.


3 of the Most Common Questions About Placing a Baby for Adoption in Maryland

When you’re pregnant and considering placing your baby for adoption in Maryland, countless questions are running through your mind. We know that the legal steps of adoption in Maryland can seem intimidating, but we’ll be here to answer all those questions and make sure that you fully understand all of your options.

“What are the requirements to place a baby for adoption in Maryland?”

There are no requirements for placing a baby for adoption — you simply need to work with a licensed adoption professional or contact a licensed adoption attorney like us. Contact us now if you need information about placing your baby for adoption in Maryland.

“When and how can a birth parent consent to an adoption in Maryland?”

In private domestic infant adoptions, the birth mother and father can issue their legal consent to the adoption at any time after the birth of the child. We’ll walk you through this step, and ensure that you fully understand everything you consent to before you sign anything. It’s our responsibility to ensure that your adoption is completed correctly, legally and ethically.

“If I place my baby for adoption, will I have a say in anything?”

If you’re placing your baby for adoption, you have a say in everything. That includes:

  • Who adopts your child
  • The level of openness you want post-adoption
  • And much more


Ready to take the first step of adoption in Maryland? Contact us now to get information, or to begin your Maryland adoption process.

“I believe in working with each of my clients—in support of their family dynamic—to make the dreams of parenthood a reality. Whether you are single or married; or gay; a step-parent, a surrogate or intended parent or a child of adoption, it is my mission to serve as your advocate. With a dedication to the ethical and sensitive nature of each situation, I will help you understand the laws within Maryland or Washington, DC for adoption or surrogacy, and pledge to be your partner throughout the journey.” - Jennifer Fairfax