Based in Glen Burnie, serving families and adoptive parents across Maryland.
Uncontested adoptions can be challenging. A single mistake may set the process back by weeks and months, causing you and your family a great deal of stress.
The attorneys at Jimeno & Gray have over two decades of experience helping families navigate the Maryland adoption process. Call today to schedule a consultation with a knowledgeable and compassionate uncontested adoption lawyer in Glen Burnie, MD.
What Is an Uncontested Adoption?
In an uncontested adoption, the biological parent(s) agree to cooperate and give up their parental rights and provide written consent for the adoption.
Stepparent adoptions are a common form of uncontested adoption in Maryland. Often, the other biological parent isn’t present or has no interest in challenging the adoption, partly because they would no longer have to pay child support. If the adoption is successful, you (or your partner) will have full parental rights as a stepparent.
Do You Need a Lawyer for an Uncontested Adoption?
Although no law says you must hire a lawyer for an uncontested adoption in Maryland, doing so is typically in your interest.
Even uncontested stepparent adoptions entail various legal formalities, including the following:
- Filing a petition for adoption and other paperwork with the family court and the Maryland Department of Human Services (DHS) within specified time frames
- Filing a series of documents like marriage certificates, judgments of divorce, birth certificates and proof of income and good health
- Seeking the written consent of the other biological parent and the child, if the child to be adopted is over the age of 14
- Potentially undergoing a post-placement evaluation and a home study by a social worker
- Attending an adoption hearing at the family court
Even if things go smoothly and you avoid the home study, the whole process can take up to six months. Any misstep during that period could delay the proceedings or put your adoption at risk.
If at any point you have a question or concern, you won’t be able to turn to court employees for help. By law, they may not provide you with legal advice or assistance — but an uncontested adoption lawyer can.
How an Uncontested Adoption Lawyer Can Help
A family law attorney can help your adoption proceedings by:
- Talking you through the process, so you know what to expect
- Preparing and filing all necessary paperwork, including your adoption petition and the necessary documents
- Explaining the different adoption types that may be available to you, such as open, semi-open, and closed adoption, and helping you choose a structure that meets your family’s needs
- Preparing you for the court hearing and, potentially, the post-placement evaluation and home study
- Providing legal advice and support if the biological parents contest your petition or appeal the court’s decision granting your petition
Contact a Maryland Uncontested Adoption Lawyer Today
If you’re going through adoption proceedings, your undivided attention should be on your child and family. Let the experienced legal team at Jimeno & Gray worry about the formalities. Call 410-590-9401 or go online to schedule a consultation with an uncontested adoption lawyer in Glen Burnie, MD.