Determining the Best Interests of the Child - Maryland

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Citation: Family Law § 5-525(f)(1) 

In developing a permanency plan for a child in an out-of-home placement, the local department shall give primary consideration to the best interests of the child, including consideration of both in-State and out-of-State placements. 

The local Department of Social Services shall consider the following factors in determining the permanency plan that is in the best interests of the child:

  • The child's ability to be safe and healthy in the home of the child's parent
  • The child's attachment and emotional ties to the child's natural parents and siblings
  • The child's emotional attachment to the child's current caregiver and the caregiver's family
  • The length of time the child has resided with the current caregiver
  • The potential emotional, developmental, and educational harm to the child if moved from the child's current placement
  • The potential harm to the child by remaining in State custody for an excessive period of time