Who May Adopt, Be Adopted, or Place a Child for Adoption - Maryland

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Who May Adopt

Citation: Family Law §§ 5-331; 5-3A-29; 5-3B-13

Any adult may petition to adopt a child. If a petitioner is married, the petitioner's spouse shall join in the petition, unless any of the following apply:

  • The spouse is separated from the petitioner.
  • The spouse is not competent to join in the petition.
  • The spouse is a parent of the child and consents to the adoption.

Who May Be Adopted

Citation: Family Law §§ 5-331; 5-3A-29; 5-3B-13

Any adult or child may be adopted.

Who May Place a Child for Adoption

Citation: Family Law §§ 5-331; 5-3A-29; 5-3B-13; 5-3B-12

The child may be placed by any of the following:

  • A parent or grandparent when the child is placed for adoption with a relative of the child by blood or marriage
  • A parent or grandparent when the child is placed with a petitioner who is not a relative of the child and the adoption petition is filed with and the placement sanctioned by the court
  • A local Department of Social Services that has custody of the child
  • A child-placing agency

Except for a child being placed for adoption with a relative of the child, by blood or marriage within four degrees of affinity or consanguinity under the civil law rule, a parent or grandparent may place a child for adoption only if a petition for adoption is filed in court, and the court, by order, sanctions the placement pending final action on the petition.