Maryland Step-Parent Adoption

A. A step-parent adoption is one in which the adopting parent is the spouse of one of the biologic parents. It is a form of independent adoption since the parties know each other and since the parental rights of the other biologic parent will pass directly to the adopting parent (without the legal rights passing through an agency).

B. It is simplest when the biologic parent whose parental rights are to be terminated voluntarily signs a consent. On the other hand, the same alternatives which apply to other independent adoptions apply to step-parent adoptions (e.g. show cause orders or publication).

C. The petition for adoption which is filed with the circuit court is not signed by the spouse who is the biologic parent. That spouse signs a consent to adoption.

D. When the final decree of adoption is entered by the court, the rules require that the final decree state that the parental rights of the spouse who is the biologic parent are not affected.

For more information about adoption in Maryland, click to view one of the following pages: