Adoption in Maryland: Birth Mother Adoption Rights
If you’re facing an unplanned pregnancy in Maryland, giving your baby up for adoption may be the right choice for you. When you put a baby up for adoption in Maryland, you have certain birth mother adoption rights to protect you and your baby in the process. We’re going to cover all of the laws that protect your birth mother adoption rights in Maryland, so that you have a clear understanding of the process.
Birth mother adoption rights in Maryland
Your rights as a birth mother are in place to protect you and help you make the right decision for both you and your baby. These laws also protect your child and help place your baby in a loving, caring, and safe home.
Waiving parental rights in Maryland
If you choose to put your baby up for adoption in Maryland, you need to waive your parental rights. This gives full custody to the adoptive family and you can no longer act as a parent for the child. To waive your parental rights, you must wait until after the baby is born, but there is no other time limit. This is to help you make sure that you do want to go through with adoption once the baby is here, and you still have a chance to change your mind. After you waive your parental rights, the legal part of the adoption process will start, and you can’t undo it.
Birth fathers also need to waive their parental rights in Maryland adoptions, but the state has more specific laws about when birth fathers need to be involved, depending on your relationship. You can learn more about birth fathers’ rights in Maryland, on our blog.
Getting financial support as a birth mother in Maryland
If you choose adoption, you are able to get financial support from the adoptive family to help cover certain pregnancy costs, including:
- Adoption counseling or service fees
- Medical services, including hospital bills
- Legal expenses
- Transportation for pregnancy check ups and care
- Some related living expenses, like food and rent
In these cases, you’ll need to pick an adoptive family and get their agreement to cover your pregnancy expenses. An adoption agency can help you find the right adoptive family and communicate your financial needs with them. It can make the whole process smoother to have the support of an adoption agency.
Birth mother rights in open adoptions
When making an adoption plan, you can choose an open adoption or closed adoption. In open adoptions, you can keep in touch with the adoptive family and your child. You and the adoptive family will decide how much contact you want to have, and it can be guaranteed by a legally binding post adoption contact agreement. In these agreements, you can outline exactly what you and the adoptive family expect from each other, and if the agreement isn’t followed, the Maryland courts will enforce it.
Creating a post adoption contact agreement
Adoption agencies can help you find a family who is willing to have an open adoption and negotiate these agreements. They’re a great resource to guide you through the process. Post adoption contact agreements aren’t meant to be scary legal documents, but rather a protection to make sure you get the contact you want with the adoptive family and your child. Not all states will enforce post adoption contact agreements, but Maryland’s laws will help you guarantee that you see your child as often as you want.
As a legal practice and an adoption agency, ABSA can help you find an adoptive family from our waiting families list and create a post adoption contact agreement. Our caring case workers have helped many birth mothers through the adoption in Maryland, both for open and closed adoptions. We’re here to make sure you feel safe and supported through the whole process. Get in touch with our case workers 24/7 through call or text at 610-613-1611 and we’re happy to answer any questions.