Adoption Issues/ADOPTION

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Question
My wife had a child with another man 11 years ago. Both of us have raised this child together. That man has never seen the child or wants anything to do with her. At this time we don't even know where he lives because he moved. At the time of her birth my wife put his name for her last name. My question is what is the procedure for me to adopt her so she will legally belong to both of us. We live in Maryland.

Answer
Hi Joe-
In most states he situation you describe would still require that you will have to adopt this child since you are not her birthfather.  If you sit down with a MD lawyer who handles adoptions and tell the lawyer all the specific information they can advise you about the specific steps that you should take.
If you need to adopt to get the birth certificate amended, your lawyer will probably have to show that efforts have been made to contact the birthfather.  In addition, a social worker will need to conduct an Adoption Home Study which is a report to the court saying you are a fit adoptive parent.

Adoption Issues

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Peter C. Winkler, CSW

Expertise

I have experience with adoption subsidy, the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children and variety of other adoption related matters. I hope that I can be helpful to those who are considering adoption or would like to adopt a child.

Experience

I am a social worker with an MSW and I have over thirty years of experience in family and children's services. I have worked as Director of adoption services and of the Interstate Compact in a large state agency. I have also provided direct services to children and families in a preventive services program. I currently prepare adoption studies for those who are adopting domestically or internationally.

Education/Credentials
Masters in SW

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