Adoption Issues/ADOPTION

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Question
11 years ago my wife had a child with another man. 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. We live in Maryland. My question is what is the procedure for me to adopt her so she will legally belong to both of us.

Answer
Thank you for your question Peter.
The process should not be too difficult.  I advise contacting a family law attorney in your community and state that you wish to legally adopt your wife's biological child.  Since the child's birth father has not been in the child's life, and you have provided love, security and financial assistance in raising this child as your own, you would apply for what is known as a step-parent adoption.  
This link will provide you more specific information regarding the requirements in the state of MD.
http://www.annearundelfamilylawyers.com/the-basics-of-step-parent-adoption-in-ma

Best wishes to you!
Michele
http://www.adoptionstar.com

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Adoption STAR

Expertise

Questions related to domestic and international adoption.

Experience

22 years in the adoption field. Michele Fried is the founder and chair of Adoption STAR. Her foremost responsibilities are the implementation of strategic plans and agency growth/expansion, financial management, board partnerships and supervision of the staff. Michele has her hands full with these responsibilities as well as initiating marketing and public relation campaigns and executing and implementing policies developed by the Board of Directors.

Organizations
CAFFA, JCICS, NACAC

Education/Credentials
Before starting Adoption STAR. Michele worked as an educator in Pennsylvania and then after she and her husband adopted their first child, she entered the field of adoption. In 1989 she founded an adoption agency licensed in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Micheleís own family began to grow and they chose to return home to Western New York. Michele began working locally as an Inclusion Coordinator for individuals with developmental disabilities. As the years went by, Michele was inspired by the great need for a passionate, advocacy based, non-profit child-welfare agency in this area and so Adoption STAR was born in March of 2000! Michele is very proud of the work Adoption STAR has done and continues to do, and states she is touched by the incredible birth mothers that work with the agency.

Awards and Honors
The community-at-large has also noticed Michele and her agency. In 2003 Michele received a Business First 40 Under Forty Award and in 2004 WKBW-TV honored Michele by selecting her to be one of the communityís Everyday Heroes. The YWCA also honored Michele in 2005 by selecting her as one of twenty-six women making a difference in Western New York. In 2009 Michele was the recipient of a Business First Women of Influence Entrepreneur Award. On May 1, 2010 during the Dazzling Decade ~ A Night of Starís 10th Birthday Gala, Micheleís own agency presented her with the First Michele Fried Founderís Award. In the future, this award will be given annually to an individual whose contributions, expertise, and dedication to adoption mirror Micheleís.

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