Experienced Attorney Helps with Relative Adoptions in Silver Spring, Maryland

Reliable assistance for grandparents, aunts, uncles, and older siblings in the D.C. metro area

When parents pass away or are judged unfit to keep a child, a concerned relative may petition the court to be made legal guardian. In time, it may be more appropriate for the relative to formally adopt the child. Adoption makes the relationship permanent but requires consent from the parents, who must relinquish their parental rights. This can be a very delicate matter to negotiate, so experienced legal representation is essential. At Law Offices of Tina Sharma, I have 10 years of experience helping loving adults adopt children in the D.C. metro area. I have the knowledge and skill to lead you through the process to a successful conclusion, whether you are married, single, or a member of the LGBT community.

Why transition from foster parenting or guardianship to adoption?

A guardianship is meant to be a temporary relationship. A court creates a guardianship and can dissolve it whenever a judge thinks appropriate. The same is true of foster parent relationships, which only last until the child reaches the age of majority (which is 18 in Maryland). If you are the guardian or foster parent, a birthparent can make any number of attempts to reclaim the child. All it takes is one sympathetic judge, and the child goes back to the birthparent.

Adoption is a permanent relationship. The parent-child relationship will continue to exist even after the child reaches adulthood. The child will inherit from you just as your natural children will. Most importantly, unless you abuse or neglect the child, the court cannot nullify your adoption, and the birthparent cannot challenge your parental rights.

Of course, for the adoption to happen, the birthparent(s) must consent, relinquishing all parental rights forever. Many birthparents refuse to do this, but others, understanding this releases them from all duties of child support, are willing. It is also possible to have the court terminate a neglectful or abusive parent’s rights so the adoption can go through.

Assistance with stepparent adoptions in Maryland

Parents of blended families often consider stepparent adoption, which can create a greater sense of unity. However, because the law only allows a child to have two legal parents, the other natural parent must either be deceased, willing to consent, or so unfit that the court would be willing to terminate parental rights over the parent’s objection. Natural parents who are not active in their child’s life are often willing to voluntarily surrender their parental rights in exchange for a release from all support obligations. In my practice I have helped many couples obtain consent so one partner can adopt the other partner’s child. I provide the same level of compassionate support and attention to these cases as I do to independent adoptions and international adoptions.

Contact a trustworthy Silver Spring attorney for relative and stepparent adoptions

If it’s time for you to adopt a child you love, Law Offices of Tina Sharma can provide the reliable legal counsel you need. Call me today at 202-899-5871 or contact my Silver Spring office online to schedule an appointment. My office is conveniently located downtown just one block away from the Montgomery County courthouse.