State Laws and Legislation

Maryland Adoption Law

Permits single LGBT individuals to petition to adopt? Yes.
Maryland law permits any adult to petition to adopt. (MD CODE ANN. FAM. LAW, § 5-331, 5-345). Regulations also specifically prohibit an adoption agency from denying an individual’s adoption application based on the individual’s sexual orientation. (MD CODE REGS. 07.05.03.09(A)(2))

Permits a same-sex couple to jointly petition to adopt? No explicit prohibition.
State law provides that a husband and wife may jointly petition to adopt, and does not explicitly provide for joint adoption by other couples. Some same-sex couples have been allowed to jointly petition to adopt in some jurisdictions.  No state court, however, has heard the issue of whether same-sex couples can or can not jointly petition to adopt.

Permits a same-sex partner to petition to adopt partner’s child or child of the relationship? No explicit prohibition.
There is no explicit prohibition, and some lower courts have allowed second-parent adoptions to proceed. No state court, however, has heard the issue of whether a same-sex partner can or can not petition to adopt a partner’s child or child of the relationship.

Updated: Wed, December 09, 2009 - 12:00:21