Ellicott City Adoption & Guardianship Lawyer
Here at Weinberg & Schwartz, L.L.C., our guardianship and adoption attorneys help families make the sometimes difficult, and always important, life-decisions for children in need of care. Adoption can be a time of tremendous joy, but can be muddled with stressful, legal complexities. In other circumstances, guardianship may arise from a tragic medical condition of the child’s parent or another stressful set of circumstances. Having the weight of the new responsibility of raising a child fall directly on your shoulders can be overwhelming whether you are adopting or are going to become the guardian of a child. No matter the case, the process will undoubtedly go much smoother by working with an experienced attorney, and our Ellicott City adoption and guardianship lawyers at Weinberg & Schwartz, L.L.C. can help.
Adoption Options in Maryland
Around 135,000 children are adopted in the U.S. each year, according to the Adoption Network. Most of these adoptions (59 percent) are through the Foster Care System. 26 percent of adoptions are from overseas, and 15 percent are from relinquished American babies. Adoption can be a long, complicated process. 63 percent of adoptive families were matched with a newborn within 12 months, according to American Adoptions, though for many the wait is much longer. An attorney is essential in the adoption process, and can help reduce the stress, time to adopt, and anxiety. There are various routes for adoption in Maryland, including:
- Foster care system;
- Private adoption;
- International adoption; and
- Adoptions through a relative.
Guardianship of a Minor Vs. Adoption
Guardianship differs from adoption in a few major areas. First of all, adoption is permanent while guardianship can be set for a specific period of time. Furthermore, guardianship still allows the parents of the child to maintain their legal parental rights, whereas adoptive parents have full legal rights once the adoption papers have been finalized.
Purpose of Guardianship
In some circumstances, it may be necessary for a minor child to live with someone else for a period of time, during which that party needs legal guardianship to make day to day decisions for that child. For example, a parent may be suffering from a serious medical condition, disability, or injury and not be capable of caring for their child. Their military position or oversee career may require them to leave their child behind for months at a time. It may be necessary to give the grandparents, relatives, or close friends whom the child will be staying with legal decision making capacities during this prolonged time. Guardianship allows this, while enabling the parent or parents to keep their parental rights. At some point in the future, the guardianship may potentially be dissolved.
Contact an Ellicott City Adoption and Guardianship Attorney Today
Whether you are seeking legal guardianship for your child, or you are the party wishing to adopt a child, our Ellicott City adoption and guardianship lawyers at Weinberg & Schwartz, L.L.C can help. Call us today at 410-997-0203 to schedule a free consultation.