Maryland Adoption Laws

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Access to Adoption Records

Who May Access Information
Citation: Fam. Law §§ 5-4C-05; 5-356; 5-357

Only the following persons may register with the adoption registry for exchange of identifying information:
  • Birth parents and siblings
  • An adoptee, age 21 or older, who does not have a birth sibling under the age of 21 with the same adoptive parents

Nonidentifying and medical information shall be available to:

  • The adoptive parents
  • The adoptee
  • The birth parents


Access to Nonidentifying Information
Citation: Fam. Law §§ 5-329; 5-356; 5-357; 5-358

A local department shall make reasonable efforts to compile and make available to a prospective adoptive parent a comprehensive medical and mental health history of the prospective adoptive child. On request of an adoptive parent, a local department shall make reasonable efforts to compile a pertinent medical and mental health history of each of the adoptive child's birth parents, if available to the local department, and to make that history available to the adoptive parent. A medical or mental health history may not contain identifying information about a parent or former parent.

On request of an adoptee, adoptive parent, or birth parent, a local department shall provide information in its adoption record on the adoptee. The records that are accessed may not contain any identifying information.

If, after a hearing on a petition of an adoptee or birth parent, a court is satisfied that the adoptee, a blood relative of the adoptee, or a birth parent urgently needs medical information not in department and court records, the court may appoint an intermediary to try to contact the adoptee or a birth parent for the information.

Mutual Access to Identifying Information
Citation: Fam. Law §§ 5-4C-06; 5-4C-07

To register with the Registry, an individual shall submit a notarized affidavit containing identifying information, including the individual's current name, any previous name by which the individual was known, address, and telephone number. A registrant may withdraw at any time by submitting an affidavit.

On receipt of an affidavit, the administration shall:

  • Attempt to match registrants or to provide matching information
  • If a match is made, direct the child-placing agency or the local department to notify the registrants through a confidential contact

Access to Original Birth Certificate
Citation: Fam. Law §§ 5-359; 5-3A-42; 5-3B-29

For adoptions finalized on or after 1-1-2000:
  • An adoptee who is at least age 21 may apply to the Secretary for a copy of his or her original birth certificate.
  • If an adoptee is at least age 21, a birth parent may apply to the Secretary for a copy of the adoptee's original birth certificate.

A birth parent may file with the Director a disclosure veto to bar disclosure of information about that parent in an accessible record. The birth parent may also cancel a disclosure veto and refile a disclosure veto at any time.

An adult adoptee may file a disclosure veto to bar disclosure of information about him or her in an accessible record. The adoptee may also cancel a disclosure veto and refile a disclosure veto at any time.

Except as provided below, the Secretary shall give to each applicant who meets the requirements of this section a copy of each record that the applicant requested and that the Secretary has on file.

Whenever a birth parent applies for a record, the Secretary shall redact from the copy all information as to:

  • The other birth parent if that parent has filed a disclosure veto
  • The adoptee and each adoptive parent if the adoptee has filed a disclosure veto

Whenever an adoptee applies for a record, the Secretary shall redact from the copy all information as to the birth parent if that parent has filed a disclosure veto.

Where the Information Can Be Located

Maryland Mutual Consent Voluntary Adoption Registry

Contact:

Mutual Consent Voluntary Adoption Registry
Maryland Department of Human Resources
Social Services Administration
311 West Saratoga Street
Baltimore, MD 21201-3521
(410) 767-7372 or (410) 767-7423
http://www.dhr.state.md.us/voladopr.htm


Credits: Child Welfare Information Gateway (http://www.childwelfare.gov)

To see local Adoption resources, please select a location (U.S. only):


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