Situation: Felicia is pregnant, and her parents are threatening to kick her out of the house if she does not choose adoption.
Question: Can Felicia’s parents force her to give the baby up for adoption?
Answer: No. Felicia’s parents cannot force her to place the baby up for adoption. The choice is entirely up to Felicia. Felicia’s parents are responsible for providing her with a home, whether or not Felicia keeps her baby, until Felicia turns 18 years old.
Question: What is adoption?
Answer: Adoption is a process in which a mother chooses to give her parental rights to someone else after she gives birth to a baby. Only the pregnant minor can decide to offer the child for adoption. She cannot be forced by anyone, including her parents, to place the child for adoption. Md. Code Ann., Fam. Law § 5-338.
Question: How is an adoption done?
Answer: There are various kinds of adoption. “Open adoption” allows the birth parents and adoptive parents to have information about one another and to come to an agreement to contact one another during the child’s life. In a “closed adoption,” the birth parents and adoptive parents are given little to no information about one another before the adoption, and they agree not to contact one another after the date that the adoption is finalized. A minor has the option of reviewing various families and deciding which one is right for the child and for her future plans.
Adoption can be complicated, but know that there are legal resources available to make sure that all concerns are addressed. You may finds these under the Adoption section of the resources page for the Pregnancy Options page.