Fewer things are more stressful in Maryland than child custody matters. However, one thing that can top that is your former spouse’s new spouse wanting to adopt your child. This is what you should know and how to respond.
How to respond
You’re under no obligation to immediately respond if you learn that your former spouse’s new spouse wishes to adopt your child. In most cases, it’s normal to be shocked and angry by this situation, especially if you are very much a devoted parent who has no intention of relinquishing your rights to your child.
On the other hand, if you have been mostly absent from your child’s life, it might be easier to make a decision and respond. Still, it’s best to give it some time and think it over because allowing someone else to adopt your child means that you will no longer have parental rights.
Know your rights
You have the right to have answers to certain questions if your former spouse’s new spouse wants to adopt your child. If you are open to the idea, you should at least know how long your former spouse has been remarried and how long the new spouse has been involved in your child’s life. If your child doesn’t have a good relationship with that person, adoption might not be the best idea.
Another person cannot adopt your child without your consent unless your parental rights have been terminated. However, if you have maintained a close, loving relationship with your child and share parenting time, you might be averse to someone else adopting them. Thus, unless you were to relinquish your parental rights, the only way this new spouse could legally adopt your child is by proving that you have abandoned them.
Saying no to your former spouse regarding adopting your child is your right. You have the right to remain in your child’s life.