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Guardianship and Adoption Attorney Carroll County, Westminster, Hampstead, Taneytown, Sykesville, Marriottsville, Reisterstown, Glyndon, Boring, MD

Carroll County, MD Guardianship and Adoption Lawyer

Adoption Attorney Carroll County - Adoptions and GuardianshipsGuardianship Attorney in Carroll County, MD

There are two types of guardianships in Maryland: guardianship of the person and guardianship of the property. If a person is unable to make important decisions for his personal care or his property and finances, a judge appoints a guardian to make those decisions for him. Someone appointed to make decisions about medical care and other aspects of his personal life, such as where he should live, is called a “guardian of the person.” Someone appointed to decide about property and finances is called a “guardian of the property.” If both types of guardians are needed, a court may appoint the same person to do both. Decisions made by the guardian have the legal backing of the court.

I advise clients on the need for Guardianship, assist you in a petition to the court to obtain Guardianship, advise you of your role and obligations as Guardian if appointed and assist you with the annual reporting requirements to the court.

Guardian / Custodian of a Minor Child

Legal guardianship is a court order that says someone who is not the child's parent is in charge of taking care of the child. Legal guardians have a lot of the same rights and responsibilities as parents. The guardian of a minor child fulfills the role as a substitute parent. A custodian is named or appointed to manage the child's assets until the child reaches an appropriate age. If both parents die prior to leaving a will, or appointing a guardian, the court will appoint one for the children. Click here for more information about preparing a will and choosing a guardian in the event of your death.

Guardianships of Disabled / Incapacitated Adults

A guardianship is a legal tool that allows someone to make decisions and conduct business for someone else. Courts typically appoint guardians for adults in instances of incapacity or disability. This includes mental and physical disability or incapacity involving severe or long-term conditions which impose great limitations upon an individual's ability to take care of themselves, earn a living, express themselves verbally, conduct financial transactions, and live independently of the care of others. The desires of the incapacitated or disabled person are given primary consideration. Guardians are only granted those powers necessary to accomplish tasks the incapacitated or disabled person cannot accomplish for themselves. A court may limit guardianship duties to a specific time period or matter. If the incapacity is pervasive, a court may grant unlimited guardianship. If there is an immediate danger to someone that is incapacitated or disabled, the court may appoint an emergency guardian.

Adoption Attorney in Carroll County, MD

An adoption should be a time of happiness and excitement for families. Adoption petitions in Maryland are rule specific and it is important to work with a knowledgeable attorney who can help you understand all of the legal requirements. I will guide you through the process of adopting a child whether through an adoption agency or private placement.

Stepfamily Stepparent Adoptions in Maryland

Adopting your step child in Maryland: The most common form of adoption in the United States is a stepparent adoption. By adopting their stepchild, the stepparent agrees to be fully responsible for their spouse's child. The biological parent not living with the child gives up their rights and responsibilites for the child, including child support. Both biological parents, if living, must consent or agree to the adoption, except in special circumstances. Step-parent adoption petitions in Maryland are rule specific. I will guide you through the process of adopting your step-child, including terminating the rights of the natural parents and changing the child’s name. If you have a stepchild, I can advise you on the legal reasons why you should consider adoption.




Gary Desper, Esquire and I worked together on a step-parent adoption. Mr. Desper represented the minor child, while I represented the step-parent.

Throughout all communication and discussion regarding the case, Mr. Desper was professional, thorough and responsive. I know from my contact with the family, that he made the minor child feel at ease. While a hearing can be nerve racking, even when it is a happy occasion, he gave clarity and support to the minor child so that the child felt comfortable and understood the process.

He and his office assisted in the drafting of the appropriate wording for the Adoption Order to be submitted to Carroll County Circuit Court. He also allowed all parties to participate in the remote hearing from his office. Mr. Desper is an ally when working together on a case. I would HIGHLY recommend him as an attorney and advocate.

Kelly K.

Gary and his staff are an amazing Law Firm to work with. My husband was adopting my son and unfortunately court was scheduled during the time of shut downs during a pandemic. Gary’s office continued to work to get us a date, constantly kept us appraised of what was going on and would not only email us but also call to ensure we got the email. They were always quick to answer if we had called with a question and were always helpful, they never made us feel like we were bothering them. Gary made things happen and followed through with the utmost professionalism while at the same time not making us feel like just another case. When our adoption turned virtual since the courts were still not open, Gary even opened his office to us to do the adoption hearing there. We couldn’t have asked for a better attorney to represent our son in our adoption hearing.

Jennifer R.

Thank you to Mr. Gary Desper throughout the entire process of adopting our newest addition to our family. It was a bit of a complicated situation but he remained calm and encouraging through the whole process. He told us exactly what to expect and how much he thought it would cost. He was spot on with everything. The event was a momentous occasion for our family for sure and it was wonderful having someone who was both knowledgeable and caring along the way. Thanks again Mr. Desper!

Elizabeth A.

Mr. Desper is a beyond amazing lawyer. You never want to find yourself in a situation that needs a lawyer, but if you do, look no further. Mr. Desper assisted my husband and I with a Step-parent adoption of my daughter. I was always hesitant about lawyers but Mr. Desper put all of my worries and fears aside. What proved to be a difficult case he handled with expert knowledge. He always kept us appraised of any changes to our case, and his prices were very reasonable and allowed us to do some of the work on our own to keep the price within our budget. Mr. Desper or his office assistant Dawn were always available to answer any question and were quick to return a call or email. During trial he always had honesty and integrity and above all followed the rule of law. I would recommend Mr. Desper to anyone I know and definitely use him in the future should I ever need legal services. I cannot say enough good things about Mr. Desper, and I am forever thankful for him uniting my family!

Lindsay P.

Gary did an amazing job working with us. He walked us through every step and got back to us right away when we had questions. He spent a lot more time with us then what we paid for as well. I couldn't have asked for a better person to get us through this adoption process!

Stevi F.

Mr. Desper represented me in an adoption case, and I would certainly recommend him for yours or anything. He made the process easy and understanding with little hassle on our end. Over all great experience and I'm saving his card for future needs!

William B.

In September 2014, my husband, Derek and I decided that we wanted to have him adopt my son and give him our last name. After some thorough research of a Step-Parent Adoption and the steps that needed to be taken, I searched local lawyers on Google and Gary was halfway down on that list. It was the Friday before Labor Day weekend when I tried to call, and when Gary answered the phone, after he had already left the office on a holiday weekend, I knew that he was dedicated to his job! He took the time to hear me out and briefly explain the process. When we finally felt we were in a good point financially, we gathered the cheap retainer fee and scheduled our first meeting with Gary at the end of October. At that point, I could tell Gary had went above and beyond our expectations and answered all our questions and concerns without hesitation. He always kept in touch through e-mail or phone and got us through a long process, in less than a month and a half. He is very dependable, respectful and knowledgeable, and I highly recommend Mr. Desper to anybody who is looking for a lawyer that will thrive towards the desired outcome of his clients! Thanks again, Gary, for all of your hard work and dedication to my family!! Best Christmas present EVER!!

Krista B.