Can I Adopt in Maine?
Parents can be single, married, or divorced. You must be at least 21 years old to adopt. Applicants need to be in good physical and mental health. A stable, reliable source of steady income is required. Parents will need to provide the Department with 3 professional unrelated references. Your home needs to pass state standards including clean water, fire safety, and at least 1 telephone in the home. Additionally, parents will need to pass a home study in order to be approved for adoption.
What Adoption Regulations Exist in Maine?
Advertising: Only licensed adoption agencies in Maine can publish adoption advertisements. Title 18 A § 9-313
Relinquishment: Consent can be executed at any time after the child’s birth. Consent is not valid until 3 days after execution. After that time period consent is irrevocable. Tit. 18-A, § 9-202
Birth parent expenses: The following adoption expenses are permitted in Maine: legal services related to adoption process, prenatal and postnatal counseling for the birth mother, transportation to these services, necessary living expenses, foster care expenses, counseling for the birth father, and fees to an adoption agency in connection with pending adoption. All other expenses are banned in Maine. Tit. 18-A, § 9-306(A)
Post-adoption contact agreements: Contact agreements are not legally enforceable in Maine.
Birth father rights: No paternity registry exists in Maine. Instead, when the mother of a child born out of wedlock wishes to consent to an adoption, the mother must file an affidavit of paternity with the courts. The courts then decide how to give the unmarried father notice. After notice has been given, unmarried fathers have 20 days to petition the court to grant him paternity. Tit. 18-A, § 9-201
Finalization: Out of 286 adoptions completed in 2015, the average time between TPR and adoption finalization was 13.5 months. (acf.hhs.gov)
Review Maine adoption laws in detail.
Is Adoption Assistance Available in Maine?
Many of the children waiting to be adopted in Maine have special needs. Federal (Title IV-E) and state (non-IV-E) programs exist to help adoptive parents meet their child’s needs. In Maine, the max daily amount ranges from $0-26.25. For children with exceptional medical needs, the maximum daily amount is $60. To learn more, please visit NACAC.org.
Can I adopt a Child from another country?
It is always possible to adopt a child from another country, even if you live in the United States. Children under 18 adopted from a Hague Convention country entering the U.S. with an IH-3 visa may automatically receive U.S. citizenship.
Children adopted from a non convention country must qualify as orphans before receiving U.S. citizenship. When U.S. citizens finalize an adoption abroad, they must apply to the USCIS for an IR-3 visa for the child. An IR-3 visa classifies the child as an immigrant and provides the child with citizenship upon arrival in the States.
In Maine, readoption after a foreign adoption decree is an option but not a requirement. In order to readopt the child under the laws of this State, an adoption decree can be entered into by a judge based solely on a judgment of adoption in a foreign country. Tit. 18-A, § 9-312
Adoptions in Maine can be completed through the Department of Health and Human Services.
Parents can be single, married, or divorced. You must be at least 21. Applicants need good physical and mental health. A stable income is required. Parents will need 3 professional references.
Only licensed adoption agencies can publish adoption advertisements. Consent can be executed at any time after the child’s birth. Consent is not valid until 3 days after execution. Afterwards consent is irrevocable.
The following adoption expenses are permitted: legal services, counseling, transportation to these services, living expenses, foster care expenses, counseling, and fees to an adoption agency in connection with pending adoption.
Contact agreements are not legally enforceable. When the mother of a child born out of wedlock consents to an adoption, the mother must file an affidavit of paternity with the courts. The courts then decide how to give the unmarried father notice.