Domestic Infant Adoptions can be completed through Maine’s adoption attorneys and agencies for domestic adoptions. Click here for a directory of adoption service providers in Maine.
International Adoptions must be completed through adoption attorneys and agencies for international adoptions. Find an international adoption service provider here.
Foster Care Adoptions in Maine can be completed through the Department of Health and Human Services (207-624-7900).
Join the New England adoption group in our community!
The information contained on this website is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional legal advice. Always seek the advice of a licensed and qualified professional. While the content of this website is frequently updated, information changes rapidly and therefore, some information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies, omissions or typographical errors.
Looking for more resources in your area? Check out the Adoption Directory for a listing of adoption professionals in your state.
“A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove. But the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child.” These wonderful words of inspiration were provided to us by Forest Witcraft, who was a doctor, scholar, and teacher.
Being important in the life of a child is so fitting for the world of adoption. Isn’t that what adoption is all about? Adoption allows people to be that important person for a child who needs this right now. Today, we are going to explore the world of adoption in Maine. Since the adoption laws and processes are different within each state in the U.S., we like to provide state-specific information on adoption. So, today we are going to take a deeper look into adoption in Maine and provide you with specifications and resources that will help you along the way.
If you live in the state of Maine and believe in your heart that you can absolutely be an important person to a child in need, this is such a great thing. First, you need to see if you meet the qualifications to do so. This Adoption.com overview of adoption in Maine gives us a brief breakdown of these qualifications that I have also provided for you below.
“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 a 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 to be approved for adoption.”
This breakdown provides us with the initial step into the world of adoption in Maine: making sure we meet all specified requirements to move forward. This resource also provides us with adoption regulations that exist in Maine. There is a detailed list with resources attached that cover legal regulations involving advertising, relinquishment, birth parent expenses, post-adoption contact agreements, birth father rights, and finalization. There is also resourceful information provided that covers information regarding assistance available, international adoption information, state contact information, and a summary of the process for adoption in Maine. This is such a great place to start reviewing all the resources that are out there for adopting in this state.
Kylee Hooper provides us with a “Maine Adoption Guide” here. In this awesome report of information, she provides us with general knowledge and so many resources for the different manners of adoption in Maine. Below I have listed what is all covered in this article and you will see that this really is “your guide to everything adoption in Maine.”
– Adoption in Maine statistics
– Adoption in Maine requirements
– Domestic infant adoption in Maine: completing a home study, spreading the word, parent profiles, adoption navigators, relinquishment, birth father rights, laws about birth parent expenses, post-adoption contact agreements, finalization, adopting out-of-state
– Foster Adoption in Maine: children available for foster adoption, professional help, becoming part of the foster care system, foster adoption finalization, post-adoption contact agreements, foster adoption assistance, informational notes about the ICPC
– International adoption in Maine: photo listing, professional help, post-adoption requirements
– Stepparent adoption in Maine: terminating parental rights, petitioning to adopt
– Additional adoption resources
Every adoption can be beautiful regardless of how it is handled, whether domestically, internationally, through foster care, or another method. The adoption process will be more of an enjoyable experience if you utilize resources provided to you, and become well-informed of the processes for adoption in Maine. The more that you understand the process and surround yourself with support and resources, the less time you’ll spend wondering and worrying about unanswered questions within the process. This will also allow you to spend more time preparing yourself as a prospective adoptive parent. This is why the adoption community is so important and appreciated. Providing support for all members of the adoption triad makes everything surrounding each adoption better for the child and other members involved.
Adopting foster care is another great opportunity in providing an important adult role in the life of a child forever. As of 2019, there are 2,091 children in Maine state custody, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. A smaller percentage of these children need a permanent home and family right now. They can find that home via foster care adoption. Take a look at these photo listings of children in the state of Maine who are currently waiting for their forever families through the wonderful gift of adoption:
“Justin, age 10, and Lucas, age 9 currently reside together in a foster home. The Department hopes that both boys can be placed together in an adoptive home involving patients and skilled parents. Justin enjoys playing with Legos and he builds amazing Lego structures. He has a lot of perseverance. He responds best to a structured home and school environment. Justin is becoming more and more affectionate with his foster parents, craves parental attention, and enjoys being tucked into bed at night. He is a good eater, sleeps through the night, and enjoys animals. Justin responds best to a firm but loving caregiver. Lucas, age nine, presents with a very sweet disposition, is caring, wants to help, and is well-liked by peers and the school staff that work with him. He loves sports, excels in tasks he is relentlessly trying to complete and is motivated to do well. Lucas is bright and learns quickly. He is a good eater and presents as compliant and demonstrates the ability to be redirected by his caregivers.”
“Destiny was born in February 2005. She has short blonde/brown hair and wears glasses. Destiny always has a smile on her face. Destiny loves to interact with other people and she is active and outgoing in everything she does. Destiny is considered a social butterfly and she makes friends easily. Some of her hobbies are listening to music, riding her bike, playing games with other kids, and talking. Destiny would do well with a parent or parents who are outgoing and active. Destiny would do well in a home with or without other children. Destiny likes “girly” things and the color pink and she laughs often.”
“Isabella and Kaylee are two friendly and energetic girls who are looking for their forever home together. They both enjoy being outdoors, swimming, going to camp, and doing family activities. Both girls enjoy going to the library and also watching movies. Isabella and Kaylee are both friendly and social girls who can be very caring toward their foster family and foster siblings. The girls would do best with a nurturing family that can also provide consistency and structure.”
If you’d like to see more profiles of children who are currently waiting to be adopted in the state of Maine, go to the Maine photo listings here.
These children are hopeful to become part of a family where they can feel safe, loved, and secure in a stable environment that will help them flourish in their lives. Any prospective adoptive parent that would feel honored to take on this responsibility and open up their hearts to these children can inquire about these children on each photo listing. Once you see the faces of these children knowing that they are all seeking permanent family home situations, I’m sure you will understand the magnitude of the need for foster care adoption. Children who have experienced separation from the biological families for various reasons need to be loved, protected, and provided for. Our communities must step up to provide these types of environments that are desperately needed for these children because every child is important to our future as a whole. This is what makes foster care adoption so special. If you’d like more information on adopting from foster care, visit the “Adopting from Foster Care Guide.”
This guide covers loads of information on foster care adoption and will help you on your journey through it. You will find resources for finances, special needs, preparation, education, orientations, applications, pre-adoption classes, home studies, agencies, attorneys, waiting, photo listings, legalities, placements, and lots more.
Another important aspect of adoption in Maine is knowing the resources that will help you find adoption records and also different searching mechanisms. If you or someone that you know are searching for adoption records, I recommend reading through this brief composition of the overall answer to finding adoption records. Just like the adoption process, adoption records are handled differently depending on the state in which the records are located. For adoption in Maine, there are a few resources that I can provide that will give you a great start in your search for more information.
Both of these message boards are going to provide you with the following information that will help in these areas. First of all, if you are requesting an original birth certificate, it states that an adoptee must go to where the adoption was finalized and create a petition at the court there. The forums also provide contact information for the Maine Office of Vital Records which includes the department information, address, telephone, and fax numbers for Maine adoption-related information and records. This allows members of the adoption triad to formally speak with someone who can help them in their search.
The contact information that is provided below may help people with non-identifying information related to the adoption. According to the forums, this information may be given to “adopted adults 18 years old and older, an adopted adult’s kin, and adoptive parents or the legal guardian of an adopted adult can petition the court for non-identifying information.” Of course, these parties must petition the court for this non-identifying information at the following contact information listed below.
Maine Office of Child and Family Services
2 Anthony Avenue
Augusta, ME 04333-0011
The contact information that is also provided here below may further help individuals who are looking for more information in regards to an adoption. This contact may help with more identifying information which is provided through an adoption registry. Using the state of Maine’s adoption registry will provide additional information for adoptions. This registry may be used by adoptee adults, adoptive parents or guardians, birth siblings who are 18 and older in age, guardians of birth siblings who are under the age of 18 and birth parents. So, as you can tell, this registry is a huge resource for searching for more information relating to adoption in Maine. Below is the contact information for this resource.
Maine Department of Health and Human Services
Division of Vital Records
220 Capitol Street
Augusta, ME 04333
Adoption in Maine and all over the world has affected countless lives. Let us continue to remember that awesome quote that was provided at the beginning of this article about the importance of our roles in children’s lives. Our role that makes such a drastic difference for every precious child here on this earth will continually shape the future of this entire world. If there are children out there who need homes, then let us help them and provide for them. If there are babies who need families to bring them home and become full-time parents for them, then let us stand up to that call, if needed. If there are children who have been greatly impacted by destruction within this world, then let us care for them and protect them forevermore. Let us continue to change the lives of all children by adopting these children as our own.
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.
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)
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.
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
Gallery of children waiting to be adopted: https://adoption.com/photolisting?page=1&search_type=state&range=22
State subsidy contact:
Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)
2 Anthony Avenue
Augusta, ME 04333
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.