- 1 Adoption Laws
- 1.1 Consent to Adoption
- 1.2 Criminal Background Checks for Prospective Foster and Adoptive Parents
- 1.3 Grounds for Involuntary Termination of Parental Rights
- 1.4 Home Study Requirements for Prospective Parents in Domestic Adoption
- 1.5 Infant Safe Haven Laws
- 1.6 Regulation of Private Domestic Adoption Expenses
- 1.7 The Rights of Unmarried Fathers
- 1.8 Use of Advertising and Facilitators in Adoptive Placements
- 1.9 Who May Adopt, Be Adopted, or Place a Child for Adoption?
- 2 Post-Adoption Laws
- 3 Laws Related to Intercountry Adoption
Notice: 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the content of this website is frequently updated, information changes rapidly and therefore, some information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies, omissions or typographical errors.
Consent to Adoption
Who Must Consent to an Adoption Citation: Rev. Stat. Tit. 18-A, § 9-302
Written consent to the adoption must be given by:
- Each living parent
- The person or agency having legal custody or guardianship of the child
- A guardian appointed by the court when the child has no living parent, guardian, or legal custodian who may consent
Consent of Child Being Adopted Citation: Rev. Stat. Tit. 18-A, § 9-302
Written consent to the adoption must be given by the child if he or she is age 14 or older.
When Parental Consent Is Not Needed Citation: Rev. Stat. Tit. 18-A, § 9-302
Consent to adoption is not required of:
- A putative father or a legal father who is not the birth father if he:
- A parent whose parental rights have been terminated
- A parent who has executed a surrender and release pursuant to § 9-202
- A parent whose parental rights have been voluntarily or judicially terminated and transferred to a public agency or a duly licensed private agency pursuant to the laws of another State or country
- The parent of an adopted person who is age 18 or older
When Consent Can Be Executed Citation: Rev. Stat. Tit. 18-A, §§ 9-202; 9-302
Consent can be executed any time after the child’s birth.
A petition for adoption must be pending before consent is executed.
How Consent Must Be Executed Citation: Rev. Stat. Tit. 18-A, § 9-202
The parents or the surviving parent must execute the consent in the presence of the judge. The child, if age 14 or older, must execute the consent in the presence of the judge.
The court may approve a consent only when the following conditions are met:
- A licensed child-placing agency or the Department of Health and Human Services certifies that counseling was provided or was offered and refused.
- The court has explained the individual’s parental rights and responsibilities, the effects of the consent or the surrender and release, that in all but specific situations the individual has the right to revoke the consent within 3 days, and the existence of the adoption registry and the services available under Title 22, § 2706-A.
- The court determines that the consent has been duly executed and was given freely after the parent was informed of the parent’s rights.
- At least 3 days have elapsed since the parents or parent executed the consent and the parents or parent did not withdraw or revoke the consent.
Consent may be acknowledged before a notary public who is not an attorney for the adopting parents or a partner, associate, or employee of an attorney for the adopting parents when consent is given by:
- The department or a licensed child-placing agency
- A public agency or a duly licensed private agency to which parental rights have been transferred under the law of another State or country
Revocation of Consent Citation: Rev. Stat. Tit. 18-A, § 9-202
A consent or release will not be valid until 3 days after it has been executed. Except as noted below, a consent or a surrender and release is then final and irrevocable when duly executed.
A consent is final only for the adoption consented to, and if that adoption petition is withdrawn or dismissed or if the adoption is not finalized within 18 months of the execution of the consent, a review must be held pursuant to § 9-205.
Criminal Background Checks for Prospective Foster and Adoptive Parents
Requirements for Foster Parents Code of Maine Rules § 10-148-016(2)(H)-(I); (9)(A)
This issue is not addressed in statute. The following information is from the Code of Maine Rules.
At the time of initial application, the applicant shall undergo fingerprinting in order to allow the department to submit required fingerprint-based checks of national crime information databases.
At the time of initial or renewal application, the applicant shall submit releases signed by each adult member of the household and, at the discretion of the department, releases signed by any person who frequents the home who may have unsupervised access to the foster children. The releases will permit the department to request criminal history records from the Departments of Public Safety, State Police, Bureau of Identification, or other law enforcement agencies from any past or present residence, including out-of-State law enforcement agencies.
The department shall not grant a license to a person convicted of a felony involving:
- Child abuse or neglect
- Spousal abuse
- A crime against a child, including child pornography
- A crime involving violence, including rape, sexual assault, or homicide
The department shall not grant a license to a person convicted within the past 5 years of a felony involving:
- Physical assault or battery
- A drug-related offense
An application may be denied if the applicant has an open child protective services case or a closed substantiated and/or indicated child protective services case. An open child protective services case includes a pending disposition of an open report, a case open for assessment, or a case open for services.
Requirements for Adoptive Parents Rev. Stat. Ann. Tit. 18-A, § 9-304
The court shall request a background check for each prospective adoptive parent who is not the biological parent of the child. The background check must include a screening for child abuse cases in the records of the department and criminal history record information obtained from the Maine Criminal Justice Information System and the FBI.
Each prospective parent who is not the biological parent of the child shall submit to having fingerprints taken. The State Police, upon receipt of the fingerprint card, may charge the court for the expenses incurred in processing State and national criminal history record checks.
State and Federal criminal history record information may be used by the department for the purpose of screening prospective adoptive parents in determining whether the adoption is in the best interests of the child.
There is a rebuttable presumption that the petitioner would create a situation of jeopardy for the child if the adoption were granted, and the adoption is not in the best interests of the child if the court finds that the petitioner:
- Has been convicted of a child-related sexual offense listed in Title 19-A, § 1653(6-A)(A), in which the victim was a minor at the time of the offense, and the petitioner was at least 5 years older than the minor except that, if the offense was gross sexual assault under Title 17-A, §253(1), and the minor victim submitted as a result of compulsion; the presumption applies regardless of the ages of the petitioner and the minor victim at the time of the offense
- Has been adjudicated in an action under Title 22, chapter 1071 of sexually abusing a person who was a minor at the time of the abuse
Grounds for Involuntary Termination of Parental Rights
Circumstances That Are Grounds for Termination of Parental Rights Ann. Stat. Tit. 22, § 4055
The court may order termination of parental rights if the court finds, based on clear and convincing evidence, that termination is in the best interests of the child, and:
- The parent is unwilling or unable to protect the child from jeopardy, and these circumstances are unlikely to change within a reasonable time.
- The parent has been unwilling or unable to take responsibility for the child within a time that is reasonably calculated to meet the child’s needs.
- The child has been abandoned.
- The parent has failed to make a good faith effort to rehabilitate and reunify with the child.
The court may presume that the parent is unwilling or unable to protect the child if:
- The parent has acted toward a child in a manner that is heinous or abhorrent to society.
- The parent has been convicted of any of the following, and the victim was a child for whom the parent was responsible:
- Murder, felony murder, or manslaughter
- Aiding or soliciting suicide or aggravated assault
- Rape, gross sexual misconduct or gross sexual assault, sexual abuse of minors, or incest
- Promotion of prostitution
- The child has been placed in the legal custody or care of the department, the parent has a chronic substance abuse problem, and the parent’s prognosis indicates that the child will not be able to return to the custody of the parent within a reasonable period of time.
- The child has been placed in the legal custody or care of the department, the court has previously terminated parental rights to another child who is a member of the same family, and the parent has failed to remedy the conditions that led to the termination.
- The child has been placed in the legal custody or care of the department for at least 9 months, and the parent has been offered or received services to correct the situation but has refused or made no significant effort to correct the situation.
Circumstances That Are Exceptions to Termination of Parental Rights Ann. Stat. Tit. 22, § 4055
In deciding to terminate parental rights, the court shall consider the best interests of the child, the needs of the child, including the child’s age, the child’s attachments to relevant persons, periods of attachments and separation, the child’s ability to integrate into a substitute placement or back into the parent’s home, and the child’s physical and emotional needs.
The court shall consider, but is not bound by, the wishes of a child age 12 or older in making an order under this section.
Circumstances Allowing Reinstatement of Parental Rights Ann. Stat. Tit. 22, § 4059
- The reasons for the termination
- A substantial change in circumstances of the parent that demonstrate the parent has the capacity and willingness to parent the child
- The parent’s consent to the reinstatement
- The willingness of the child for the reinstatement
The petition must be accompanied by a permanency plan that provides for the health and safety of the child and outlines the transition services to the family and the supervision required by the department for placing the child in the home on a trial basis.
Upon the filing of a petition, the court shall hold a case management conference to review the permanency plan filed by the department.
The court may order reinstatement of parental rights if it finds, by clear and convincing evidence, that:
- The child has been in the custody of the department for at least 12 months after parental rights have been terminated.
- The child has lived for at least 3 months in the home of the parent after the petition for reinstatement has been filed.
- The parent consents to the reinstatement of parental rights.
- If the child is age 12 or older, the child consents to the reinstatement of parental rights.
- Reinstatement of parental rights is in the best interests of the child.
In determining whether to reinstate parental rights, the court shall consider the age and maturity of the child, the child’s ability to express a preference, the child’s ability to integrate back into the home of the parent whose rights were terminated, the ability of the parent whose rights were terminated to meet the child’s physical and emotional needs, the extent that the parent whose rights were terminated has remedied the circumstances that resulted in the termination of parental rights, and the likelihood of future risk to the child.
Home Study Requirements for Prospective Parents in Domestic Adoption
Who Must Be Studied Citation: Rev. Stat. Tit. 18-A, § 9-304
The court shall request a background check for each prospective adoptive parent who is not the birth parent of the child.
Agency or Person Conducting the Study Citation: Rev. Stat. Tit. 18-A, § 9-304
The department or a licensed child-placing agency will conduct a study and make a report to the court.
Qualifications for Adoptive Parents Citation: Rev. Stat. Tit. 18-A, § 9-301
A husband and wife jointly or an unmarried person, resident or nonresident, may petition the court to adopt a person, regardless of age.
Elements of a Home Study Citation: Rev. Stat. Tit. 18-A, § 9-304
The study must include an investigation of the conditions and antecedents of the child to determine whether the child is a proper subject for adoption and whether the proposed home is suitable for the child.
A background check must include a screening for child abuse cases in the records of the department and criminal history record information obtained from the Maine Criminal Justice Information System and the FBI. Each prospective parent who is not the birth parent of the child shall submit to having fingerprints taken.
Grounds for Withholding Approval Citation: Rev. Stat. Tit. 18-A, § 9-304
There is a rebuttable presumption that the petitioner would create a situation of jeopardy for the child if the adoption were granted and that the adoption is not in the best interests of the child if the court finds that the petitioner for the adoption of a minor child:
- Has been convicted of an offense listed in title 19-A, § 1653(6-A)(A) [child-related sexual offense] in which at the time of the offense the victim was a minor and the petitioner was at least 5 years older than the minor, except that, if the offense was gross sexual assault and the minor victim submitted as a result of compulsion, the presumption applies regardless of the ages of the petitioner and the minor victim at the time of the offense
- Has been adjudicated of sexually abusing a person who was a minor at the time of the abuse
When Studies Must Be Completed Citation: Rev. Stat. Tit. 18-A, § 9-304
Upon the filing of a petition for adoption of a minor child, the court shall request a background check of the adopting family. The investigation must be completed and a report submitted to the court within 60 days.
Postplacement Study Requirements
This issue is not addressed in the statutes and regulations reviewed.
Exceptions for Stepparent or Relative Adoptions Citation: Rev. Stat. Tit. 18-A, § 9-304
If the petitioner is a blood relative of the child, the court may waive the requirement of a study and report.
Requirements for Interjurisdictional Placements Citation: Rev. Stat. Tit. 22, § 4255
Prior to sending a child to another State for placement, the public child-placing agency in the sending State shall provide a written request for assessment to the receiving State. Upon receipt of a request from the public child welfare agency of the sending State, the receiving State shall initiate an assessment of the proposed placement to determine its safety and suitability. If the proposed placement is a placement with a relative, the public child-placing agency of the sending State may request a determination of whether the placement qualifies as a provisional placement. The public child-placing agency in the receiving State may request from the child-placing agency in the sending State, and is entitled to receive, supporting or additional information necessary to complete the assessment.
Foster to Adopt Placements
This issue is not addressed in the statutes and regulations reviewed.
Infant Safe Haven Laws
Infant’s Age Citation: Ann. Stat. Tit. 22, § 4018
A child who is younger than 31 days old may be relinquished.
Who May Relinquish the Infant Citation: Ann. Stat. Tit. 22, § 4018
The child may be delivered to a safe haven provider by any person.
Who May Receive the Infant Citation: Ann. Stat. Tit. 22, § 4018
The child may be delivered to a safe haven provider. The term ‘safe haven provider’ means:
- A law enforcement officer
- Staff at a medical emergency room
- A medical services provider, including, but not limited to a:
- Physical therapist
- Physician’s assistant
- Emergency medical services person
- A hospital staff member
Responsibilities of the Safe Haven Provider Citation: Ann. Stat. Tit. 22, § 4018
A person who voluntarily delivers a child less than 31 days of age to a safe haven provider and who does not express an intent to return for the child may be requested to provide information helpful to the welfare of the child. The person who accepts a child may not detain the person delivering the child to obtain information.
A safe haven provider who accepts a child shall promptly notify the Department of Human Services of the delivery of the child, transfer the child to the department at the earliest opportunity, and provide to the department all information provided by the person delivering the child to the safe haven provider. The department shall establish guidelines to assist safe haven providers concerning procedures when a child is delivered to a safe haven provider.
Immunity for the Provider Citation: Ann. Stat. Tit. 22, § 4018
A person or entity who accepts a child or provides temporary custody of a child is not subject to civil, criminal, or administrative liability for accepting the child or providing temporary custody of the child in the good-faith belief that the action is required or authorized by this section. This subsection does not affect liability for personal injury or wrongful death, including but not limited to injury resulting from medical malpractice.
Protection for Relinquishing Parent Citation: Ann. Stat. Tit. 17-A, § 553(3); Title 22, § 4018
All personally identifiable information provided by the person delivering the child to a safe haven provider is confidential and may not be disclosed by the safe haven provider to anyone except to the extent necessary to provide temporary custody of the child until the child is transferred to the department and except as otherwise provided by court order. All health-care or other information obtained by a safe haven provider in providing temporary custody of the child may also be provided to the department upon request.
It is an affirmative defense to a prosecution for child abandonment if, at the time the offense occurred:
- The child was younger than 31 days old.
- The child was delivered to a safe haven provider.
Effect on Parental Rights
This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.
Regulation of Private Domestic Adoption Expenses
Birth Parent Expenses Allowed Citation: Rev. Stat. Tit. 18-A, § 9-306(A)
Except when one of the petitioners is a blood relative of the child to be adopted or the adopted person is an adult, only the following expenses may be paid by or on behalf of a petitioner in any adoption proceeding:
- The actual cost of legal services related to the consent, the surrender and release, and the adoption process
- Prenatal and postnatal counseling expenses for the birth mother
- Prenatal, birthing, and other related medical expenses for the birth mother
- Necessary transportation expenses to obtain the services listed above
- Foster care expenses for the child
- Necessary living expenses for the birth mother and the child
- For the birth father, legal and counseling expenses related to the consent, the surrender and release, and the adoption process
- Fees to a licensed child-placing agency providing services in connection with the pending adoption
Birth Parent Expenses Not Allowed Citation: Rev. Stat. Tit.18-A, § 9-306(C)
Other expenses or payments to the birth parents are not authorized.
Allowable Payments for Arranging Adoption
This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.
Allowable Payments for Relinquishing Child Citation: Rev. Stat. Tit.18-A, § 9-306(C)
Payments for allowable expenses may not be contingent upon any future decision a birth parent may make pertaining to the child.
Allowable Fees Charged by Department/Agency Citation: Rev. Stat. Tit. 18-A, § 9-301
The fee for filing an adoption petition is $65. In addition, separate fees will be charged for the required State and Federal criminal history record checks.
Accounting of Expenses Required by Court Citation: Rev. Stat. Tit. 18-A, § 9-306(B)
Prior to the dispositional hearing, the petitioner shall file a full accounting of all disbursements of anything of value made or agreed to be made by or on behalf of the petitioner in connection with the adoption. The accounting report must be signed under penalty of perjury and must be submitted to the court on or before the date the final decree is granted.
The accounting report must be itemized and show the services related to the adoption or to the placement of the child. The accounting must include the dates of each payment and the names and addresses of each attorney, physician, hospital, licensed child-placing agency, or other person or organization who received funds or anything of value from the petitioner.
The Rights of Unmarried Fathers
Legal Definition of Father Rev. Stat. tit. 18-A, § 9-102; tit. 19-A, § 1601
The following terms have the following meanings.
- ‘Parent’ means the legal parent or the legal guardian when no legal parent exists.
- ‘Putative father’ means a man who is the alleged biological father of a child but whose paternity has not been legally established.
- ‘Alleged father’ means:
- A man who is alleged to have engaged in sexual intercourse with a child’s mother during a possible time of conception of the child.
- A man who is presumed to be a child’s father under the Maine Rules of Evidence, Rule 302.
Alternate Means to Establish Paternity Rev. Stat. tit. 18-A, § 9-201; tit. 19-A, §§ 1605; 1616
When the mother of a child born out of wedlock wishes to consent to the adoption of the child and the putative father has not consented or waived his right to notice, the mother must file an affidavit of paternity with the court so that the judge may determine how to give notice of the proceedings to the putative father of the child.
After notice has been given, the putative father has 20 days to petition the court to grant him parental rights. The petition must include an allegation that the putative father is in fact the biological father of the child. If, after a hearing, the judge finds that the putative father is the biological father, that he is willing and able to take responsibility for the child, and that it is in the best interests of the child, the judge shall declare the putative father the child’s parent with all the attendant rights and responsibilities.
The department may commence a paternity proceeding to request that the court declare the alleged father is the biological father by serving a notice on an alleged father. The department may not serve such a notice unless it has a sworn statement from the child’s mother claiming that the alleged father engaged in sexual intercourse with her during a possible time of conception of the child or is a man who is presumed under State law to be the child’s father.
A signed voluntary acknowledgment of paternity is a legal finding of paternity. Before a mother and putative father may sign an acknowledgment of paternity, the mother and the putative father must be given oral and written notice of the alternatives to, the legal consequences of, and the rights and responsibilities that arise from signing the acknowledgment.
The State shall give full faith and credit to an acknowledgment of paternity signed in any other State according to that State’s procedures.
Required Information Rev. Stat. tit. 19-A, § 1605
The notice of a paternity proceeding to the alleged father must include:
- The child’s name, and place and date of birth
- The name of the child’s mother and the name of the person or agency having custody of the child, if other than the mother
- The probable date on or period during which the child was conceived
- An allegation that the alleged father 1) engaged in sexual intercourse with the child’s mother during a possible time of conception of the child, or 2) is a man who is presumed to be the child’s father under State law, and that he is or may be the biological father of the child
- A statement that the alleged father may deny the allegation of paternity by filing a written denial of paternity with the department within 20 days after service of the notice
- A statement that if the alleged father files a written denial of paternity, he is required to submit to blood or tissue-typing tests
- A statement that if, prior to the filing in a court, the alleged father executes and delivers to the department an acknowledgment of paternity, the proceeding must terminate
- A statement that the department may require the alleged father to submit to blood or tissue-typing tests prior to accepting an acknowledgment of paternity if it appears there is more than one alleged father
A signed voluntary acknowledgment of paternity is subject to the right of a signatory to rescind the acknowledgment within the earlier of 60 days or the date of an administrative or judicial proceeding relating to the child, including a proceeding to establish a support order, in which the signatory is a party.
After the right to rescind ends, the acknowledgment may be challenged in court only on the basis of fraud, duress, or material mistake of fact, with the burden of proof on the challenger and under which the legal responsibilities of a signatory arising from the acknowledgment, including child support obligations, may not be suspended during the challenge except for good cause shown.
Access to Information
This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.
Use of Advertising and Facilitators in Adoptive Placements
Use of Advertisement Citation: Rev. Stat. Tit. 18-A, § 9-313
Advertising for adoption services or soliciting adoptions is prohibited, except licensed child-placing agencies may advertise in accordance with rules adopted by the department.
Use of Intermediaries/Facilitators
This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.
Who May Adopt, Be Adopted, or Place a Child for Adoption?
Who May Adopt Citation: Ann. Stat. Tit. 18-A, § 9-301
The following persons may adopt:
- A husband and wife jointly
- An unmarried person
- A resident or nonresident
Who May Be Adopted Citation: Ann. Stat. Tit. 18-A, § 9-301
Any person, regardless of age, may be adopted.
Who May Place a Child for Adoption Citation: Ann. Stat. Tit. 18-A, § 9-202
The child may be placed by:
- The child’s parent(s)
- The person or agency having legal custody or guardianship of the child
- A licensed child-placing agency
Access to Adoption Records
Who May Access Information Citation: Rev. Stat. Tit. 22, § 2706-A; Tit. 18-A, § 9-310
The following persons may participate in the adoption registry:
- An adoptive parent or legal guardian if the adopted person is under age 18, deceased, or incapacitated
- A birth parent
- A birth sibling or half-sibling who is age 18 or older
- The legal guardian or custodian of a person under age 18 who is the sibling or half-sibling of an adopted person
- If a birth parent is deceased, a birth mother, legal father, grandparent, sibling, half-sibling, aunt, uncle, or first cousin of the deceased birth parent
Medical or genetic information shall be made available to:
- The adopted person upon reaching age 18
- The adopted person’s descendants
- The adoptive parents or the child’s legal guardian on petition of the court
Access to Nonidentifying Information Citation: Rev. Stat. Tit. 18-A, § 9-310; Tit. 22, § 8205
The licensed child-placing agency shall obtain medical and genetic information on the birth parents and the child that shall include:
- A current medical, psychological, and developmental history of the child, including an account of the child’s prenatal care, medical condition at birth, results of newborn screening, any drug or medication taken by the child’s birth mother during pregnancy
- Any subsequent medical, psychological, or psychiatric examination
- Any physical, sexual, or emotional abuse suffered by the child
- A record of any immunizations and health care received since birth
- Relevant information concerning the medical, psychological, and social history of the birth parents
Prior to the child being placed for adoption, the licensed child-placing agency shall provide the information described above to the adoptive parents.
Any medical or genetic information in the court records relating to an adoption must be made available to the adopted child upon reaching age 18 and to the adopted child’s descendants, adoptive parents, or legal guardian on petition of the court.
Mutual Access to Identifying Information Citation: Rev. Stat. Tit. 22, § 2706-A; 2766
The State Registrar shall maintain a file of the names and addresses of adopted persons and their adoptive and birth parents who have registered with the registry. At the time of registration, each registrant shall indicate the persons with whom contact is desired. A registrant may withdraw from the adoption registry at any time by submitting a written request. The Registrar shall notify each party of the name and address of the other party and of sources of counseling when a request for contact is made.
An adult adopted person may request the identity or his or her birth parents from the Registrar by submitting proof that the birth parents are deceased, an affidavit from a blood relative who is not a sibling and who is at least 10 years older than the adopted person verifying that the adopted person lived with the birth parents for 5 years, and a court order authorizing the Registrar to open the original birth certificate to verify the identity of the birth parents. Upon verification of the information, the Registrar will prepare a form identifying the birth parents. This form must be attached to the new birth certificate and provided to the adopted person.
The State Registrar shall provide upon request each birth parent a contact preference form and a medical history form. A birth parent shall fill out a medical history form if he or she fills out a contact preference form.
A birth parent also may complete a contact preference form on which he or she may state a preference regarding contact by an adopted person. The form must indicate whether the birth parent chooses contact, contact through an intermediary, or no contact. Completed contact preference and medical history forms shall be attached to the original birth certificate of the adopted person. A completed contact preference form and medical history form have the same level of confidentiality as the original birth certificate.
Access to Original Birth Certificate Citation: Rev. Stat. Tit. 22, §§ 2765; 2768
The original certificate of birth is not subject to inspection except upon order of the court or pursuant to § 2768.
An adopted person, his or her attorney, or, if the adopted person is deceased, his or her descendants may obtain a copy of that person’s original certificate of birth from the State Registrar of Vital Statistics.
Upon receipt of the written application and proof of identification and fulfillment of the requirements listed below, the State Registrar shall issue a noncertified copy of the unaltered original certificate of birth to the applicant.
The State Registrar may require a waiting period and impose a fee for the noncertified copy. The fees and waiting period imposed under this subsection must be identical to the fees and waiting period generally imposed on persons seeking their own birth certificates.
If a contact preference or medical history form has been completed and submitted to the State Registrar pursuant to § 2769, the State Registrar also must provide that information.
Where the Information Can Be Located
Maine State Adoption Reunion Registry, Office of Vital Records
Intestate Inheritance Rights for Adopted Persons
Birth Parents in Relation to Adopted Person Citation: Ann. Stat. Tit. 18-A, §§ 9-105; 2-109
An adopted person retains the right to inherit from the adopted person’s birth parents if the adoption decree so provides, as specified in § 2-109. If a birth parent wishes an adopted child to inherit from the birth parents and their respective kin, the adoption decree must provide for that status.
Adoption of a child by the spouse of a birth parent has no effect on the relationship between the child and either birth parent.
For purposes of intestate succession, an adopted person is a child of the adopting parent and not the birth parents.
Adopted Persons Who Are Not Included in a Will Citation: Ann. Stat. Tit. 18-A, §§ 2-302; 2-611
If a testator fails to provide in his or her will for any of his or her children who were adopted after the execution of his or her will, the omitted child receives a share in the estate equal in value to that which he or she would have received if the testator had died intestate unless:
- It appears from the will that the omission was intentional.
- When the will was executed, the testator had one or more children and bequeathed substantially all his or her estate to the other parent of the omitted child.
- The testator provided for the child by transfer outside the will with the intent that the transfer be in lieu of a testamentary provision.
Adopted persons are included in class gift terminology and terms of relationship in wills and in trust instruments in accordance with rules for determining relationships for purposes of intestate succession.
Postadoption Contact Agreements Between Birth and Adoptive Families
These issues are not addressed in the statutes reviewed.
Laws Related to Intercountry Adoption
Effect and Recognition of a Foreign Adoption Decree
Rev. Stat. Tit. 18-A, § 9-312
A probate judge may enter a decree of adoption based solely upon a judgment of adoption in a foreign country pursuant to this provision.
Readoption After an Intercountry Adoption
Rev. Stat. Tit. 18-A, § 9-312
If an adoption in a foreign country has been finalized and the adopting parents are seeking an adoption under the laws of this State to give recognition to the foreign adoption, a judge of probate may enter a decree of adoption based solely upon a judgment of adoption in a foreign country and may order a change of name if requested by the adopting parents.
Application for a U.S. Birth Certificate
Rev. Stat. Tit. 22, § 2765(1-A)
The State Registrar will, upon request, establish a birth certificate for a foreign-born person for whom an adoption decree has been entered in State court when it receives:
- A certificate of adoption
- A request by the court decreeing the adoption, the adoptive parents, or the adoptee, if he or she is age 18 or older
The certificate will show the true or probable foreign country of birth and will state that it is not evidence of U.S. citizenship for the child or for the adoptive parents.
Child Welfare Information Gateway. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families. www.childwelfare.gov/adoption/laws/domestic.cfm#sss