What are the guidelines for adoption in Maine?


Quick Answer

Individuals who want to adopt a child in Maine must be state residents over the age of 21 who are in good medical condition and have lived a stable lifestyle for at least two years. Marriage is not an eligibility requirement, but training and counseling services may be mandatory.

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Full Answer

The adoption procedure varies depending on the agency placing the child. As of 2015, eight private adoption agencies are licensed by the state of Maine, including an organization that specializes in international Chinese adoptions. Individuals can also contact one of the state's 13 offices of the Department of Health and Human Services to begin the adoption process.

An informational meeting is typically the first step toward adoption. Individuals who meet the state's eligibility requirements and want to continue the process usually attend eight three-hour sessions of adoptive family training classes before participating in personal interviews with a social worker. Once training is complete, families that meet state standards receive a list of children available for adoption and the matching process begins.

The agency works with the family to find the right child to adopt and sets up a visitation period to give the child and new parents a chance to interact. Full-time placement usually lasts at least six months and includes regular home-visits by an agency representative. Upon recommendation by the agency, the adoption is legalized in probate court.

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