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What You Need to Know to Adopt a Baby in Maine

Getting Started With Your Maine Adoption

Adoption is beautiful, but it can also seem confusing. If you are considering adoption in Maine, you probably have a lot of questions. How do I adopt a baby in Maine? What are the requirements to adopt a child in my state? How can I find adoptable children in Maine? Am I ready for the infant adoption process?

There is a lot to consider. But thankfully, you’re not alone. We’re here to help. Our adoption specialists are always available to answer your questions about our agency and help you get started with your adoption in Maine. You can call 1-800-ADOPTION anytime or request free information here.

To get started, let’s take a big-picture look at the adoption in Maine and how it works.

Step 1: Deciding if Adopting a Child in Maine is Right for You

It seems like an obvious first step, right? But this decision can’t be taken lightly. Take your time and ask all the questions you can think of. Be honest and open with your family, because you all need to be on the same page before diving into the Maine infant adoption process.

Deciding to adopt a baby will be life-changing, and it deserves careful consideration. After you have asked the questions and done your research, you’ll be ready to make the right decision for your unique situation.

If you aren’t sure whether adoption is right for you, that’s okay. Adoption isn’t the best option for everyone. It’s better, to be honest about your doubts than rush into something so important.

If your decision is, “Yes, I want to adopt!” then congratulations, you are taking the first step of an amazing journey. Once you’ve made your decision, you should make sure you meet Maine’s requirements to adopt and begin preparing yourself for the unique joys and challenges that come with this process.

It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.

Step 2: How Do I Choose an Adoption Professional?

Choosing the right adoption professional can make or break your experience with the Maine child adoption process. There are several options available to you depending on your unique situation — each with its positives and negatives. Be sure to thoroughly research all possibilities before choosing.

Families who are adopting a baby in Maine have these four options:

Adoption attorneys or law firms: An adoption attorney is required in every adoption situation to handle the complex legal paperwork surrounding the adoption. Typically, an adoption agency will provide a family with an attorney. However, another option is for families to pursue an independent adoption and work solely with an attorney. A good attorney or law firm will provide solid legal work to make the adoption secure, but there are disadvantages. Working independently with an adoption attorney can result in longer wait times and a more unpredictable process.

Local adoption agencies: Local adoption agencies in Maine are smaller organizations that operate based on rules and regulations put in place by the state. Because of this, you can be sure that any licensed local adoption agency is acting in an ethical and safe way. Local agencies in Maine typically work only with women who are placing a baby for adoption in the state, which can lead to longer wait times.

Adoption facilitators or law centers: Adoption facilitators are unlicensed and unregulated companies who match prospective adoptive families with women considering adoption for a baby in Maine. Law centers are corporations owned by a licensed attorney, and they typically refer clients to separate law firms. Both facilitators and law centers can excel at locating adoption opportunities for adopting families, but there are significant drawbacks. The process, which can already be stressful and seem overwhelming, is much more vulnerable to pitfalls due to the lack of regulation.

National adoption agencies: National adoption agencies like American Adoptions are licensed professionals who work across all 50 states to help birth mothers, adopting families and children.

National adoption agencies are typically well regulated and held to very high standards. Because of the size and scope of their work, national adoption agencies typically offer shorter adoption wait times, lower risk, and more benefits than other options.

Every situation is unique, so what works best for someone else may not be the best thing for you. Regardless of your final decision, it is important to carefully consider each of these options and research Maine adoption professionals before making your choice.

Step 3: Beginning the Process to Adopt a Baby in Maine

You’ve decided that adopting an infant in Maine is right for you and choose the adoption professional who will be the best for your family — now you’re ready to get to work. This part of the process can feel overwhelming and invasive as there is a lot required of the adopting family but take a deep breath. Your adoption professional is here to help you, and they’re on your side.

Adopting a baby in Maine will look different depending on which professional you choose. With American Adoptions, there are several steps involved in this part of the process:

Completing your APQ and other paperwork: Your adoption specialist will help you complete your Adoption Planning Questionnaire (APQ), which outlines the type of adoption opportunity you are prepared for. Your APQ will be used to connect your family with potential birth mothers.

Create an adoptive family profile: American Adoptions has dedicated media specialists who are committed to helping you present your family in the best way possible. We will help you create a print and video profile that will be shown to expectant mothers who are considering your family. These profiles help potential birth mothers get to know the family who they choose for their baby.

Complete your home study: The Maine adoption home study is a crucial step in the adoption process. The purpose of the home study is to verify that a family is ready to adopt. Your adoption specialist will help you prepare for this step of the process.

Step 4: The moment you’ve been waiting for…

Words don’t do it justice. The moment you answer your phone and hear the voice of your adoption specialist telling you that a mother has chosen you, that there is a baby who will one day call you mommy and daddy, that all the work so far has been worth it — many families find it indescribable.

Most families who work with American Adoption are able to adopt within 1-12 months of going active. The wait can seem long, but it will be worth it. Once you receive an adoption opportunity, you will have the chance to get to know the potential birth mother through pre-placement contact, which American Adoptions helps to coordinate.

This makes many families nervous at first, but don’t worry. Your adoption specialist will prepare you for the conversation, and it can be very beneficial for yourself and the potential birth mother.

When the time comes for the baby to be born, you’ll receive a call from your adoption specialist. At this time, you’ll travel to the hospital, where the birth mother will have already set a hospital plan in place. Consent for the adoption can be given any time after the child’s birth in Maine; however, other states require 24-72 hours wait time between birth and official consent. Once consent is given, the baby will be placed in your care.

Step 5: The adoption journey continues

The moment you hold your baby for the first time is not the end of your adoption journey. Really, it’s only the beginning. There are several legal steps left to finalize your adoption, which your attorney and American Adoptions will walk you through step-by-step.

Adoption will shape you and your child’s life in ways that are hard to imagine. Some moments will be difficult and others will be wonderful because that’s how life is meant to be. Through the ups and downs of it all, you’ll have the sustaining joy of parenthood. And you won’t be alone. Your adoption specialist with American Adoptions is happy to help facilitate some post-placement support and services if necessary.

If you are ready to adopt a baby in Maine, or if you would like to receive more information about the domestic adoption process with our agency, call 1-800-ADOPTION or request free information here.

Information available through these links is the sole property of the companies and organizations listed therein. American Adoptions provides this information as a courtesy and is in no way responsible for its content or accuracy.

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