4 Things you Should Know About International Adoption in Maine
Is a ME International Adoption Right for Your Family?
There are many different ways to grow your family through adoption in Maine. You could choose domestic infant adoption or foster care adoption, which are the most common types of adoption in the United States.
But those paths may not be right for your family. You could decide instead to pursue an international adoption in Maine, which can also be a beautiful way to start a family.
To get more information about the different types of adoption and how to determine which is best for you, contact an adoption specialist today.
Choosing international adoption comes with unique joys and challenges. If this is the direction you are considering for your family, you should conduct thorough research and ask a lot of questions.
Just like any adoption plan, this is a serious commitment, and it is important to be completely sure of your choice from the start. Your international adoption in Maine will look different than adoption plans in other areas, so be sure to get all the facts before jumping in.
Here are four key things you should know about international adoption in Maine.
International adoption statistics show a decline, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
International adoption has declined significantly in the United States in the past 15 years. Since its peak in 2004, intercountry adoptions have dropped by more than 76 percent — a shockingly high number. To put it more concretely, there were 22,991 foreign adoptions by U.S. families in 2004, compared to 4,714 foreign adoptions completed in 2017. In 2017, the state of Maine only completed 21 intercountry adoptions.
While this may seem like only bad news at first, there are some reasons behind this drop that aren’t negative.
Until recently, many countries around the globe didn’t have proper systems to support in-country adoption. But in-country adoption has become more common around the world. For instance, more children in China who need a family have been adopted by families in China, rather than finding a loving home through international adoption.
This means that while the number of U.S. adoptions from China has decreased, the number of children in China being adopted has not dropped as significantly.
Additionally, the international adoption process can move slowly as more countries conform to the standards of the Hague Convention, which is a set of regulations that exist to protect children while navigating a complicated legal procedure between two countries.
While opinion on the Hague Convention is split, it is the standard the U.S. government operates under. Unlike domestic adoption, international adoptions in Maine have to comply with federal law between two separate nations as well as any state and local laws that may apply. This makes the legal process much more complicated and can cause the process to move slower.
The chances of an open adoption in international adoption are slim.
Open adoptions have become increasingly common in domestic infant adoptions. This shift has occurred thanks to a better cultural understanding of adoption and the benefits that open adoption can bring to the child and birth mother. However, open adoption situations are very difficult to find in international adoption.
Many families may see this as a positive, because the idea of open adoption can seem scary. However, research has shown that healthy open adoption situations can have a positive impact on children as they begin to fill in the gaps in their own story and ask questions about origin and identity. That being said, open adoption isn’t right for all situations.
If you decide to adopt internationally in Maine, the chances of finding an open adoption situation decrease drastically.
Most families will need to go through re-adoption in Maine.
One of the complicated legal steps involved in the Maine international adoption process is “re-adoption.” When you travel to bring your child home, you will often legally complete the adoption in the country you travel to under that country’s laws. However, once you return home, you will still need to complete the adoption under U.S. laws.
Essentially, you will go through a second court appearance, hence the term “re-adoption.” Maine’s court fee for filing your adoption petition is only $55.
In Maine, a judge may enter a decree of adoption based solely on a judgement of adoption in a foreign country. This is something to be aware of and discuss with your adoption professional.
You will need to find a reputable international adoption agency.
Because of how complex international adoption can be, it is very important to find an international adoption lawyer or agency that you can fully trust. Here are several international adoption agencies in Maine to consider:
You can also find a helpful list of adoption professionals from the Maine Child and Family Services department here.
There are several different ways to start a family, and international adoption in Maine can be a beautiful beginning for you. The process is sure to come with its unique challenges, but it will be worth it if it’s right for your family.
If you are still considering private domestic infant adoption, you can call 1-800-ADOPTION now to speak with an adoption specialist about our agency programs.
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