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6 Maine Adoption Laws you Should Know

Get to Know Your State’s Adoption Laws

Adoption in Maine is complex, and it should be. Adoption changes the lives of a child, birth mother and adoptive family. With so much on the line, robust laws and structures need to be put in place to make sure everyone is protected and the process is carried out in an ethical way.

 To get a better understanding of Maine adoption laws, contact our adoption specialists today.

The downside to this is that all of the laws can be hard for families to understand when they are deciding whether or not to adopt a baby.

The best way to get a grasp on the adoption laws in your state is to contact an adoption professional. Adoption laws are complex, and this article is only meant as general information, not legal advice.

In the meantime, these are several key pieces of Maine adoption law you should be familiar with.

Adoption Requirements

Before you take any steps in the adoption process, you have to be sure you are eligible to adopt in your state. In Maine, the requirements to adopt a child are fairly straightforward. You must:

  • Be 21 years of age or older

  • Clear a background test for certain felonies

Any adult, married or unmarried, resident or non-resident, is eligible to petition for adoption in Maine. In this regard, Maine’s adoption laws are pretty simple.

Along with qualifying to adopt according to state requirements, you will also need to check on any requirements your adoption professional may have in place.

Birth Mother Consent

Many laws surrounding the adoption process are meant to protect the rights of birth parents. One example of that would be laws about consent, which make sure that a birth mother gives her final consent to the adoption of her baby in a fair and legal way.

For instance, in almost every state it is required for someone to explain parental rights and offer counseling before a birth mother can consent to adoption.

Most states require a 24-72 hour waiting period after birth before a birth mother can give official consent for adoption. However, Maine adoption law has no set waiting period after birth. The law states that consent must be given in the presence of a judge and that certain standards must be met to ensure the birth mother has considered all options in the choice she is making.

Birth Father Rights

Adoption laws in Maine about a birth father’s rights are complex. There are no easy answers on this topic, and it usually decided on a case-by-case basis. Your adoption professional will help you navigate any situations that could come up concerning the birth father and his relation to the adoption process.

Adoption Equality Laws

Maine’s adoption laws do not allow for discrimination on any basis. This means that same-sex couples can adopt in the state of Maine without fear that they will be turned away. Additionally, the adoption law states that an adoption cannot be delayed or denied because the adoptive parent and child do not share the same, “race, color or national origin.”

Adoption Expenses

It is common for an adoptive family to be asked or required to cover certain expenses the birth mother may incur. These expenses differ on a state-by-state basis. In Maine, the adoption laws state that expenses included can cover:

  • Legal services

  • Prenatal and postnatal counseling

  • Medical expenses

  • Transportation

  • Living expenses

  • And agency fees

An itemized accounting report covering expenses must be submitted to the court for acceptance, and there is no maximum amount set in Maine’s adoption law for birth mother expenses. Any adoptive family working with American Adoptions can be confident that their finances are protected through our Risk-Sharing Program.

Adoption Advertising

Advertising for adoption essentially means finding potential birth mothers who are looking for adoptive families. Only certain people and organizations are allowed to do this legally. The following types of organizations are allowed to advertise under Maine adoption law:

  • The Department of Child Welfare

  • Adoption agencies

  • Licensed attorneys

These restrictions ensure that only organizations with safe regulations are allowed to participate in advertising. As a fully-license national adoption agency, American Adoptions is allowed to participate in Maine. Our media specialists work hard to create compelling family profiles that are presented to prospective birth mothers.

These are some of the big pieces of Maine adoption law that are important to know if you are considering adoption.

If you really want to dive into the details of adoption law in Maine, you can read Maine’s adoption code for yourself. But don’t feel overwhelmed, because it’s not your job to fully understand the law. That’s what adoption professionals are for.

To learn more about adoption laws in Maine, please speak with a local adoption attorney. For more information on adoption in Maine with our agency, please call 1-800-ADOPTION now or request free adoption information online.

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

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