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What are the Adoption Requirements in Maine?

Make Sure you are Eligible to Adopt Before Beginning the Process

“Requirements” can be a scary word. It makes a lot of people think of strict rules and falling short. But when it comes to adoption requirements, you shouldn’t feel scared.

You don’t have to be perfect in order to adopt, and the requirements for adoption in Maine exist to protect you, the child and the potential birth mother. With something this important, it’s good to have a clear structure in place.

To get more information about adoption requirements in Maine, you can contact one of our adoption specialists.

If you are considering adopting a baby, you should have a complete grasp of the basic adoption requirements in Maine before officially stepping into the process. While this article should not be taken as legal advice, it will outline the basic requirements to adopt a child in Maine.

What are the Requirements to Adopt a Child in Maine?

The basic adoption requirements in Maine are fairly simple. You must be at least 21 years old to adopt a baby in Maine. Any adult — unmarried or married — may adopt under Maine law. Residents and non-residents can adopt a child from Maine.

Along with these requirements, the state will request a background check for prospective adoptive parents. This background check screens for any cases of child abuse in the Maine Criminal Justice System and FBI records. If a criminal record is found that a court considers dangerous to a child, then a potential adoptive family may be restricted from pursuing adoption.

Every hopeful parent who meets these basic requirements, as well as any additional requirements from your specific adoption agency, is able to begin the adoption process in Maine. As you can see, these requirements are not in place to scare or intimidate you. They exist for the protection of everyone involved in this complex, delicate process.

What are the Requirements to Adopt a Child from Foster Care in Maine?

While the state of Maine does not have an official statute in place to set requirements for foster care adoption, there are some guidelines in the Code of Maine Rules.  These guidelines follow the same basic rules as above — anyone adopting a child from foster care must undergo a criminal background check to ensure the child’s safety, and both married and un-married adults can become adoptive parents through foster care.

There are several additional requirements to become a foster parent in Maine. You must be at least 21 years old, be able to provide three references from non-relatives and pass a home safety inspection. Foster-adoptive parents will also need to complete a home study, like anyone else going through the domestic adoption process.

Can LGBTQ couples adopt from Maine?

Yes, thankfully. For many years, there was unnecessary pushback against same-sex couples adopting in many states across the country. But we know that children raised by same-sex couples show the same general health, emotional well-being and learning ability as any other children. Today, all 50 states allow same-sex couple adoption.

If you are a same-sex couple considering adoption in Maine, you will be not restricted. As long as you meet the other requirements for adoption in Maine listed here, you can adopt a baby. As you move forward with the adoption process, this is an important question to ask adoption professionals before making a decision, as some organizations may have different restrictions. At American Adoptions, we believe adoption can be a great way for same-sex couples to grow their family.

Can I Adopt a Child in Maine with American Adoptions?

Many prospective adoptive parents have questions about the qualifications for adoption for a specific agency. The good news is that, in most cases, if you meet your states qualifications to adopt a child, you will also meet the agency’s adoption qualifications. If you would like to work with American Adoptions, there are several questions you may have.

  • How old do you have to be to adopt in Maine with American Adoptions?

    • You must be at least 21 years old.

  • Do you have to be married to adopt in ME?

    • American Adoptions requests that adoptive parents be married for at least two years prior to working with the agency, but exceptions can be made on a case-by-case basis, so please contact us to learn whether this might be an option for you. 

  • How hard is it to adopt a baby in Maine?

    • The adoption process is not easy, but our staff is committed to working with you and helping your dream of starting a family come true.

Are there any other requirements for adopting a child in Maine?

In addition to meeting Maine’s legal requirements to adopt, there are several things to consider before beginning the adoption process:

Are you prepared to meet the needs of a new child? Adoption takes serious work, and the process of pre-placement is only the beginning. This is a lifelong journey, and anyone thinking about adoption needs to carefully consider everything involved before jumping in.

Do you have the financial resources to complete the adoption process and support a family? You do not need to be wealthy to adopt, but the process can be expensive. There are fees associated with different necessary steps along the way, as well as the financial demands of raising a child once the process is finished. Make sure you are ready for this element of adoption before beginning your adoption process.

Are you fully committed to adoption? You can’t adopt half-heartedly. The potential birth mother and, of course, your future child needs your full commitment to adoption. If you’re unsure, it’s okay to wait. Something this life-changing deserves your full commitment from the get-go. While this is not necessarily a legal requirement, it is absolutely necessary for you to begin the adoption process. 

Hopefully, this answers some of the big questions you have about the requirements to adopt a child in Maine.

If you’re still unsure about some of our agency adoption requirements or have other questions about adopting a baby with our agency, you can call 1-800-ADOPTION at any time to speak with a helpful adoption professional.

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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