See also: Augusta Adoption
Before you can begin an adoption process, there are several decisions to be made. Do you want to adopt and infant or an older child? Do you want to adopt in Maine or internationally?
If you are interested in domestic infant adoption, or are a birth parent who would like to make an adoption plan, you can do so through a licensed adoption agency, or through an adoption attorney. Be sure that any attorney that you choose has experience in adoptions.
If you are pregnant and feel that you do not have the resources to care for a child, or to make an adoption plan, Maine does have a Safe Haven law. This allows you to leave your baby (under 31 days old) at the Emergency Room of a hospital, with a firefighter, police officer, medical services provider or hospital staff member.
There are many children currently in foster care who are waiting to find a forever family. Maine has several different criteria that define a special needs child. They are:
A child with a physical, mental or emotional handicap that makes placement difficult.
A child with a medical condition that makes placement difficult.
A sibling group that includes at least one member who is difficult to place.
A child who is difficult to place because of age or race.
A child who has been a victim of physical, emotional or sexual abuse or neglect that places the child at risk for future emotional difficulties.
A child who has a family background factors such as severe mental illness, substance abuse, prostitution, genetic or medical conditions or illnesses that place the child at risk for future problems.
If you pursue special needs adoption you will be required to complete the Adoptive and Foster Family Training, which consists of 24 hours of preparatory training for parenting children with special needs. This is done in eight weekly sessions, lasting three hours each, or over four consecutive Saturdays.
When adopting internationally there is a large age range of children available. There are some factors to consider since each country has its own laws. Some countries limit the age of people that are allowed to adopt, and others do not allow adoptions of younger children. This will help you determine the country that you are interested in adopting from, and will also help determine which agencies you should use. Be sure to choose an agency who has experience in adoptions from that country.
No matter what type of adoption you pursue in Maine, you will need a home study. What does a home study involve? It is an inspection, for lack of a better word, of your home, your background, your financial ability to raise a child, your parenting skills or tools, your marriage (if applicable) and many other aspects of your life. To some people it feels intrusive, but you will go through the same types of questions, no matter which avenue of adoption you choose to pursue.
If you are an adult who was adopted in Maine, or a parent who placed a child for adoption in Maine, and are interested in a reunion, you may register with the Maine Department of Health and Human Services. If a match is found both parties will receive contact information along with sources for counseling.
View profiles of hopeful adoptive parents or create your own adoption profile today on ParentProfiles.com (A service of Adoption Profiles, LLC).
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Are you ready to be a parent? There are tens of thousands of children in the United States foster system and many more available children worldwide. There are many children in Maine who are hoping to be adopted.
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Note: Our authors are dedicated to honest, engaged, informed, intelligent, and open conversation about adoption. The opinions expressed here may not reflect the views of Adoption.com.