Maine Adoption Laws and Policies


Any married husband and wife jointly or a single individual may adopt.


Can adoptive parents advertise for birth parents? No.

Can out-of-state residents finalize an adoption? Yes.

Can adopting parents use an adoption facilitator or another paid intermediary? Not addressed in state statutes.

What birth parent expenses may be paid, and in what time period? Medical, legal, counseling, reasonable living (including transportation). Only adoptive parents’ affidavit of expenses is needed.

Is there a putative father registry? No.

When can consent to adoption be granted? Any time after birth; in practice, usually one week to 30 days due to court scheduling.

When does consent become irrevocable? If consent is revoked, is return to birth parent automatic? Any time after birth; in practice, usually one week to 30 days due to court scheduling.

Are post-adoption contact agreements legally enforceable? Not addressed in state statutes.


Is a foreign adoption decree automatically recognized by the state? No, the state does not automatically recognize a foreign adoption decree.

Can parents readopt in this state? Is it mandatory? Yes, a probate judge will enter an adoption decree as long as the adoption was finalized in the child’s country of birth and the adopting parents are in the process of adopting the child under State laws.

When will a U.S. birth certificate be issued? The State Registrar will issue a certificate of foreign birth upon receipt of the adoption certificate and a request from the court decreeing the adoption, the adoptive parents, or the adopted person if s/he is 18 years or older.


Are adoption subsidies available? When do they start and how long do they last? Yes, adoption subsidies are available for a special needs child as defined by one of the following: 5 years or older, member of a sibling group of two or more children that are being placed together, has or is at high risk of developing a physical, mental, emotional, or medical condition. In addition, the child must be in the custody of the state of Maine, the tribes, or an adoption agency. Subsidies begin at adoption placement.

Where can I learn more about the process of adopting a child from foster care in Maine?


Program Manager: Kristi Poole

Maine Department of Health and Human Services
2 Anthony Avenue, SHS #11
Augusta, Maine 04333
Phone: (207) 624-7966
Fax: (207) 287-6156


DISCLAIMER: The state laws and policies outlined above are offered to readers only for general information and do not constitute legal advice. Furthermore, the state laws were accurate at the time of compilation, but The Current Initiative cannot guarantee that there have been no subsequent changes or revisions to the laws. Please do not rely on the information above without first consulting an adoption attorney licensed in your state. Updated in November 2014.