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Maine Adoption Laws

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Access to Adoption Records

Who May Access Information
Citation: Rev. Stat. Tit. 22, § 2706-A; Tit. 18-A, § 9-310

The following persons may participate in the adoption registry:
  • An adoptive parent or legal guardian if the adoptee is under age 18, deceased, or incapacitated
  • A birth parent
  • A birth sibling or half-sibling who is age 18 or older
  • The legal guardian or custodian of a person under age 18 who is the sibling or half-sibling of an adoptee
  • If a birth parent is deceased, a birth mother, legal father, grandparent, sibling, half-sibling, aunt, uncle, or first cousin of the deceased birth parent

Medical or genetic information shall be made available to:

  • The adoptee upon reaching age 18
  • The adoptee's descendants
  • The adoptive parents or the child's legal guardian on petition of the court


Access to Nonidentifying Information
Citation: Rev. Stat. Tit. 18-A, § 9-310; Tit. 22, § 8205

The licensed child-placing agency shall obtain medical and genetic information on the birth parents and the child that shall include:
  • A current medical, psychological, and developmental history of the child, including an account of the child's prenatal care, medical condition at birth, results of newborn screening, any drug or medication taken by the child's birth mother during pregnancy
  • Any subsequent medical, psychological, or psychiatric examination
  • Any physical, sexual, or emotional abuse suffered by the child
  • A record of any immunizations and health care received since birth
  • Relevant information concerning the medical, psychological, and social history of the birth parents

Prior to the child being placed for adoption, the licensed child-placing agency shall provide the information described above to the adoptive parents.

Any medical or genetic information in the court records relating to an adoption must be made available to the adopted child upon reaching age 18 and to the adopted child's descendants, adoptive parents, or legal guardian on petition of the court.

Mutual Access to Identifying Information
Citation: Rev. Stat. Tit. 22, § 2706-A; 2766

The State Registrar shall maintain a file of the names and addresses of adoptees and their adoptive and birth parents who have registered with the registry. At the time of registration, each registrant shall indicate the persons with whom contact is desired. A registrant may withdraw from the adoption registry at any time by submitting a written request. The registrar shall notify each party of the name and address of the other party and of sources of counseling when a request for contact is made.

An adult adoptee may request the identity or his or her birth parents from the registrar by submitting proof that the birth parents are deceased, an affidavit from a blood relative who is not a sibling and who is at least 10 years older than the adoptee verifying that the adoptee lived with the birth parents for 5 years, and a court order authoring the registrar to open the original birth certificate to verify the identity of the birth parents. Upon verification of the information, the registrar will prepare a form identifying the birth parents. This form must be attached to the new birth certificate and provided to the adoptee.

Effective January 1, 2009

The State Registrar shall provide upon request each birth parent a contact preference form and a medical history form. A birth parent may use the medical history form to describe his or her medical history. A birth parent shall fill out a medical history form if he or she fills out a contact preference form.

A birth parent also may complete a contact preference form on which he or she may state a preference regarding contact by an adoptee. The form must indicate whether the birth parent chooses contact, contact through an intermediary, or no contact. Completed contact preference and medical history forms shall be attached to the original birth certificate of the adoptee. A completed contact preference form and medical history form have the same level of confidentiality as the original birth certificate.

Access to Original Birth Certificate
Citation: Rev. Stat. Tit. 22, §§ 2765; 2768

Effective January 1, 2009

The original certificate of birth is not subject to inspection except upon order of the court or pursuant to § 2768.

An adoptee, the adoptee's attorney, or, if the adoptee is deceased, the adoptee's descendants may obtain a copy of that person's original certificate of birth from the State Registrar of Vital Statistics.

The adoptee must be at least age 18 and have been born in this State. The adoptee must file a written application and provide appropriate proof of identification to the State Registrar.

Upon receipt of the written application and proof of identification and fulfillment of the requirements listed below, the State Registrar shall issue a noncertified copy of the unaltered original certificate of birth to the applicant.

The State Registrar may require a waiting period and impose a fee for the noncertified copy. The fees and waiting period imposed under this subsection must be identical to the fees and waiting period generally imposed on persons seeking their own birth certificates.

If a contact preference or medical history form has been completed and submitted to the State Registrar pursuant to § 2769, the State Registrar also must provide that information.

Where the Information Can Be Located

Maine State Adoption Reunion Registry, Office of Vital Records

Contact:

Maine State Adoption Reunion Registry
Office of Vital Records
221 State Street
Augusta, ME 04330-0011
(207) 287-3181

Credits: Child Welfare Information Gateway (http://www.childwelfare.gov)

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