Adoption Partners of Maine FAQ

  1. Tell us a little about the founding and development of your organization?
    Adoption Partners of Maine was formed by licensed social workers who came together following the closure of two long standing adoption programs in Maine – MAPS/Stepping Stones and St. Andre Home. Our founding partners took the lessons learned over many years at both agencies to continue to serve the needs of women and families in Maine. While the original programs closed for different reasons, our social workers understood the specific needs around adoption and worked to ensure the need continued to be met.
  2. How are your adoption home study and your organization unique?
    Adoption Partners of Maine believes in the importance of face to face support for families on the journey of adoption. We meet in person with every prospective client, and offer support throughout their process. All our home study preparers are clinically licensed social workers. We pride ourselves on ensuring families grow during a home study and find out more about themselves and their goals as a family. A home study should not be just an exercise in ‘checking the box’, but an opportunity to learn.
  3. Why are you passionate about adoption and the home study process?
    Adoption Partners of Maine is passionate about growing families through adoption – not just adoptive families, but birth families as well. Very few people come to adoption without a story of grief and loss, and we help families navigate this reality with compassion. Fully exploring the lifelong impact adoption has on a family allows our adoptive families to bring their best selves to the process, and to support adoptive children well throughout their development in the years to come.
  4. How long is an adoption home study valid?
    One year
  5. Approximately how much time is necessary to complete an adoption home study by your organization?
    Once all application paperwork is received and reviewed, a social worker is assigned to begin the study. Typically studies are completed within 6-8 weeks.
  6. Can adoptive parents use a home study completed by your organization to adopt a child born in another state?
    Yes. Studies written by Adoption Partners of Maine for a Maine family are appropriate for use in any private domestic adoption.
  7. If you complete my home study, do you also have to complete my post-placement visits?
    Adoption Partners of Maine offers post-placement visits as part of our home study services. Post pl acement visits are required by the State of Maine, and should be either completed by Adoption Partners of Maine, or transferred to another licensed Maine agency for completion.
  8. How many post-placement visits does your organization require?
    Adoption Partners of Maine requires three post placement visits, which is the number of visits required by Maine Department of Health and Human Services. If a family is following the adoption law of another state, we will work with placing agency to determine the appropriate number of post placement visits to satisfy the states involved in the adoption.
  9. What is some advice you can give to potential adoptive families about the home study process? What should they be prepared for?
    Families should be prepared to look honestly at their motivation to adopt, lifestyle, anticipated hurdles and challenges, anticipated joys, and be ready to address any fears or unresolved grief. It is our belief that a home study process should be enjoyable and informative. Families should also know that there are very few ‘wrong answers’ in a home study! Be yourselves. From a logistical standpoint, we always encourage families to start with the home study – being home study ready is the first step in an adoption and will help you answer questions you didn’t know you had – so you are ready to take placement of the match that is right for you. Finally, we always encourage families to be ready to move forward with their adoption when they begin a home study. This means having their financial plan in order as well as their readiness to bring a baby into the home.
  10. What do your home study social workers look for in a home and a family when they visit potential adoptive families' homes?
    Social workers with Adoption Partners of Maine look for families who are compassionate, open, curious, and flexible. We want to see how you communicate, how you make your family work, and how you support one another as a team. There are no ‘perfect families’ – the information we gather on income, community, jobs, and health history just create a snapshot of who you are as family. There are baseline requirements to successful complete a home study, including background checks, driving records, health history, etc. Families who have concerns about their ability to meet the requirements of a home study should reach out with those concerns so they can be addressed up front. The homes adoptive families live in are required to meet the standard for Maine’s legal risk Home Certification, and that checklist is provided in advance. It is a commonsense list covering such topics as safety, living space, and basic resources.
  11. Are you Hague accredited, and if not, does your international home study comply with Hague International Standards?
    Adoption Partners of Maine is not Hague accredited, but does occasionally complete Hague standard home studies under the supervision of a Hague agency.
  12. Do you have experience in completing the home study and working with international placement companies?
    Adoption Partners of Maine has staff with a broad background in international adoption, though our primary focus is domestic adoption. We do write home studies for families adopting internationally, as long as their placing agency approves our agency as the home study preparer. We offer ongoing post placement report services for families adopting internationally.
  13. Are there other services and benefits you would like to share about your company?
    Adoption Partners of Maine offers full-service adoption and adoption counseling to Maine women and families. We are always available to help local women explore their options in a crisis pregnancy using our judgement free, non-coercive model. We offer counseling services for families experiencing grief and loss around infertility and/or infant loss; search and reunion services for adoptees and birth parents; adoption education; and a la carte home study services.

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