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Post-Adoption Services

Table of Contents

The Goals of Post Adoption Support

Direct Service Resources

Post-Adoption Services

Child Development, Health, and Medical Resources
Mental Health Resources
Educational Resources

Legal Services
Financial Assistance
Diversity Issues

Informational Resources
Newsletters and Other Periodic Publications

DHHS District Offices
BDS District Offices



Last Updated 11/10/2008


Maine Department of Health and Human Services

Adoption Program

Office of Child and Family Services (OCFS)

In foster care, the state is the primary financial provider of the child. When the same child is adopted, the parents take on that responsibility, with the state as a supplemental resource under certain circumstances. The Adoption Assistance program that exists today was developed in accordance with federal mandates relating to Social Security legislation.

A primary goal of the Maine program is to increase the number of secure, loving, and permanent homes for children in DHHS custody (or the custody of a licensed private adoption agency) who have “special needs” and who have been designated as “difficult to place”. The legal definition of “special needs” is described below. 

A child must have at least one of the following characteristics:

  •  A physical, emotional, or mental handicap that makes placement difficult.

  •  A medical condition that makes placement difficult.

  • Is a member of a sibling group that includes a special needs child

  • Is age 5 or older

  • Is difficult to place because of race

  • Is a victim of physical, sexual, or emotional abuse or neglect

  • Has a family background that includes severe mental illness, substance abuse, genetic medical conditions, or prostitution.

The financial and practical support provided to families who adopt these children enhances a family’s ability to create a successful adoption experience.  Assistance may include the following:

  • Financial assistance payments

  • MaineCare benefits

  • Reimbursement for one time adoption-related expenses

Assistance provided can vary widely, depending upon a family’s specific circumstances, the resources of an eligible family, and the availability of state funds. Requests for this type of adoption assistance can be made through your adoption caseworker, or your local DHHS office. Once you are approved for adoption assistance, eligibility for services will be redetermined annually.

District Funds for Post-Adoption Services

Other forms of post-adoption support can be funded through separate district funds. Services are provided through licensed adoption and other human service agencies under contract with DHHS. 

A family requesting assistance from district funds must meet the following guidelines:

  1. The family is experiencing a situation which could lead to disruption of the adoption and which puts the child and/or family’s health and well-being at risk.

  2. It is the intention of the family to keep the adopted child as part of the family unit.

  3. All other funding sources, such the Department of Children's Behavioral and Developmental Services (CBDS) and MaineCare have been pursued.

  4. The family is not involved in the Maine Adoption Guides program.

Services funded through this program may include the following:

  • case management: on-going technical support from an approved case manager who can make referrals to needed services and communicate with other agencies on your behalf 

  • advocacy: support during processes such as PET (pupil evaluation team) meetings, assistance with obtaining mental health and other services.

  • adoption-related parent education: workshops offered at various sites throughout the state on many parenting and special needs topics

  • respite care services: short term out of home placement in a non-residential setting, as part of a formal case plan for dealing with a crisis situation 

  • one-on-one in-home assistance: aide services for children with severe physical and/or emotional challenges

  • adoption support groups (sponsored by community service agencies who contract with DHHS)

  • transportation 

  • adoption records search


 Community-based Organizations 

Adoptive and Foster Families of Maine (AFFM)
294 Center Street, Unit 1

Old Town, ME 04468
800-833-9786 or (207)827-2331

Services: AFFM is the DHHS-sponsored adoptive and foster parent support organization. AFFM staff and volunteers provide information and peer support for adoptive and foster parents and children, access to an extensive book and video library, parent education programs and conferences, a website, and a monthly newsletter. AFFM staff match foster parents who have recently completed pre-service training with seasoned “mentor parents” as part of a contract with the Department of Health and Human Services.


Training for Adoptive Parents

The Child Welfare Training Institute (CWTI)
Muskie School for Public Service

University of Southern Maine
295 Water Street

Augusta, ME 04330

Services:  CWTI collaborates with the Department of Health and Human Services in designing and coordinating training programs for foster and adoptive parents/caregivers. These workshops cover a wide variety of issues related to child development, parenting children with special needs, child welfare laws, children’s health and mental health, burn-out prevention, and navigating service delivery systems. Individuals maintaining foster care licensure and other professionals can earn continuing education credits. CWTI also coordinates the annual Foster and Adoptive Family Camp Conference (see Recreation for more information).

Note:  In addition to parent training, CWTI offers free on-site adoption sensitivity training for teachers and other school-based professionals. The curriculum is called “Adoption Support and Preservation” or “ASAP” and it is delivered by local multi-disciplinary training teams in all regions of the State.  For more information, contact Lisa Hinckley at 626-5202.

Staff Education and Training Unit
Department of Health and Human Services
442 Civic Center Drive
Augusta, ME  04333

Services: The purpose of the Staff Education Training Unit (SETU) of the Maine Department of Health and Human Services is to design, implement, monitor and evaluate a coherent and effective staff training system.  Core competency programs, specialized training and consulting services are offered statewide, in each of the Department’s geographic areas.  The purpose of the system is to meet the educational and training needs of the Department of Health and Human Services and local provider agencies, in order to improve the quality and delivery of social services to the citizens of Maine.


Licensed Adoption Agencies

Families and Children Together (FACT)
304 Hancock Suite 2V
Bangor, ME 04401

Good Samaritan Agency
100 Ridgewood Drive
Bangor, ME 04401

International Adoption Services Centre
P.O. Box 56 
Gardiner, ME 04345
888-68-ADOPT or (207)582-8842 

Maine Adoption Placement Service

P.O. Box 772
Houlton, ME 04730

181 State Street
Bangor, ME 04401

306 Congress Street
Portland, ME 04101
(207)772-3678 (77-ADOPT)

MAPS International
277 Congress Street
Portland, ME 04101

Maine Children’s Home for Little Wanderers
93 Silver Street
Waterville, ME 04901

St. Andres Home, Inc.
283 Elm Street
Biddeford, ME 04005


Adoption-related Services

A Family for ME
P.O. Box 754
Gardiner, ME 04345
877-505-0545 (toll-free) or (207)588-0996

Services:  A DHHS-sponsored adoptive family recruitment network. 

Catholic Charities of Maine
562 Congress Street
Portland, ME 04101

Services:  Adoption information and referral.

Mina Bicknell Adoption Resource Center

Services:  Information, education, and support for anyone touched by adoption. Assistance with adoption searches within the state of Maine.

Maine State Adoption Reunion Registry
Division of Vital Records
Department of Health and Human Services
221 State Street
Augusta, ME 04333

Services:  Adoption records for persons born or adopted in Maine. Does not provide adoption search services. 


Bean Characters on a mountain shaking handsAdoption Support Groups

Support groups operate on the idea that people with common circumstances, values, and challenges can provide effective emotional and practical support for each other. They also promote the concept that people can surmount life’s hurdles most successfully and with greater well-being when they have others to cheer them on. During group meetings, members take turns providing and receiving support. In this way, each member is both an expert and a person seeking expertise. 

Prior to joining a group, it is important to assess your current needs and concerns and decide if you can commit to regular attendance at meetings. It takes time to feel comfortable and to understand how the group works.

With any support group, there are some general guidelines that should be adhered to in order to provide a safe and supportive environment for participants. Principles such as maintaining confidentiality (what is shared in the group stays within the group) and being respectful should be clearly stated and upheld during group sessions. Members should speak from their own experiences and refrain from making judging statements about others in the group. Prior to your first meeting, contact the identified coordinator and ask him or her to describe how members keep the group a safe place for sharing. If you discover that the group does not give adequate attention to creating a safe environment, you will probably want to seek support elsewhere.

Population-specific groups 

In some cases, groups target parents with specific circumstances, such as single parents, parents with children who have attachment issues, same sex parents, or parents who have adopted children from another country. In addition to providing general support for adoptive parenting issues, these groups address the unique concerns, barriers, and challenges presented by the group members’ shared circumstances. 

“Kinship” groups target adoptive parents who are related to their adoptive children, e.g. grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc. and recognize the special difficulties with setting boundaries and role confusion that are inherent in kinship adoption.

Groups for Children and Adolescents

Some communities have peer groups available for adopted children and adolescents. Social workers, mental health professionals, adoptive parents, or adult adoptees usually run these groups. When a child forms supportive relationships with other adoptees and learns that his or her concerns and experiences are shared, feelings of isolation can be greatly relieved. Groups for younger children usually involve play activities that are both fun and educational. 

As with parent groups, some children’s groups target specific subgroups of adoptive children, such as sexually abused children, children adopted from other countries, or birth and adopted siblings.  

The following pages list all of the known active support groups within the state of Maine. The information was current at the time of the last revision, but you may find that some of the information is no longer accurate.  We welcome updates at any time, and will edit the information for the next edition of this resource guide and its on-line version.  

For additional information on support groups for adoptive parents, contact: 

Adoptive and Foster Families of Maine (800-833-9786),

Maine Parent Federation (800-870-7746), 

Casey Family Services (207-772-4110),

Care Community (207-945-4240),

Maine Children’s Home (207-873-4253),

or the DHHS district office (see Appendices) serving your community.

 Support Groups by County

[Androscoggin] [Aroostook] [Cumberland] [Franklin] [Hancock] [Kennebec] [Knox] [Lincoln] [Oxford] [Penobscot] [Piscataquis] [Sagadahoc] [Somerset] [Waldo] [Washington] [York]

Androscoggin County

Kinship Support Group
Contact: Barbara Kates, Family Connections
Telephone:  1-800-833-9786
Location:  Lewiston

[Support Groups by County]  [Top]

Aroostook County


Adoptive Families Celebrate

Contact:  Peggy Bouchard

Telephone:  (207)365-4022

Location:  Sherman Mills


Adoption Support Group 

Contact: Lois Goodrich

Community Health and Counseling Services

Telephone:  (207)532-5510

Location:  Presque Isle


[Support Groups by County]  [Top]


Cumberland County 

Adoptive Parents of Challenging Children
Contact:  Karen Repasky,  Casey Family Services
Telephone:  (207)772-4110
Location:  Portland

Adoptive Parents Peer Support Group
Contact:  Linda Wilson
Telephone:  (207) 642-3978 
Location:  Gorham 

Kinship Support Group
Contact:   Barbara Kates, Family Connections
Telephone:   1-800-833-9786 (or contact Nancy Robinson, (207)591-6278)
Location:  Westbrook

Maine Adoption Placement Services
Contact:  Gail Knee 
Telephone:   (207)772-3678
Location:  Portland

Maine Families With Children From Asia 
Contact:  Tania Jo Hathaway   
Telephone:  (207)657-5879
Location:  Gray area

Parent Support Group 
Contact:  Marilyn Kirby, Maine Foster Parent Association
Telephone:  (207)797-3264 

[Support Groups by County]  [Top]


Hancock County


Post-Adoption Support Group

Contact:  Susan Knowlton

Telephone:  1-866-662-2739

Location:  Ellsworth


[Support Groups by County]  [Top]


Kennebec County


Kinship Support Group

Contact:  Barbara Kates, Family Connections

Telephone: 1-800-833-9786

Location:  Augusta


Post-Adoption Support Group

Contact:  Caroline Hutchinson, LSW, Maine Children's Home 

Telephone:  (207)622-1552 

Location:  Augusta/Waterville area 


[Support Groups by County]  [Top]


Penobscot County


Adoptive Children’s Group (ages 9-15)

Contact:  Adoptive and Foster Families of Maine

Telephone:  (207)827-2331 or 1-800-833-9786

Location:  Old Town


Kinship Support Group

Contact:  Barbara Kates, Family Connections

Telephone:   1-800-833-9786

Location:  Bangor


Parent Support Group

Contact:  Marge Parcak, Maine Adoption Placement Services

Telephone:   (207)941-9500 

Location:  Bangor


Parent Support Group 

Contact: Bette Hoxie,  Adoptive and Foster Families of Maine

Telephone:  1-800-833-9786 or (207)827-2331

Location:   Old Town/Bangor area


[Support Groups by County]  [Top]


Piscataquis County


Kinship Support Group

Contact:  Barbara Kates, Family Connections

Telephone:  1-800-833-9786

Location:  Dover-Foxcroft


[Support Groups by County]  [Top]


 Sagadahoc County


Mid-Coast  Adoption Families

Contact:  Robin Rushlau

Telephone:  (207) 737-8450 

Location:  Brunswick


[Support Groups by County]  [Top]


Washington County


Kinship Support Group

Contact:  Barbara Kates, Family Connections

Telephone: 1-800-833-9786

Location:  Machias


[Support Groups by County]  [Top]


 York County


Southern Maine Support Group for Foster and Adoptive Parents

Contact:   Pam Thurlow

Telephone:  (207)490-0052

Location:   Southern Maine 

[Support Groups by County  [Top]


Child Welfare Training Institute
Muskie School of Public Service
University of Southern Maine
45 Commerce Drive, Suite 11
§ Augusta, Maine 04330
§ 207.626.5088 (fax) § 207.626.5282 (TTY)