WebCWTI.png (54861 bytes)  Introduction
Table of Contents

Introduction
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
Respite
Diversity Issues
Recreation

Informational Resources
Books
Newsletters and Other Periodic Publications
Websites

Appendices
DHHS District Offices
BDS District Offices

 

 

Last updated 11/10/2008

The Goals of Post-Adoption Support

Most parents would agree – raising children is the most challenging job a person can take on during a lifetime. While the joys and rewards are priceless, there are times when emotional, physical, and/or practical concerns require some form of outside support, especially when one or more family members have special needs. Medical conditions, emotional challenges, learning disabilities, and legal questions can surface at any time, tapping family resources and leading parents to seek out information and support from the larger community.

The adoptive family faces the same kinds of stressors that non-adoptive families do, plus a few more.  Adoption may be seen as a one-time legal event to those not directly involved, but in reality, it is an evolving lifelong experience. Each of the key participants in the adoption – birth parents, adoptive parents, and adopted children – will have a unique experience with his or her own challenges, aspirations, and needs. Balancing the demands of each member with the demands of the family unit requires perseverance, creativity, and a strong support network. Many seasoned adoptive parents indicate that reaching out to the people in their support network has been the key to getting through the toughest times.

The need for comprehensive post-adoption support is receiving greater attention not just in Maine, but nationwide. Common ideas that serve as guiding principles for post-adoption support programs include:

  • Families created by adoption are different from families created by birth.

  • Adoption is a lifelong experience.

  • Adoption is beneficial to parent, child, and society.

  • Society is responsible for providing the support that adoptive families need in order to be successful.

 Adoptive families in Maine are fortunate to have a variety of state and community resources available to them, including a strong grassroots network of foster and adoptive parents. The purpose of this resource guide is to providing a comprehensive, organized, and descriptive listing of the services and information sources that are most often needed by adoptive families. We have done our best to make sure the information is complete and accurate. However, change is constant in the world of social and health services, as new legislation is passed, funding sources shift, and new resources are developed. 

Your search for the right resource will often require patience and perseverance.  The different systems you will encounter - educational, mental health, state government, criminal justice, medical, etc. –each have a unique language that you will need to learn and different rules and regulations that determine who gets what service in what situation.  By becoming informed about the rights of your child and the services that exist, you will stand a better chance of meeting the needs of your child and your family.  Talk to other parents about resources that have been helpful for them, or consult with a trusted professional, such as a case manager, mental health counselor, pastoral/spiritual leader, or physician.  By gathering information from a variety of sources, you will gain a better understanding of what services exist and how they are delivered. 

 

 

Child Welfare Training Institute
Muskie School of Public Service
University of Southern Maine
45 Commerce Drive, Suite 11
§ Augusta, Maine 04330
207.626.5200
§ 207.626.5088 (fax) § 207.626.5282 (TTY)