Right now, there are more than 150 Maine children hoping to be adopted. We show you the process of being a foster family to a forever family. ":on my gosh, I’m so excited (laughs) I’m holding myself still.":
YOU’D THINK PAGE STEVENS WON THE LOTTERY, THE WAY SHE’S ACTING…AND IN MANY WAYS, SHE HAS. JUST MOMENTS AGO, ADAM LEGALLY BECAME HER SON.
":from now on, it’s mother and father, mum and dad, there’s no higher accolation than that.":
NORMALLY, ADOPTION CEREMONIES TAKE PLACE IN A JUDGE’S CHAMBER. BUT THIS ONE WAS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC, SOMETHING THE STATE DOES TWICE A YEAR TO BRING AWARESS TO THE ADOPTION PROCESS.
":of all the years I’ve held this office, my most joyous moments are adoptions. Because I know what’s happening here, which to me is a miracle.":
AND…IT TAKES A WHOLE LOT OF PEOPLE AS WELL AS TIME, TO MAKE THAT MIRACLE HAPPEN.
":A Family for Me is a recruitment entity for the Department of Health and Human Services. So we are responsible for helping new foster and adoptive families find their way through the process.":
KAREN PAGE SAYS BY THE TIME ":FAMILY FOR ME": BECOMES INVOLVED WITH A CHILD, THE COURT HAS ALREADY TERMINATED ALL PARENTAL RIGHTS. AND IN MOST CASES, THE MINOR HAS UNDERGONE COUNSELING AND OTHER THERAPY. A CASEWORKER FROM D-H-H-S IS ASSIGNED TO EACH CHILD AND THAT’S WHO POTENTIAL FAMILIES ARE FIRST LINKED UP WITH.
":the family would talk with the caseworker and find out a bit more about the child, what their strengths are, what their needs are, the best type of family for them, and what the child is hoping for in a family. Just have a real, open dialogue about the child and see if it’s a good match for that family.":
THE FAMILY THEN MEETS WITH THERAPISTS AND OTHER PROFESSIONALS WORKING WITH THE CHILD. AND, THE STATE CONDUCTS A HOME STUDY OF THE POTENTIAL FAMILY.
":once that happens, both parties decide if its something they want to move forward with. And if so, visits would start and a transition would start.":
THOSE VISITS START WITH A FEW HOURS AND GRADUALLY PROGRESS.
":once the child moves into the house, and is living there, there’s a mandatory at least six months of a supervisory period.":
DURING THAT TIME, THE STATE WILL CONTINUE TO VISIT THE HOME TO MAKE SURE BOTH PARTIES ARE DOING WELL.
":individual therapy for the youth, family therapy is often very helpful…we want to make sure they’re successful so that the family has all of the assistance they need in the home and outside of the home, have that all set up before the finalization happens.":
THE FINAL STEP IN THE ADOPTION PROCESS IS TO PETITION THE COURT…AND THAT’S WHAT YOU’RE SEEING HERE…PAGE AND ROBERT HAVE WAITED A LONG TIME FOR THIS MOMENT, WHEN ADAM CAN OFFICIALLY CALL THEM MOM AND DAD.
":he’s yours, for make or break to quite a degree, let’s be sure to make positvely for this fine young man. This hearing is now closed.": (applause)
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON A FAMILY FOR ME, CLICK ON THE THURSDAY’S CHILD ICON ON OUR WEBSITE.