Until August 2007, only a married couple or a single, unmarried person could adopt a child in Maine. If a same-sex couple chose to adopt, only one partner could be the child’s legal parent.

This changed when Maine’s highest court, the Law Court, unanimously ruled that same-sex couples should be allowed to jointly adopt. The ruling stemmed from a petition brought by a lesbian couple who sought permanent adoption of their two foster children. Attorney General Steven Rowe filed a friend of the court brief in support of the plaintiffs, saying that a ruling against joint adoption would violate the intent Maine’s Adoption Act, which seeks to protect the best interests of children.

The plaintiffs’ petition was also backed by several health and children’s organizations, including the American Psychological Association, the Child Welfare League of America and the Maine Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Read Maine’s adoption statutes here.

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