Q: I am located in Maine my ex is willing to sign rights over to my son to my fiancé Do we have to be married first?
I know some states require a set amount of time the couple has to be married before allowing the adoption but we want our family adopted and whole before we do a wedding
Congratulations on your impending life events!
Maine has no requirement for adoptive parents to be married.
The situation you describe is a classic set-up for what we call a "consented-to adoption." Your fiance will need to file an adoption petition at the county probate court. Along the way, your ex will have the opportunity to indicate that he or she consents to the adoption. (Your ex will have to participate at the short final hearing. This will be by zoom or google meet or in person depending on the courthouse and the timing.)
If you get a lawyer's help with all of this, you can expect to pay $1500 - $2000.
Best of luck!
A: In Maine you cannot "sign over rights" to a child. You can pursue an adoption proceeding if it is consented to. You can get the forms from the probate court, the people working there are usually very helpful. i believe they will want fingerprints from the adopting person to do a background check. The court will look at whether or not you are married, how long you have been together and the best interests of the child and if old enough the child's preference. You can start it yourself and then consult an attorney or get an attorney on board right away. Most family law attorneys will give you a free phone consultation. Good luck.
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