Legislation for Terminating Adoptions (United States)

Adoption termination is known in the United States as “annulling an adoption order,” except when it it routinely done by the adopting parents in which case it is known as “disruption” or “dissolution.” (According to the Child Welfare Information Gateway, from 10% to 25% of all adoptions in the United States are disrupted by the adoptive parents.  This website supports the right of adopted persons to have equal decision-making ability regarding their own adoptions.

The purpose of this page is to collect references to relevant state legislation which may enable adult adoptees to annul their adoptions.   Please email contributions to this page to info @adoptingback.com or post on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/groups/adoptback.



Maine Revised Statutes, Title 18-A: Probate CodeArticle 9: Adoption,  Part 3: Adoption Procedures,§9-315. Annulment of the Adoption Decree

 (a).    A judge of probate may, on petition of 2 or more persons and after notice and hearing, reverse and annul a decree of the Probate Court for one of the following reasons.

(1). The court finds that the adoption was obtained as a result of fraud, duress or illegal procedures. [1995, c. 694, Pt. C, §7 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, §2 (AFF).]
(2). The court finds other good cause shown consistent with the best interest of the child. [1995, c. 694, Pt. C, §7 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, §2 (AFF).]
[ 1995, c. 694, Pt. C, §7 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, §2 (AFF) .]

(b).    Notice of a petition to annul must be given to the biological parents, except those whose parental rights were terminated through a proceeding pursuant to Title 22, section 4055, subsection 1, paragraph B, subparagraph (2), and to all parties to the adoption including the adoptive parents, an adoptee who is 14 years of age or older and the agency involved in the adoption.

[ 1995, c. 694, Pt. C, §7 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, §2 (AFF) .]

(c).    After the Probate Court annuls a decree of adoption, the register of probate shall transmit immediately a certified copy of the annulment to the State Registrar of Vital Statistics.

[ 1995, c. 694, Pt. C, §7 (NEW); 1995, c. 694, Pt. E, §2 (AFF) .]


1995, c. 694, §C7 (NEW). 1995, c. 694, §E2 (AFF).