Adoption, Guardianship and Child Protection
Until recent changes in Maine Law, adoptions and guardianships in Maine were matters for the Probate Courts exclusively. Now the District Courts have jurisdiction for adoption and guardianship only in certain circumstances, so it can be confusing for families to determine which court is appropriate for their adoption or guardianship matter.
Attorney Matthew Govan is himself an adopted child; this personal experience has given him an intimate perspective and sensitivity in the area of adoption law. Matthew has extensive background as both an attorney and a Guardian ad Litem in protective custody matters where cases often end with permanency through adoption or guardianship.
In his role as an adoption attorney, Matthew has represented those parties interested in acting as caregivers or adoptive parents to children when the biological parents are unable to adequately care for them.
As a family law attorney, Matthew practices regularly in domestic relations law, the rehabilitation and reunification process, and the foster care application process utilized by the Department of Health & Human Services. The interplay between these three areas of family law—child protection, domestic relations, and adoption—can create difficulties and nuance that are most effectively handled by a seasoned attorney who practices in all three areas.
The process for parties interested in providing a safe home for a child is often daunting and confusing to families who have never been through the process before. Matthew can advise and assist families with the foster care application and home study processes utilized by the Department of Health and Human Services, taking some of the confusion away and illuminating a clear path forward. In addition, he can provide advice for families on how to work with area resources such as the Department of Health & Human Services, medical and mental health professionals, school programs, and child development services.
For more information or to schedule a consultation with Matthew, please contact us via the form below or call our office at 207-774-2414.