An Overview of Michigan Adoption Laws

For some individuals and couples, adopting may turn out to be the best path for starting a family. For others, it is a way to expand an already-established family while also helping abandoned or otherwise needy children in search of a loving home.

Adoption may be done domestically or on an international level. Children may come from a parent or parents that wish to give a child up for adoption, they may be part of the foster care system, or they could come from orphanage situations, just for example.

Whether you’re looking to adopt an infant or an older child, however, you will have to follow adoption laws, and they can vary from state to state. What if you’re a Michigan resident looking to adopt? What laws should you be aware of?

Who is Eligible to Adopt?
You don’t necessarily have to be married to adopt a child in the state of Michigan. Individuals can adopt on their own while married couples can jointly adopt. Unfortunately, this doesn’t necessarily apply to same-sex couples. Although same-sex marriages are legal in Michigan (and every other state) due to federal ruling, Michigan does not currently recognize these unions in a legal capacity. While this doesn’t stop same-sex couples from petitioning for joint adoption, it could impede the process.

Domestic Adoption
Individuals or married couples that are residents of Michigan may either advertise on their own when seeking birth parents or they may choose to go through an adoption agency or adoption attorney that helps to connect adoptive and birth parents, as well as arrange the details of adoption. Birth parents may reside in the state of Michigan, but this isn’t a prerequisite as out-of-state residents may finalize an adoption.

In order to complete the adoption process, the birth parent/parents must give consent to the adoption during a court hearing. This can be scheduled to occur any time after a baby is born. If a birth parent wishes to ask for reconsideration afterwards, the court may choose to grant it, but this is unlikely. Michigan courts do not consider a change of mind to be sufficient grounds to grant reconsideration and return a child to a birth parent.

There are specific laws in place regarding adoption of children in foster care, starting with the fact that the child or children in question must be in the custody of the Michigan court. Adopting parents may or may not be eligible for subsidies related to foster care adoption.

International Adoption
When adopting a child internationally, U.S. parents may receive a foreign adoption decree. So long as the decree is issued by a court following due process of law, it should be automatically recognized by the state of Michigan. Once a Michigan probate court receives a request for a U.S. birth certificate from adoptive parents, including proof of date of birth and place of birth, the court can file for birth registration.

Adoption is a complex process that can be harrowing for adoptive parents. The experienced professionals at The Gucciardo Law Firm can streamline the process for you. Contact us today at 248-723-5190 to find out how to start the adoption process.

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We focus exclusively on family law matters so we are always available to answer your questions and help.

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