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What types of adoption are available in Michigan?

There are various forms of adoption available in Michigan, each with its own processes and rules. One common form, infant adoption, can involve either placement of the child directly with an adoptive family by the parent or though an adoption agency.

If the placement occurs directly, the adoptive parent is selected by the prospective parent, physical custody is transferred, and the adoptive parent consents to the adoption. Until formal placement occurs, the parent retains all parental rights with regard to the child. 

Parents are able to do a temporary direct placement, though certain requirements must be met. These requirements include:

  • The prospective parents must be a resident of the state of Michigan;
  • The parent must have the assistance of a child-placing agency or attorney;
  • There must be a written statement regarding the transfer of physical custody and the statement must be signed and witness by all parties involved;
  • The placement agency or attorney must submit a report to the court within two working days of the transfer.

In direct placement, a pre-placement assessment is always required, but the timing of the assessment depends on the nature of the adoption. If the placement is temporary, the assessment must be completed before the transfer of physical custody. If the placement is not temporary, the assessment must be completed prior to formal placement.

A different set of rules and requirements applies in cases involving children who are committed to the state or who are under the supervision of a court. In these cases, the Department of Human Services is responsible for placement of the child. Relative adoption and step-parent adoption involve their own rules as well, and many courts provide services necessary for these forms of adoption. In the case of step-parent adoption, the non-custodial parent must either have his or her parental rights terminated or consent to the adoption, which can be an issue.

We’ll continue looking at this topic in our next post, as well as how an experienced family law attorney can help navigate the adoption process in Michigan. 

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What types of adoption are available in Michigan? | Peter A D'Angelo, Attorney at Law, PLC