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Michigan House passes bills to streamline adoptions

Adopting is child is a wonderful way to giving a child a loving home and family. In Michigan, when adopting a child, the adoptive parents are subject to several laws and rules. Adoptive parents may find it informational to learn that several bills intended to make adoptions faster and more efficient in Michigan have passed the Michigan House, and are on their way to the Senate.

The bills address various issues that arise during the adoption process. One particular bill specifically addresses the consent process in direct placement adoptions, where the birth parent of the child consents out-of-court to terminating parental rights for adoption. Currently, there is no time limit for the biological parent to revoke their consent. However, under the proposed bill the revocation period would only last five days. The hope is to make the process faster, more efficient and to get the child a permanent home as soon as possible

Another proposed bill sets up a controlled, confidential and secure "responsible father" registry. This registry would allow a man who believes he may be the biological father of the child to register for notifications about the child. The hope is to streamline the process of parental rights claims, particularly when a child is born out of wedlock. Courts would cross-reference this registry during the adoption process and termination of parental rights proceedings. Other bills connected to this registry set a time limit for the man to sign up. In certain cases, particularly when a man is determined to be the biological father of a child but fails to sign up for the registry, parental rights will be terminated.

Finally, a couple of other bills propose to shorten the supervisory period for adoptive parents of a child 1-year-old or younger. The bills passed the Michigan House and are on their way to the Senate. These proposed bills are not yet law.

There are certain steps that must be completed to adopt a child, from the petition to the court hearing and final court approval. Michigan residents interested in adopting a child may find it helpful to consult with a family law attorney to understand how the proposed bills may affect them.

Source: MLive.com, "Michigan House OKs plan aimed at streamlining adoption, including 'responsible father registry'", Tim Martin, June 4, 2013

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