Adoption is a wonderful way of giving a child a loving home. In general, prospective adoptive parents must file a petition with the family court of their intention to adopt a child. This petition can either be filed in the county the child to be adopted lives, or the county where the prospective adoptive parents live.

In addition to the petition, other legal paperwork includes a consent form signed by the agency placing the child, the birth parent, and a court or the Department of Human Services. There are several different types of adoptions in Michigan, and which consent forms should be submitted along with the petition for adoption depends on the type of adoption. The different types of adoptions include an infant adoption, agency adoption, direct placement adoption, state and court ward adoption, relative adoption, step-parent adoption, inter-county or interstate adoption and adult adoption.

After the court receives the petition, to ensure that the adoption is in the best interest of the child, the court will order an investigation. Once the investigation report is completed, and the court is satisfied that the best interests of the child are served by the adoption, the court will issue an order terminating the rights of both the biological parents. The child then becomes a ward of the court and is placed in the prospective adoptive parents home for a supervisory period of at least six months. A child-placing agency or DHS is assigned to oversee the process during the six-month period. After six months, if the court is satisfied that it is in the best interests of the child to be adopted, the court will enter an order for adoption, and the process is deemed complete and finalized.

In essence, adoption is a legal process and can get complex. Thus, those interested in adopting may want to contact a family law firm for more information.

Source: Michigan Department of Human Service, “Adopting a child in Michigan,” Accessed Aug. 17, 2015