Each state’s adoption laws can vary, so it is important that if you are considering adopting a child in Michigan that you become familiar with Michigan adoption laws.
Michigan adoption laws are in place to protect the birth parents, the prospective adoptive parents, and the child being adopted. You will want to find an adoption agency or an adoption lawyer who is very knowledgeable in the Michigan adoption laws.
We will cover some of the legal specifics for those adopting in Michigan involving newborn adoptions through the domestic adoption process, as well as adopting an infant or older child through the foster care system.
Click on the following to jump to an area of interest:
- Adoption Requirements in Michigan
- Adoption Consent in Michigan
- Michigan Subsidies for Foster Care Adoption
- Michigan Adoption Advertising Laws
- Birth Parent Expenses in Michigan
- Accessing Adoption Records in Michigan
- Post Adoption Contact Laws in Michigan
- When are Adoption Birth Certificates Issued in Michigan?
With so many aspects of Michigan adoption laws and their corresponding policies, it is impossible to cover them all in one article. We will, however, dive into many facets of the adoption laws in Michigan.
You are strongly encouraged to contact a licensed adoption agency or an adoption lawyer for specific adoption laws and policies in , as laws and policies do change.
Can you adopt without a lawyer? How much do adoption attorneys cost? Learn all that and more by visiting Adoption Lawyers in Michigan: Do You Need an Adoption Attorney? where we also give you step-by-step instructions on how to vet an adoption lawyer.
Adoption Requirements in Michigan
- 18-years-old of age or older.
- Licensing requirements must be met.
- Thorough background check for all adults.
- Physical and mental assessments.
- Pass a home study.
It is common knowledge that adoption is costly, but that is not to be confused with a false expectation that a prospective parent should be well off financially. Financial security is important and expected when applying to adopt a child, yet being upper class is not one of those qualifications.
Financial security simply means that you are able to pay your bills, cover your rent or mortgage, and that you have a reliable means of income and transportation. What matters most is that a child is loved, cared for, and kept safe and comfortable.
Learn more about adoption attorneys in our article What Does an Adoption Attorney Do? We Find Out.
Adoption Consent in Michigan
Below is a summary including key points of the adoption consent laws in Michigan put together for your convenience and is intended to be quicker to digest.
It goes without saying that consent to adopt is a huge part of the adoption process. We may forget, however, that there is more involved than the birth mother’s consent.
Other aspect may come into play that you will want to keep in mind.
- The adoptee who is 14 years of age or older must give their consent to the adoption. An exception to this would be if the child is mentally incompetent.
- The presumed father has the right to consent to the adoption.
- The agency to which the adoptee has been relinquished or which holds permanent custody and which has placed the adoptee for adoption.
Michigan Subsidies for Foster Care Adoption
Adoption assistance, otherwise know as adoption subsidies, is available for foster children in Michigan who are in the foster care system and meet certain requirements.
These children are at a heightened risk of health problems, learning disabilities, as well as mental health issues. Subsidized adoption provides assistance to adoptive families for medical access, special equipment, therapies, tutoring, and other support services.
In the US, about 90% of the children in foster care are eligible for adoption assistance.
Special Needs Eligibility in Michigan
A child with special needs may qualify for adoption assistance if the child meets one or more of the following circumstances, courtesy of NACAC.
- Child is under 18 years old.
- The child’s parental rights have been terminated.
- If the child is part of a sibling group, at least one of the siblings has been approved to receive the adoption subsidy.
- A child three years of age or older.
Michigan Adoption Advertising Laws
Adoption advertising is defined as using a public medium to express an interest in adopting a child or sharing that a child is available for adoption either by print or electronically.
Common means of advertising include:
- Printed Flyers
Adoption advertising is allowed in Michigan, although, further details were not addressed in the Michigan statutes reviewed.
Birth Parent Expenses in Michigan
In all states, no person or agency is allowed to accept payment for assisting, placing, or organizing the placement of a child, as this is illegal.
There are some things, however, that adoptive parents may be allowed to pay for in Michigan. These things include:
- Legal fees
- Adoption agency fees
- Prenatal visits
- Living expenses
- Hospital costs
Please visit Section 710.54 for further details.
Adoptive parents are required to file a complete record of expenses related to the adoption that they are covering, and this must happen prior to making a payment toward those expenses.
Your licensed adoption liaison will help to ensure that all financial aspects of the adoption process run smoothly and legally.
What do you do, though, if said expenses are paid and the birth mother changes her mind in the end? Adoption Disruption insurance is available for adoptive parents to protect them from such a misfortune for those adopting domestically.
Accessing Adoption Records in Michigan
Comp. Laws § 710.68 – Who May Access Information
Ad adult adoptee, the birth parents, adult birth siblings, and the adoptive parents may request identifying adoption information.
The following information may be provided within 63 days of a written request::
- Health and genetic history of the adopted child.
- Date and place of the child’s birth.
- Neglect or physical, sexual, or emotional abuse records suffered by the child.
- Immunization records and health records of when the child was in foster care.
- If a birth parent is deceased, the cause of an the age of the death.
- The child’s name at birth.
- Age and sex of birth siblings.
- The child’s ethnic, racial, and religious origins.
Courtesy of ChildWelfare.gov.
Post Adoption Contact Laws in Michigan
Adoptive parents have a right to decide who has contact with their adopted child and when. Many times in an open adoption, the adoptive parents and the birth family have a mutual and informal agreement regarding contact with the adopted child.
Unfortunately, these issues are not addressed in the Michigan statutes reviewed.
When are Adoption Birth Certificates Issued in Michigan?
When your adoption is finalized, court proceedings should immediately include beginning the process of obtaining a new birth certificate for the adopted child that reflects the child’s new last name and adoptive parents.
Do not hesitate to ask your adoption attorney or adoption agency if you need to initiate that process, or if the courts will do that on your behalf.
DISCLAIMER: The above state law information is provided to our readers as a courtesy and is meant to be helpful in offering some insight as to what to expect during your adoption journey. This information is not meant to be viewed as legal advice. In addition, possible changes to state laws may have taken place since the publishing of this article in July 2021.