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Michigan Adoption Laws

State laws govern the adoption process and often vary from one another, which sometimes presents challenges when families of adopted children move to other states.

Types of Adoptions in Michigan

Michigan law allows for many different types of adoptions. The most common adoptions are infant adoptions, state and court ward adoptions, relative adoptions, step-parent adoptions, inter-country and interstate adoptions, and adult adoptions.

What Is A State Or Court Ward Adoption?

Adoption of a child whose parent's parental rights have been terminated by the family court and are committed to the state (state wards) or are placed under the care and supervision of the state (court wards).

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHS) is responsible for the adoptive placement of state wards and court wards. These children are placed by DHS and by child-placing agencies under contract with the state.

Most of the children fall into the following groups:

  • Minority children;
  • Older children;
  • Children with physical, emotional or mental impairments;
  • Family groups of two or more children.

Michigan Adoption Laws

Under Michigan adoption laws, anyone can be adopted but children 14 years and older may not be adopted unless they give their own consent. Also, state law provides prospective adoptive parents 21 days in which to challenge a denial.

Also, Michigan statute allows adoption agencies to refuse placement services to anyone if by doing so it would violate their religious beliefs. For example, a Catholic adoption agency may refuse service to a same-sex couple under this law.

How Much Does It Cost To Adopt A Child In Michigan?

Adoption costs and fees vary. Some private adoption agencies will require a home assessment fee. However, once the family adopts a child from the foster care system in Michigan, the family must be reimbursed that fee by the agency for a Michigan child.

Generally speaking, most families are only responsible for court filing fees and the new birth certificates, which is approximately $200. Be sure to speak with an adoption attorney or ask the agencies you contact if they have any upfront fees you should know of.

Some of the main highlights of Michigan adoption laws are listed in the box below. Explore FindLaw's Adoption section for additional articles and resources.

Code Section MCLA §710.21, et seq.; No
Who May Be Adopted Any person
Age that Child's Consent Needed 14 years and older
Who May Adopt Any person; if married, spouse must join.
Home Residency Required Prior to Finalization of Adoption? 6 months, unless waived by court
State Agency/Court Family Independence Agency/Family Division of Circuit
Statute of Limitations to Challenge 21 days from entry of order or denial of petition for rehearing

Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact a Michigan adoption attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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Michigan Adoption Laws: Related Resources

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