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Michigan Adoption Laws

For prospective parents, adopting a child can be a joyous celebration of an expanded family. But, the legal requirements surrounding adoption can make it a complex and potentially confusing process as well. State laws defining who can adopt, who can be adopted, and how one can adopt can seem impenetrable.

Read on to learn more about Michigan-specific adoption laws.

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, Michigan statute allows adoption agencies to refuse placement services to anyone if doing so 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 new birth certificates. 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  §710.21, et seq., of the Michigan Compiled Laws
Who May Be Adopted Any person
Age that Child's Consent Needed 14 years and older
Who May Adopt Any person; if married, one spouse may file as long as all parties consent
Home Residency Required Prior to Finalization of Adoption? No residency requirement
State Agency/Court Dept. of Health & Human Services/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.

Research the Law

Michigan Adoption Laws: Related Resources

State standards and regulations concerning adoption can be complex and are subject to change. You can visit FindLaw's Adoption Laws section to review some of these laws and get a more general overview in our Adoption section.

Get Legal Help With an Adoption

Adoption can be a complicated process. There are many state and federal laws that govern adoption. An attorney will help you navigate these laws. They will help review your case, provide helpful legal advice, and advocate for you and your future child.

If you would like legal assistance with an adoption case, you can find an experienced Michigan adoption attorney in your area to schedule a consultation.

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