- 1 Adoption Laws
- 1.1 Consent to Adoption
- 1.2 Criminal Background Checks for Prospective Foster and Adoptive Parents
- 1.3 Grounds for Involuntary Termination of Parental Rights
- 1.4 Home Study Requirements for Prospective Parents in Domestic Adoption
- 1.5 Infant Safe Haven Laws
- 1.6 Regulation of Private Domestic Adoption Expenses
- 1.7 The Rights of Unmarried Fathers
- 1.8 Use of Advertising and Facilitators in Adoptive Placements
- 1.9 Who May Adopt, Be Adopted, or Place a Child for Adoption?
- 2 Post-Adoption Laws
- 3 Laws Related to Intercountry Adoption
Notice: The information contained on this website is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional legal advice. Always seek the advice of a licensed and qualified professional. While the content of this website is frequently updated, information changes rapidly and therefore, some information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies, omissions or typographical errors.
Consent to Adoption
Who Must Consent to an Adoption Citation: Comp. Laws § 710.43
Consent to adoption shall be executed by:
- Each parent or the surviving parent
- The authorized representative of the department or of a child-placing agency to whom the child has been permanently committed by an order of the court or to whom the child has been released
- The court or a Tribal court having permanent custody of the child
- The guardian of the child, if a guardian has been appointed
- The guardian of a parent, if a guardian has been appointed
- The authorized representative of a court or child-placing agency of another State or country that has authority to consent to adoption
If the parent of the child to be adopted is an unemancipated minor, that parent’s consent is not valid unless a parent, guardian, or guardian ad litem of that minor parent has also executed the consent.
The guardian of the child to be adopted or a parent shall not execute a consent to that child’s adoption unless the guardian has first obtained authority to execute the consent from the court that appointed the guardian.
Consent of Child Being Adopted Citation: Comp. Laws § 710.43
A child who is age 14 or older must consent to the adoption.
When Parental Consent Is Not Needed Citation: Comp. Laws §§ 710.37; 710.43; 710.51(6)
The court may permanently terminate the rights of the putative father when he:
- Submits a verified affirmation of his paternity and a denial of his interest in custody of the child
- Files a disclaimer of paternity
- Was served with a notice of intent to release or consent at least 30 days before the expected date of birth but failed to file an intent to claim paternity either before the expected date of birth or before the birth of the child
- Is given proper notice of hearing but either fails to appear at the hearing or appears and denies his interest in custody of the child
- Has not made provision for the child’s care and did not provide support for the mother during her pregnancy
- Has not provided support for the mother, has not shown any interest in the child, and has not made provision for the child’s care for at least 90 days preceding the hearing required under § 36
Consent to adoption of a child shall be executed by each parent or the surviving parent except under the following circumstances:
- The rights of the parent have been terminated.
- The child has been released for the purpose of adoption to a child-placing agency or the department.
- A guardian of the child has been appointed.
- A guardian of a parent has been appointed.
- A parent having legal custody of the child is married to the petitioner.
- The other parent, having the ability to support the child, has failed or neglected to provide regular and substantial support for the child for a period of 2 years or more.
- The other parent, having the ability to visit, contact, or communicate with the child, has regularly and substantially failed or neglected to do so for a period of 2 years or more.
When Consent Can Be Executed Citation: Comp. Laws §§ 710.31; 710.44
If a child is born out of wedlock and the release or consent of the birth father cannot be obtained, the child shall not be placed for adoption until the parental rights of the father are terminated by the court.
Pending the termination of the rights of the father, the mother may execute a release terminating her rights to the child. At the request of the mother, her formal execution of a release or consent shall be delayed until after court determination of the status of the putative father’s request for custody of the child.
If the consent of a parent or guardian is required, the consent shall not be executed until after the judge, referee, or other authorized individual has fully explained to the parent or guardian the legal rights of the parent or guardian and the fact that the parent or guardian by virtue of the consent voluntarily relinquishes permanently his or her rights to the child.
If the child’s consent to adoption is required, the consent shall not be executed until after the judge or referee has fully explained to the child the fact that he or she is consenting to acquire permanently the adopting parent or parents as his or her legal parent or parents as though he or she had been born to the adopting parent or parents.
How Consent Must Be Executed Citation: Comp. Laws §§ 710.44; 710.29
Consent shall be by a separate instrument executed before the judge having jurisdiction or before another judge of the family division of circuit court in this State. If the individual whose consent is required is in any of the armed services or is in prison, the consent may be executed before any individual authorized to administer oaths.
If the child to be adopted is legally a ward of the department or a child-placing agency, the consent by the authorized representative of the department or agency may be executed and acknowledged before an individual authorized to administer oaths.
In a direct placement, a consent by a parent or guardian shall be accompanied by a verified statement signed by the parent or guardian that contains all of the following:
- That he or she has received a list of support groups
- That he or she has received counseling related to the adoption of his or her child or waives the counseling with the signing of a verified statement
- That he or she has not received or been promised any money or anything of value for the consent to adoption of the child, except for lawful payments that are itemized on a schedule filed with the consent
- That the validity and finality of the consent is not affected by any collateral or separate agreement between the parent or guardian and the adoptive parent
- That he or she understands that it serves the welfare of the child for the parent to keep the child-placing agency, court, or department informed of any health problems that the parent develops that could affect the child
- That he or she understands that it serves the welfare of the child for the parent or guardian to keep his or her address current with the child-placing agency, court, or department in order to permit a response to any inquiry concerning medical or social history from an adoptive parent of a minor adopted person or from an adopted person who is age 18 or older
Revocation of Consent Citation: Comp. Laws § 710.29
The person who granted consent may petition the court for a hearing on whether to grant revocation. A release may not be revoked if the child has been placed for adoption unless the child was placed as provided by § 710.41(2) [while an appeal of a termination of parental rights is pending], and a petition has been filed for a rehearing within the time required.
Criminal Background Checks for Prospective Foster and Adoptive Parents
Requirements for Foster Parents Comp. Laws Ann. § 722.115f; Admin. Code §§ R 400.12206(b); R 400.12309
When a person applies for a certificate to operate a family foster home, the department shall request the State police to conduct a criminal history check and a national criminal records check through the FBI on the person. The applicant shall be required to submit his or her fingerprints for the investigation.
A person to whom a license has been issued shall report to the department within 3 business days after he or she, or an employee or other person over age 18 residing in the home, has been arraigned for one or more of the following crimes:
- Any felony
- Criminal sexual conduct in the fourth degree
- Child abuse in the third or fourth degree
- A misdemeanor involving cruelty, torture, or indecent exposure involving a child
- Misdemeanor distribution of a controlled substance
- A violation of the Michigan penal code, sections 750.115 [breaking and entering], 750.141a [allowing a child to consume alcohol], 750.145a [child solicitation], 750.335a [indecent exposure], 750.81 [assault and battery], 750.81a [domestic violence], and 750.145d [Internet crimes against children]
- Selling or furnishing alcohol to a minor (436.1701)
In regulation: An agency shall have a written assessment of all criminal convictions of prospective staff before hiring or assigning a person to a position covered by these rules. The assessment shall take into account the nature of the convictions, when the convictions occurred, and evidence of rehabilitation.
An agency shall, upon receipt of an application, initiate a records check of each applicant and each adult member of the household. The check shall include previous licenses, criminal convictions, and substantiated child abuse and neglect records.
Requirements for Adoptive Parents Comp. Laws Ann. § 710.23f
An individual seeking to adopt must have a preplacement assessment prepared by a child-placing agency. The assessment shall indicate:
- Whether the individual has ever been the respondent in a domestic violence proceeding or a proceeding concerning a child who was allegedly abused, dependent, deprived, neglected, abandoned, or delinquent, and the outcome of the proceeding
- Whether the individual has ever been convicted of a crime
The individual seeking a preplacement assessment shall provide a document from the Michigan State Police and the FBI describing all of the individual’s criminal convictions as shown by that agency’s records or stating that the agency’s records indicate that the individual has not been convicted of a crime.
Upon request of the individual and receipt of a signed authorization, the child-placing agency shall obtain the criminal record from the law enforcement agency on the individual’s behalf.
Grounds for Involuntary Termination of Parental Rights
Circumstances That Are Grounds for Termination of Parental Rights Comp. Laws § 712A.19b
The court may terminate a parent’s parental rights if the court finds, by clear and convincing evidence, one or more of the following:
- The child has been deserted.
- The child or child’s sibling has suffered physical injury or physical or sexual abuse under one or more of the following circumstances:
- The parent’s act caused the abuse.
- The parent had the opportunity to prevent the abuse and failed to do so.
- A nonparent adult caused the abuse, and there is a reasonable likelihood that the child will suffer from injury or abuse by the nonparent adult in the foreseeable future if placed in the parent’s home.
- The parent has failed to correct the conditions that led to an adjudication of child abuse or neglect, and there is no reasonable likelihood that the conditions will be corrected within a reasonable time considering the child’s age.
- The parent has substantially failed, without good cause, to comply with a limited guardianship placement plan to the extent that the noncompliance has resulted in a disruption of the parent-child relationship.
- The child has a guardian, and both of the following have occurred:
- the parent has failed, without good cause, to provide regular and substantial support for the child for 2 years or more.
- The parent has failed to regularly visit, contact, or communicate with the child, without good cause, for 2 years or more.
- The parent, without regard to intent, fails to provide proper care or custody for the child and there is no reasonable expectation that the parent will be able to provide proper care and custody within a reasonable time considering the child’s age.
- The parent is imprisoned for such a period that the child will be deprived of a normal home for more than 2 years, and the parent has not provided for the child’s proper care and custody, and there is no reasonable expectation that the parent will be able to provide proper care and custody within a reasonable time considering the child’s age.
- The parent’s parental rights to one or more siblings of the child or another child have been terminated due to serious and chronic neglect or physical or sexual abuse, and prior attempts to rehabilitate the parent has been unsuccessful.
- There is a reasonable likelihood, based on the conduct or capacity of the child’s parent, that the child will be harmed if he or she is returned to the home of the parent.
- The parent abused the child or a sibling of the child and the abuse included one or more of the following:
- Abandonment of a young child
- Criminal sexual conduct involving penetration, attempted penetration, or assault with intent to penetrate
- Battering, torture, or other severe physical abuse
- Loss or serious impairment of an organ or limb
- Life threatening injury
- Murder or voluntary manslaughter
- Aiding and abetting, attempting to commit, conspiring to commit, or soliciting murder or voluntary manslaughter
Circumstances That Are Exceptions to Termination of Parental Rights Comp. Laws § 712A.19a
If the child has been in foster care under the responsibility of the State for 15 of the most recent 22 months, the court shall order the agency to initiate proceedings to terminate parental rights. The court is not required to order the agency to initiate proceedings to terminate parental rights if one or more of the following apply:
- The child is being cared for by relatives.
- The case service plan documents a compelling reason for determining that filing a petition to terminate parental rights would not be in the best interests of the child. Compelling reasons for not filing a petition to terminate parental rights include, but are not limited to, all of the following:
- Adoption is not the appropriate permanency goal for the child.
- No grounds to file a petition to terminate parental rights exist.
- The child is an unaccompanied refugee minor, as defined in 45 CFR 400.11.
- There are international legal obligations or compelling foreign policy reasons that preclude terminating parental rights.
- The State has not provided the child’s family, consistent with the time period in the case service plan, with the services the State considers necessary for the child’s safe return to his or her home, if reasonable efforts are required.
Circumstances Allowing Reinstatement of Parental Rights Comp. Laws §§ 712A.20; 712A.21
The court in all cases involving custody shall state in the order for disposition or any supplemental order of disposition whether the child is placed in the temporary or permanent custody of the court. If the child is placed in the permanent custody of the court, all parental rights are terminated, though such rights may be reinstated by a supplemental order of disposition after rehearing pursuant to § 712A.21.
At any time while the juvenile is under the jurisdiction of the court, an interested person may file a petition for a rehearing upon all matters coming within the provisions of this chapter. Upon the rehearing, the court may affirm, modify, or set aside any order reviewed under this section. If parental rights have been terminated by an order entered in the proceedings and custody of the juvenile has been removed from the parents, guardian, or other person, the petition for rehearing shall be filed no later than 20 days after the date of entry of the order terminating parental rights. The petition shall set forth in detail the place, manner, and all other information requested by the court in reference to the proposed future custody of the juvenile. The rehearing shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions of this chapter relating to the conduct of original hearings. The court may enter an order for supplemental disposition while the juvenile remains under the court’s jurisdiction.
The term ‘interested person’ includes a member of a local foster care review board to which that juvenile’s case has been assigned.
Home Study Requirements for Prospective Parents in Domestic Adoption
Who Must Be Studied Citation: Comp. Laws § 710.23f
In a direct placement, an individual seeking to adopt must undergo a preplacement assessment.
Agency or Person Conducting the Study Citation: Comp. Laws § 710.23f
The preplacement assessment shall be prepared by a child-placing agency.
Qualifications for Adoptive Parents Citation: Comp. Laws § 710.22
An individual is considered to be suitable to be a parent of an adopted child when there is no specific concern that placement of any child, or a particular child, in the home of the individual would pose a risk of harm to the physical or psychological well-being of the child.
Elements of a Home Study Citation: Comp. Laws § 710.23f
A preplacement assessment is based upon personal interviews and visits at the residence of the individual being assessed, interviews of others who know the individual, and reports received under this subsection. The assessment shall contain all of the following information about the individual being assessed:
- Age, nationality, race, ethnicity, and any religious preference
- Marital and family status and history
- Physical and mental health, including any history of substance abuse
- Education and employment history and any special skills and interests
- Property and income, including outstanding financial obligations
- Reason for wanting to adopt
- Whether the individual has ever been the respondent in a domestic violence proceeding or a proceeding concerning a child who was allegedly abused, dependent, deprived, neglected, abandoned, or delinquent, and the outcome of the proceeding
- Whether the individual has ever been convicted of a crime
- Any fact or circumstance that raises a specific concern about the suitability of the individual as an adoptive parent
The applicant must submit:
- A document from the Michigan State police and the FBI describing all of the individual’s criminal convictions or stating that the agency’s records indicate that the individual has not been convicted of a crime
- The results of a physical examination that indicates that the individual is free from any known condition that would affect his or her ability to care for an adopted child
Grounds for Withholding Approval Citation: Comp. Laws §§ 710.23f; 710.22a
If the child-placing agency determines that the information in the preplacement assessment raises a specific concern, the child-placing agency shall find that the individual is not suitable to be an adoptive parent. The conclusion shall be supported by a written account of how one or more specific concerns pose a risk to the physical or psychological well-being of any child or a particular child.
A child shall not be placed with a prospective adoptive parent and an adoption order shall not be issued if a person authorized to place the child or the court authorized to issue the order has reliable information that the prospective adoptive parent has been convicted of any of the following:
- Soliciting a child for an immoral purpose or child sexual exploitation
- Criminal sexual conduct
- A law of another State substantially similar to any of the above
When Studies Must Be Completed Citation: Admin. Code R 400.12708
An agency shall have on file a written adoption evaluation and agency recommendation before approving the adoptive parents for each adoptive placement and before referring a child to, or placing a child in, the home for purposes of adoption.
Postplacement Study Requirements Citation: Comp. Laws §§ 710.46; 710.52; Admin. Code R 400.12711
Upon the filing of an adoption petition, the court shall direct a full investigation by an employee or agent of the court, a child-placing agency, or the department. The court may use the preplacement assessment and may order an additional investigation by an employee or agent of the court or a child-placing agency. The following shall be considered in the investigation:
- The best interests of the adopted child
- The adopted child’s family background, including names and identifying data regarding the parent or parents, if obtainable
- The reasons for the child’s placement away from his or her parent or parents
A written report of the investigation shall be filed within 3 months after the order for investigation.
During the period before entry of the order of adoption, the child shall be supervised at the direction of the court by an employee or agent of the court, a child-placing agency, or the department, who shall make reports regarding the adjustment of the child in the home. The investigations shall be made under reasonable circumstances and at reasonable intervals.
In a direct placement, the child shall be supervised during the period before entry of the order of adoption by the child-placing agency that investigated the placement or, in the court’s discretion, by another child-placing agency.
In regulation: An agency shall provide postplacement supervision for the adoptive family at the adoptive parent(s)’ home as needed, but not less than once every 3 months, after the placement of a child and until the final order of adoption. The agency shall:
- Assess and record the child’s and adoptive family’s adjustment and, where needed, include plans to assist the child or adoptive family
- Keep the adoptive parents informed of the results of the agency’s continuing assessment of the placement at the conclusion of each visit
Exceptions for Stepparent or Relative Adoptions
This issue is not addressed in the statutes and regulations reviewed.
Requirements for Interjurisdictional Placements Citation: Comp. Laws § 3.711
Any out-of-home placement of a child outside the State is subject to the provisions of the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children.
The child shall not be sent into the receiving State until the appropriate public authorities in the receiving State notify the sending agency, in writing, that the proposed placement does not appear to be contrary to the interests of the child.
Foster to Adopt Placements Citation: Comp. Laws § 710.46
If the child being adopted has been placed for foster care with the petitioner for 12 months or longer and the foster family study was completed or updated not more than 12 months before the petition was filed, the court, upon motion by the petitioner, may waive the full investigation required by this section. The foster family study, with information added as necessary to update or supplement the original study, may be substituted for the written report.
Infant Safe Haven Laws
Infant’s Age Citation: Comp. Laws § 712.1
A newborn may be relinquished. The term ‘newborn’ means a child who a physician reasonably believes to be not more than 72 hours old.
Who May Relinquish the Infant Citation: Comp. Laws §§ 712.1; 712.3
Who May Receive the Infant Citation: Comp. Laws § 712.1
The infant may be surrendered to an emergency service provider. An emergency service provider includes a uniformed or otherwise identified employee or contractor of a fire department, hospital, or police station when that individual is inside the premises and on duty. Emergency service provider also includes a paramedic or an emergency medical technician when either of those individuals is responding to a 911 emergency call.
Responsibilities of the Safe Haven Provider Citation: Comp. Laws §§ 712.3; 750.135(2)
The safe haven provider will do all of the following:
- Take the child into temporary protective custody
- Provide the child with any necessary care and transport the child to a hospital if necessary
- Inform the parent that by surrendering the child, he or she is relinquishing rights to the child to a child-placing agency for adoption
- Provide written material that informs the parent about rights and available services
- Encourage the parent to provide family and medical information
- Notify a child-placing agency about the child
- Make a child protection report if abuse of the child is suspected or if the examining physician suspects that the child is not a newborn
Immunity for the Provider Citation: Comp. Laws § 712.2
A hospital and a child-placing agency, and their agents and employees, are immune in a civil action for damages for an act or omission in accepting or transferring a newborn under this chapter, except for an act or omission constituting gross negligence or willful or wanton misconduct. To the extent not protected by the immunity conferred by §§ 691.1401 to 691.1415, an employee or contractor of a fire department or police station has the same immunity that this subsection provides to a hospital’s or child-placing agency’s agent or employee.
Protection for Relinquishing Parent Citation: Comp. Laws §§ 712.3; 750.135(2)
Information the parent provides to an emergency service provider will not be made public.Except for a situation involving actual or suspected child abuse or child neglect, it is an affirmative defense to a prosecution for child abandonment that the child was not more than 72 hours old and was surrendered to an emergency service provider. A criminal investigation shall not be initiated solely on the basis of a newborn being surrendered to an emergency service provider.
Effect on Parental Rights Citation: Comp. Laws §§ 712.3; 712.17
By surrendering the newborn, the parent is releasing the newborn to a child-placing agency to be placed for adoption.
The parent has 28 days after surrendering the newborn to petition the court to regain custody of the newborn. After the 28-day period to petition for custody elapses, there will be a hearing to determine and terminate parental rights.
There will be public notice of this hearing, and the notice will not contain the parent’s name. The parent will not receive personal notice of this hearing.
A parent who surrenders a newborn and does not file a custody action is presumed to have knowingly released his or her parental rights to the newborn. If the court finds by a preponderance of the evidence that the surrendering parent has knowingly released his or her rights to the child and that reasonable efforts were made to locate the nonsurrendering parent and a custody action has not been filed, the court shall enter an order terminating parental rights of the surrendering parent and the nonsurrendering parent.
Regulation of Private Domestic Adoption Expenses
Birth Parent Expenses Allowed Citation: Comp. Laws § 710.54(3), (5)
An adoptive parent may pay the reasonable and actual charge for all of the following:
- Medical, hospital, nursing, or pharmaceutical expenses incurred by the birth mother or the child to be adopted in connection with the birth or any illness of the child
- Counseling services related to the adoption for the parent, guardian, or child, unless the parent or guardian waives the counseling
- Living expenses of a mother before the birth of the child and for no more than 6 weeks after the birth
- Expenses incurred in ascertaining the information required under this chapter about a child to be adopted and the child’s birth family
- Traveling expenses necessitated by the adoption
Birth Parent Expenses Not Allowed Citation: Comp. Laws § 710.54(3)
The adoptive parent may not pay:
- Medical expenses that are covered by the birth mother’s insurance or Medicaid
- Living expenses of the birth mother beyond 6 weeks after the birth of the child
Allowable Payments for Arranging Adoption Citation: Comp. Laws § 710.54(1),(2)
Except for charges and fees approved by the court, a person shall not pay or give; offer to pay or give; or request, receive, or accept any money or other consideration or thing of value, directly or indirectly, in connection with any of the following:
- The placing of a child for adoption
- The registration, recording, or communication of the existence of a child available for adoption
- A release or consent
Except for a child-placing agency’s preparation of a preplacement assessment or investigation, a person shall not be compensated for the following activities:
- Assisting a parent or guardian in evaluating a potential adoptive parent
- Assisting a potential adoptive parent in evaluating a parent, guardian, or child to be adopted
- Referring a prospective adoptive parent to a parent or guardian of a child for purposes of adoption
- Referring a parent or guardian of a child to a prospective adoptive parent for purposes of adoption
Allowable Payments for Relinquishing Child Citation: Comp. Laws § 710.54(6)
Any authorized payment of expenses shall not be made contingent on the placement of the child for adoption, release of the child, consent to the adoption, or cooperation in the completion of the adoption. If the adoption is not completed, an individual who has made payments of expenses may not recover them.
Allowable Fees Charged by Department/Agency Citation: Comp. Laws § 710.54(3), (4)
An adoptive parent shall pay the reasonable and actual charge for:
- The services of a child-placing agency in connection with an adoption
- The preparation of the preplacement assessment and any additional needed investigation
- Legal fees charged for consultation and legal advice, preparation of papers, and representation in connection with an adoption proceeding, including legal services performed for a birth parent or guardian and necessary court costs in an adoption proceeding
Accounting of Expenses Required by Court Citation: Comp. Laws § 710.54(7), (10)
At least 7 days before formal placement of a child, the following documents shall be filed with the court:
- A verified accounting signed by the petitioner itemizing all payments or disbursements of money or anything of value made or agreed to be made by or on behalf of the petitioner in connection with the adoption
- A verified statement of the attorney for each petitioner itemizing the services performed and any fee, compensation, or other thing of value received by or agreed to be paid to the attorney
- A verified statement of the attorney for each parent of the adopted person itemizing the services performed and any fee, compensation, or other thing of value received by or agreed to be paid to the attorney
- A verified statement of the child-placing agency or the department itemizing the services performed and any fee, compensation, or other thing of value received by or agreed to be paid to the child-placing agency or the department
The court shall approve or disapprove all fees and expenses. Acceptance or retention of amounts in excess of those approved by the court constitutes a violation of this section.
The Rights of Unmarried Fathers
Legal Definition of Father Comp. Laws §§ 722.1002; 722.1003
A ‘father’ is the man who signs an acknowledgment of parentage of a child.
If a child is born out of wedlock, a man is considered to be the natural father of that child if the man joins with the mother of the child and acknowledges that child as his child by completing a form that is an acknowledgment of parentage.
Alternate Means to Establish Paternity Comp. Laws §§ 710.33; 722.1003; 722.1004
Before the birth of a child born out of wedlock, a person claiming under oath to be the father of the child may file a verified notice of intent to claim paternity with the court in any county of this State. A person filing a notice of intent to claim paternity shall be presumed to be the father of the child unless the mother denies that the claimant is the father.
A person who files a notice of intent to claim paternity in a timely manner shall be entitled to notice of any hearing involving that child to determine the identity of the father of the child and any hearing to determine or terminate his paternal rights to the child.
If a child is born out of wedlock, a man is considered to be the natural father of that child if the man joins with the mother of the child and acknowledges that child as his child by completing a form that is an acknowledgment of parentage. An acknowledgment of parentage form is valid and effective if signed by the mother and father and those signatures are notarized by a notary public authorized by the State in which the acknowledgment is signed. An acknowledgment may be signed any time during the child’s lifetime.
The child who is the subject of the acknowledgment shall bear the same relationship to the mother and the man signing as the father as a child born or conceived during a marriage and shall have the identical status, rights, and duties of a child born in lawful wedlock effective from birth.
Required Information Comp. Laws § 710.33
The notice of intent to claim paternity shall include the claimant’s address.
The mother or the man who signed the acknowledgment of paternity, the child who is the subject of the acknowledgment, or a prosecuting attorney may file a claim for revocation of an acknowledgment of parentage. The claim shall be filed in the circuit court of the county where either the mother or man resides. If neither of those parties lives in this State, the claim shall be filed in the county where the child resides.
- Mistake of fact
- Newly discovered evidence that by due diligence could not have been found before the acknowledgment was signed
- Misrepresentation or misconduct
- Duress in signing the acknowledgment
If the court finds that the affidavit is sufficient, the court may order blood or genetic tests at the expense of the claimant or may take other action the court considers appropriate. The party filing the claim for revocation has the burden of proving, by clear and convincing evidence, that the man is not the father and that, considering the equities of the case, revocation of the acknowledgment is proper.
Access to Information Comp. Laws §§ 710.33; 722.1003
If the mother’s address is stated on the notice of intent to claim paternity, the vital records division shall send a copy of the notice by first-class mail to the mother of the child at the stated address.
The mother and father shall be provided a copy of the completed acknowledgment of parentage at the time of signing.
Use of Advertising and Facilitators in Adoptive Placements
Use of Advertisement
This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.
Use of Intermediaries/Facilitators Citation: Comp. Laws §§ 722.124b(c)-(d); 722.956
The following terms are defined as follows:
- Adoption facilitator: a child-placing agency or an adoption attorney who assists birth parents or prospective adoptive parents with adoptions.
- Primary adoption facilitator: the adoption facilitator who files the court documents on behalf of the prospective adoptive parent.
An adoption facilitator shall:
- Provide services related to adoption, including postadoption services
- Provide each person who inquires about services with the pamphlet prepared by the Department of Human Services describing the adoption process
- Provide to each person who inquires about services a written document that includes the following information:
- The types of adoptions the adoption facilitator handles
- The services that the adoption facilitator provides
- Eligibility requirements the adoption facilitator has for adoptive families, if any
- If the facilitator is a child-placing agency, the procedure used for selecting a prospective adoptive parent for a child, including the role of the child’s parent(s) in the selection process
- The extent to which the facilitator permits or encourages the exchange of identifying information or contact between birth and adoptive parents
- A schedule of all fees
- Insure that each prospective adoptive parent completes an orientation program consistent with requirements developed by the department
- Disclose to the prospective adoptive parent all known information about the child’s medical and psychological needs
Who May Adopt, Be Adopted, or Place a Child for Adoption?
Who May Adopt Citation: Comp. Laws § 710.24
The following persons may adopt:
- Any person
- A husband and wife jointly
Who May Be Adopted Citation: Comp. Laws § 710.24
Any child or adult may be adopted.
Who May Place a Child for Adoption Citation: Comp. Laws §§ 710.23a, 710.23b, 710.23c
A child may be placed by any of the following:
- A parent or guardian having legal and physical custody
- A child-placing agency having legal and physical custody
- The department having legal and physical custody
- A court having legal and physical custody
Access to Adoption Records
Who May Access Information Citation: Comp. Laws § 710.68
Nonidentifying information may be provided to:
Access to Nonidentifying Information Citation: Comp. Laws § 710.68; 710.27
Within 63 days of a written request, the following information must be provided:
- The date and place of the child’s birth
- The health and genetic history of the child, including prenatal care, condition at birth, and any drug taken by the child’s mother during pregnancy
- Any subsequent medical, psychological, psychiatric, or dental examination done when the child was under the jurisdiction of the court
- Any neglect or physical, sexual, or emotional abuse suffered by the child
- A record of any immunizations and health care the child received while in foster care
- The health and genetic history of the child’s birth parents and other members of the child’s family
- The findings of any medical, psychological, or psychiatric evaluation of each parent at the time of placement
- If a parent is deceased, the cause of and the age at death
- A description of the child and the child’s family of origin, including:
- The first name of the child at birth
- The age and sex of birth siblings
- The child’s educational background and any special educational needs
- The child’s racial, ethnic, and religious background
- A general description of the child’s parents
- The child’s past and existing relationship with any relative, foster parent, or other individual or facility
- The levels of educational, occupational, professional, athletic, or artistic achievement of the child’s family
- Hobbies, special interests, and school activities of the child’s family
- The circumstances of any order terminating the parental rights of a parent for abuse, neglect, abandonment, or other mistreatment of the child
- Length of time between the termination of parental rights and adoptive placement and whether the termination was voluntary or court-ordered
- Any information necessary to determine the child’s eligibility for State or Federal benefits, including financial, medical, or other assistance
Mutual Access to Identifying Information Citation: Comp. Laws § 710.68
Within 63 days after a request for identifying information about an adult adopted person is received, a child-placing agency or the department shall provide in writing to the birth parent or adult birth sibling requesting the information the adult adopted person’s most recent name and address if the adult adopted person has given written consent to release the information. If written consent is not on file, a confidential intermediary may be used to locate the adult adopted person.
Upon a written request for identifying information from an adult adopted person, including a request for the name and address of an adult birth sibling, the agency or department shall submit a clearance request form to the central adoption registry. After receipt of a clearance reply form from the central adoption registry, the agency or department shall notify the adopted person in writing of the identifying information to which the adopted person is entitled, or, if the identifying information cannot be released, the reason why the information cannot be released.
For adoptions finalized between May 28, 1945 and September 12, 1980, identifying information shall be released to the adult adopted person on each birth parent who has consented to the release, or both birth parents if both have consented or if one or both parents are deceased. For adoptions finalized before May 28, 1945 or after Sseptember 2, 1980, identifying information may be released to an adult adopted person unless the birth parent has filed a statement currently in effect with the central adoption registry denying consent to have identifying information released.
Access to Original Birth Certificate Citation: Comp. Laws § 333.2882
A copy of the original birth certificate may be provided to the adult adopted person upon request when accompanied by a copy of a central adoption registry clearance reply form, or by court order.
Where the Information Can Be Located
- Central Adoption Registry, Michigan Department of Human Services
- Michigan Confidential Intermediary Program, Michigan Department of Human Services
Intestate Inheritance Rights for Adopted Persons
Birth Parents in Relation to Adopted Person Citation: Comp. Laws §§ 710.60; 700.2114
For purposes of intestate succession by, through, or from an individual, an adopted individual is the child of his or her adoptive parent(s) and not of his or her birth parents. The adoption of a child by the spouse of either birth parent has no effect on either the relationship between the child and that birth parent or the right of the child or a descendant of the child to inherit from or through the other birth parent.
After entry of the order of adoption, there is no distinction between the rights and duties of natural progeny and adopted persons, and the adopted person becomes an heir-at-law of the adopting parent or parents and an heir-at-law of the lineal and collateral kindred of the adopting parent or parents.
Adopted Persons Who Are Not Included in a Will Citation: Comp. Laws §§ 700.2302; 700.2707
- If the testator had no child living when he or she executed the will, an omitted after-adopted child receives a share in the estate equal in value to what the child would have received had the testator died intestate, unless the will gave all or substantially all of the estate to the other parent of the omitted child and that other parent survives the testator and is entitled to inherit under the will.
- If the testator had one or more children living when he or she executed the will, and the will gave property or an interest in property to one or more of the then-living children, an omitted after-adopted child is entitled to share in the testator’s estate subject to all of the following:
- The portion of the estate that the omitted after-adopted child is entitled to share is limited to bequests made to the testator’s then-living children under the will.
- The omitted after-adopted child is entitled to receive a share of the estate, limited to what the child would have received had the testator included all omitted after-born and after-adopted children with the children to whom bequests were made under the will and had given an equal share of the estate to each child.
The above does not apply if:
- It appears from the will that the omission was intentional.
- The testator provided for the omitted after-adopted child by transfer outside the will with the intent that the transfer be a substitute for a testamentary provision.
An adopted individual and his or her descendants, if appropriate to the class, are included in class gifts and other terms of relationship in accordance with the rules of intestate succession.
Postadoption Contact Agreements Between Birth and Adoptive Families
These issues are not addressed in the statutes reviewed.
Laws Related to Intercountry Adoption
Effect and Recognition of a Foreign Adoption Decree
Comp. Laws § 710.21b
A court order or decree establishing the relationship of parent and child by adoption and issued by a court in another country is presumed to be issued in accordance with the laws of that country and shall be recognized in this State. The rights and obligations of the parties as to matters within the jurisdiction of this State shall be determined as though the order or decree were issued by a court of this State.
Readoption After an Intercountry Adoption
This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.
Application for a U.S. Birth Certificate
Comp. Laws § 333.2830
If a child whose birth occurred outside the United States, a U.S. territory, or Canada is adopted by a resident of this State under the laws of this State or under the laws of a foreign country, the probate court, on motion of the adopting parent, may file a delayed registration of birth on a form provided by the Department of Public Health. The delayed registration shall contain the date and place of birth and other facts specified by the department.
If the date and place of birth of the child cannot be documented from foreign records or a medical assessment of the development of the child indicates that the date of birth as stated in the immigration records is not correct, the court shall determine the facts and establish a date and place of birth and may file a delayed registration of birth.
A probate court may, at the request of the adopting parent when filing a delayed registration of birth, enter a new name for the child on the delayed registration of birth. The new name shall be the legal name of the adopted child.
Child Welfare Information Gateway. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families. www.childwelfare.gov/adoption/laws/domestic.cfm#sss