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Steps to Complete a Stepparent Adoption in Michigan

 Posted on September 20, 2018 in Family Law

MI family lawyerSometimes, when parents remarry, they want their new spouse to become the legal parent of their child. Though stepparent adoption can come with many benefits, under Michigan law, a child can only have a maximum of two legal parents at one time. This means if you want your new spouse to legally adopt your child, you must first have your child’s biological parent relinquish their parental rights or have them revoked by the court, which can only happen in certain situations. Stepparent adoption can be a tricky process to navigate, but it does not have to be.

  1. Contact the Courthouse

The first step in the stepparent adoption process is to contact the courthouse in the county in which you reside. The will be able to tell you the specific steps you need to take when proceeding with the adoption process. You will also be able to get the forms you need to fill out to file for adoption.

  1. Gain Consent from Required Parties

In Michigan, you must gain consent from the child’s biological parent before you can proceed with a stepparent adoption. If the parent does not consent to the adoption, you can petition for the parent’s rights to be terminated, but this only happens in cases where the court has deemed the parent to have failed significantly in his or her parenting responsibilities. You must also gain the consent of the child if he or she is over the age of 14.

  1. File and Submit Your Forms

There are many forms that you must have filled out to file with the court before you are assigned a court date. Forms that you should fill out or have copies of include:

  • Judgment of divorce, or acknowledgment of paternity;
  • Custody determination;
  • Most recent support order;
  • Order to change name, if applicable;
  • Petition for adoption;
  • Termination of parental rights, if applicable;
  • Consent to adoption by parent, if applicable;
  • Birth certificates;
  • Marriage license;
  • Most recent income tax statement; and
  • Completed adoption questionnaire.
  1. Attend Your Hearing

You may be asked to attend a hearing to verify that the step-parent wishes to adopt his or her step-child. This is especially true if the biological parent refuses to give consent or if you are requesting to have his or her parental rights terminated.

  1. Finalize the Adoption

You may also be asked to attend a final hearing where a certificate of adoption will be issued. This certificate will list the step-parent as the child’s new legal parent and the child’s new name if it was changed. It is a good idea to request additional copies of this document for your own records.

  1. Get a New Birth Certificate

Once your adoption has been finalized, you can request a new birth certificate from the Vital Records office in the state in which the child was born. If the child has a Michigan birth certificate, the fee for a new birth certificate is $50. If the child was born in a different state, the fee will vary by state.

An Oakland County Step-Parent Adoption Lawyer Can Help

Remarriage can be a happy time in any parent’s life, especially if your new spouse wants to adopt your child. If you are looking to make your spouse a permanent part of your child’s life, you need to contact a Novi step-parent adoption attorney who can guide you through the process. Elkouri Heath, PLC can help you figure out the step-parent adoption process and how to file the appropriate forms. Schedule a consultation by calling the office at 248-344-9700.





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