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What Are the Benefits of a Relative Adoption in Michigan?

Posted on in Family Law

What Are the Benefits of a Relative Adoption in Michigan?According to the Adoption Network, approximately 135,000 children are adopted every year in the United States. Relative or related adoption is the legal adoption of a child by a biological relative. For example, it can be the adoption of a child by his or her grandparent, uncle, or cousin. In many states, relative adoptions are not as complicated as non-relative or agency adoptions. The Michigan Department of Health & Human Services (MDHHS) searches for adoptive families that will best meet the needs of a child. If possible, adoptive placements are made with relatives or foster parents, and siblings are kept together in most situations. It is important to seek the guidance of an experienced family law attorney when considering any adoption. 

The Basics of a Related Adoption

According to Michigan family law, any individual can be adopted but those who are age 14 or older must give their own consent. In addition, the state law allows adoptive parents 21 days in which to challenge a denial.

Because of the familial relationship in a relative adoption, one attorney is able to represent both parties. In these types of adoptions, it is considered more of an “open” adoption versus a “closed” adoption. However, in cases of divorce where one spouse remarries and a step-parent wishes to adopt the child, each biological parent may choose to hire separate legal representation.  

A home study is still necessary for a related adoption to assess the living situation for the adopted child. The adoption will only be allowed if the home study facilitator has no concerns about placing a child in the prospective parents’ home. A complete report of family history should also be obtained. This is important because some medical conditions carry a genetic component and can be handed down to offspring. In many cases, one adoptive parent may already know this pertinent information if he or she is a family member. However, the child’s other biological parent may need to provide his or her medical history.

As in a direct placement adoption, both biological parents must consent to the adoption. After terminating the parental rights of the birth parents, the court issues an order placing the child with the adoptive parents and grants them parental authority for the child. The judge will order a period of supervision, which may last from three to six months. 

Advantages of a Related Adoption

There can be many benefits to a relative adopting a child. In many cases, the family member is taking the child out of a bad or potentially dangerous situation. Ultimately, he or she is providing a better life for the child if the birth parents can no longer do so.   

A few other advantages include: 

  • The child already has a personal relationship with the adoptive parents.
  • A level of trust exists between the biological and adoptive parents.
  • The child and adoptive parents have access to family medical history.
  • The biological parents typically remain in their child’s life to some degree.
  • It is a streamlined process compared to adoptions involving non-relatives.

Contact a Farmington Hills Family Law Attorney

Adopting a child can be a major endeavor that changes the life of the child as well as his or her new parents. Although adopting a relative may be a slightly easier process, it still requires the assistance of a professional law firm. The skilled legal team at Elkouri Heath, PLC, has handled numerous adoption cases. Our knowledgeable and compassionate Novi, MI, adoption lawyers know the necessary steps for achieving the dream of having a family. Call our office today at 248-344-9700 to schedule your free consultation. 

Sources:
https://www.michigan.gov/mdhhs/0,5885,7-339-73971_7116---,00.html

https://adoptionnetwork.com/adoption-statistics

Oakland County Bar Association State Bar of Michigan Collaborative Practice Institute of Michigan WCCDBA Woman Lawyers Association of Michigan
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