Facts About Adoption in Michigan
Adoptive parents, birth parents and children often have many questions about adoption. With my extensive experience in adoption law, I can help you navigate the often-confusing processes and procedures for adding to your family through adoption. Below you’ll find some quick facts about adoption in Michigan.
- With direct placement adoptions, the birth mother chooses a suitable adoptive family for her child. Michigan law allows an immediate placement with the prospective adoptive parents after birth and before discharge from the hospital pending consent by the birth parent and formal placement of the child by the Michigan court.
- In Michigan, both married couples and single individuals, whether they are residents or nonresidents of Michigan, may adopt a child. Direct adoptions have varying degrees of openness between the birth mother and the adoptive family with contact during the pregnancy and following placement being common and encouraged.
- Adoptive parents may agree to pay certain living expenses and other adoption related expenses of a birthparent during a birth mother’s pregnancy and for up to six weeks after delivery.
- Michigan law allows a birthparent to sign an out-of-court consent in direct placement adoptions. When an out-of-court consent is signed, the birth parent must have their own attorney and assistance from a licensed agency social worker.
- A pre-placement assessment, commonly referred to as a home study, conducted by a licensed adoption agency within twelve months of the placement is required for prospective adoptive parents. This process includes background checks, FBI clearances, medical clearances, and an in-home visit from a licensed agency social worker.
- Michigan permits single LGBT individuals to petition to adopt, allows married same-sex couples to jointly petition to adopt, and most courts permit a same-sex spouse to petition to adopt a partner’s child or children of the relationship.
- Newborn placements have a three-month supervisory period after formal placement by the court. The finalization of the adoption by the court after this period will result in an Order of Adoption and issuance of a birth certificate bearing the name of the adoptive parent or parents. For nonresidents adopting under Michigan law, a return to this state for finalization is not necessary.
- The Adoption Tax Credit (ATC) covers reasonable and necessary adoption fees, court costs and attorney fees, traveling expenses, and other expenses that are directly related to and for the principal purpose of the legal adoption of an eligible child. In 2021, the maximum adoption tax credit is $14,440 for adoptive parents whose Modified Gross Adjusted Income (MAGI) is less than $216,660. A phaseout begins for MAGIs over $216,660. The ATC is not available for those who earn more than $256,660.