Simplifying A Complex Process

Contested Adoptions: Fighting For The Child’s Best Interests

Last updated on October 11, 2022

At The Law Office of Dion Roddy, I help clients with all kinds of adoption matters. In Michigan, there are two paths forward with adoption. The first is voluntary consent. When the birth parent is willing to concede his or her parental rights, the adoption process tends to move along smoothly. However, when a birth parent does not consent to adoption or refuses to relinquish his or her legal parental rights, the pre-adoptive parent can also pursue involuntary termination. Contested adoptions are often emotionally wrought and complicated cases. If you are navigating a contested adoption, I can help.

Parent Refusal And Involuntary Terminating Of Parental Rights

If a parent refuses to consent to an adoption and doesn’t voluntarily relinquish their parental rights, the only way adoption can proceed is through an involuntary action to terminate parental rights. Through a court action, the court will consider if the parent is unfit and take the child’s best interest into consideration.

A birth parent may be declared unfit for the following reasons:

  • A history of child abuse or neglect
  • Sexual abuse
  • Abandonment of the child
  • Long-term mental illness of the parent
  • Long-term alcohol or substance abuse or incapacity of the parent
  • Failure to pay child support
  • Failure to maintain personal contact with the child

Termination of parental rights legally and permanently ends the parental-child relationship. Upon termination of the unfit parent’s legal rights, the child may be placed for adoption. As an adoption law attorney, I offer a wide range of services and can help you navigate the complex process of navigating a contested adoption.

Only One Option For Contested Stepparent Adoptions

Michigan law only allows for a child to have two legal parents. In the event of a stepparent adoption, the child’s other birth parent must agree to give up his or her own parental rights and legally forgo custody and visitation rights. If the birth parent does not voluntarily agree to the adoption, the only course of action for the stepparent is to pursue an involuntary termination of the noncustodial parent’s rights.

In some cases, a birth father who has not established a legal relationship with the child will attempt to thwart the planned adoption. In cases where an uninvolved, nonsupporting father refuses to consent to the adoption, Michigan law allows the court to evaluate the situation and take into consideration the best interests of the potential adoptee. If the termination of the uninvolved parent is in the child’s best interests, the birth father’s rights can be terminated involuntarily.

Fight For Your Child’s Best Interests: Call Today

I founded The Law Office of Dion Roddy because I am passionate about helping parents navigate the adoption process. In a contested adoption situation, I can help you fight for your child’s best interests. Call me today at 248-800-1875or email me to schedule your free consultation.