Sterling Heights Relative Adoption Lawyers
There are many circumstances that could warrant a relative adoption, including the death of the child’s parents, incarceration, or removal of the child by social services. Whatever the case may be, the lawyers at Goetting Corrado Law Group, P.C. will be there to help educate you about the process every step of the way. We are proud to have helped numerous families stay together through the process of relative adoption.
What Is a Relative Adoption?
Relative adoption happens when a child is adopted by an immediate relative, such as a grandparent, sibling, aunt, or uncle. If the child has lived with the family for 1 year, then this process is called a kinship adoption. If the child is 14 years or older, then he/she must consent to this adoption. Consent is not required for children under the age of 14.
Adopting a relative means you will assume all responsibilities associated with raising the child.
How to Adopt a Family Member
The first step to consider before adopting a family member is to ensure you can care for another child. Many placements with relatives are a result of mistreatment or lack of care by the child’s parents. There may have been neglect or abuse involved, and this child may have mental and emotional issues. Consider the effects all this would have on your current family dynamic.
The next step is to determine you understand your rights and state laws associated with relative adoptions. It would be advisable to consult with an experienced attorney at this time. Federal law requires agencies to make reasonable efforts to keep siblings together in one home.
Process of Relative Adoption in Michigan
The process of relative adoption is like the process of direct adoption from both the birth mother’s and the prospective adoptive parent’s point of view; however, they differ legally. As both parties in a relative adoption know one another, they can use the same lawyer to represent them. The process of relative adoption is as follows:
- Court conducts a home study and preplacement assessment (an adoption agency may also be suitable)
- Family history of the birth parent will be shared with the adoptive parents (includes medical records)
- Birth family’s history and additional paperwork will be prepared and provided to the court
- A hospital plan for the birth mother and prospective adoptive parents will be completed and sent to the hospital (this may include the birth mother’s preferences regarding delivery)
- After the child is born and the mother has regained her strength, papers will be signed to allow the discharge of the infant to the prospective adoptive parents and grant them authority to care for the child
- The mother will consent to the adoption and the birth father’s rights will need to be terminated
- After, the judge will sign an order placing the child with the prospective adoptive parents and give them authority to care for the child.
- A period of supervision may be required, which occurs once every 3 months and may last from 3 to 6 months
- The court will finalize the adoption once the supervision period has ended
- The state will issue a new birth certificate with the adoptive parents listed as the legal parents of the child.
Schedule a Consultation with an Experienced Attorney at Our Firm
If you require assistance with relative adoption, contact our firm to schedule an initial consultation. We can help you navigate the process, ensure your rights and interests are protected, and discuss any potential issues you may face.
“Talia and the Goetting Corrado Law Group helped me with a challenging custody case for several years”- Amanda
“She is professional, knowledgeable, and will have your back as your lawyer.”- Sarah
“At times adoption can be a scary process, but Talia and Tonya make sure that you understand everything.”- Amanda
Q:Who is considered an eligible relative for adoptions?
A:You must be related to the child within the 5th degree. This includes grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, second cousins, great aunts and uncles, and siblings.
Q:How are the legal parents rights terminated?
A:There are many different means to terminating parental rights. The quickest and easiest method to terminating parental rights is through their consent at a consent hearing. If the parents refused to consent but are not providing proper care to the child, then a petition can be filed in the juvenile court for neglect/abandonment.
Q:How much does a relative adoption cost?
A:The filing fees range from $185 to $235 depending on the county you are filing in. The attorney fees depend on your particular situation, but usually start at $2000. The fees will be higher if the parents do not consent to the adoption.
Q:Does the child have to consent to the adoption?
A:If the child is 14 years or older, than he or she must consent. Consent is not required for children under the age of 14.
Q:Can I change the child's name?
A:A new birth certificate will be issued by the State of Michigan after the adoption is finalized. That birth certificate will resemble the child's original birth certificate, with the only difference being the adoptive parent's name will be listed as the parent. At the time of the adoption, the adoptee's name can be changed if you so choose, and the new birth certificate will reflect the name change.
Q:How long does it take for a relative adoption?
A:Most counties will process the petition in less than six months.
Q:Do I have to have a homestudy?
A:This depends on the county you are filing in. Homestudies are usually not required. However, in counties such as Oakland, you will pay a fee at the time of filing the petition, for an adoption worker from the county to do a homestudy on you.