Adoption in Michigan
Adoption Lawyer – Kalamazoo, MI
Adopting a child is a wondrous, exciting event, and legal technicalities may be the furthest thing from your mind. However, ensuring that the adoption process is completed properly is critical to the security of your family. Fortunately, you don’t have to manage those details and procedural requirements on your own. An experienced family law attorney like Tara L. Sharp can guide you through the process, ensuring that you don’t miss a step.
We serve all of west Michigan; Kalamazoo County, Kent County, Calhoun County, Berrien County, Van Buren County, Cass County, St. Joseph County, Ottawa County, Branch County, and Barry County.
Types of Adoption
Not every adoption case is the same. For example, the procedures for a step-parent adoption or next-of-kin adoption differ somewhat from the requirements for a county adoption. Each has special requirements based on the circumstances surrounding that type of adoption. For example, where a step-father is adopting a child, it may be necessary to first secure a termination of the natural father’s parental rights. Further, if the child being adopted is 14 years of age or older, the child’s consent is required for a step-parent adoption. In a county adoption case, a home visit is required before the adoption can move forward.
Common Adoption Services
We assist families with a variety of types of adoption, including:
- Step-parent adoptions, wherein a person married to the child’s mother or father adopts the child;
- County adoptions, wherein the child is a ward of the court and placed for adoption after parental rights are terminated;
- Private adoptions, wherein the adoptive parents and birth parents work through an agency or privately arrange for the adoption;
- Relative adoptions, which may occur after the death of parents or when children have been abandoned or removed from the home; and
- Surrogacy adoptions, wherein a paid or volunteer surrogate carries a child which will be legally adopted after birth.
Each type involves its own special complications and pitfalls—let us help you navigate them!
Adoption Specifics Vary
Even within a particular type of adoption, the terms may differ. For example, in a private adoption case, the adoptive parents may or may not pay certain expenses for the birth mother. However, there are limits on payments by adoptive parents. Further, the adoptive parents and birth parents may agree to either an open or closed adoption, meaning that they may or may not have identifying information about each other. Open adoptions also vary: in some cases, the birth mother may receive updates and photographs from the adoptive parents or other types of direct contact.
Talk to an Experienced Adoption Lawyer Early in the Process
In short, there are many questions to be answered and details to address to ensure that your family is secure and moving forward the way you hope. The guidance of an experienced adoption lawyer can be invaluable during this time, allowing you to focus on the growth of your family rather than investing your time and energy in sorting out the technical requirements. We can walk you through the adoption process step by step and ask the questions you might not think to consider before finalizing the adoption.
The earlier in the process you speak with an adoption lawyer, the better prepared you will be to fulfill all of the requirements, think through issues like whether you’d prefer an open or closed adoption, and ensure that you are ready to move forward with confidence.
Call 269-978-6560 today to schedule your free consultation and move one step closer to expanding your family.