We had a number of people reach out with questions about adoption in response to our previous article on Michigan’s licensing requirements for adoptive and foster families. As such, we have decided to share with you some information about adoption in Michigan.
Consent laws refer to the agreement made by a parent, or the person or agency that is responsible for a child in lieu of a parent, to give a child up for adoption and relinquish all rights with regard to that child. In this two part series we will be answering some of your questions about Michigan’s adoption consent laws.
Who must give their consent?
Consent to adopt a child must be given by one of the following:
- Both of the child’s parents, or one parent if the other is deceased or has had their parental rights terminated.
- The authorized representative of the state department or agency who has permanent or current temporary custody of the child.
- The court with permanent custody of the child.
- The guardian of the child, if the state has appointed a guardian.
- The guardian of a parent, if one of the child’s parents has a court-appointed guardian.
- The authorized representative of a court or child-placement agency of another State or country that has the authority to consent to an adoption.
If the child to be adopted was parented by an unemancipated minor, then that parent’s consent is not considered to be valid unless a parent, guardian, or guardian ad litem of that minor parent has also granted consent.
What is the age at which the adopted child gives their consent?
In Michigan, a child who is going to be adopted gives their consent to the adoption at 14 years of age or older.
When is parental consent not needed?
There are several instances where a parent’s consent is not legally required for an adoption to take place. They are as follows:
- When the parent’s rights have been terminated.
- When the child has been released to a placement agency whose purpose is to find an adoptive home for the child.
- When the child is a ward of the state
- When the parent of the child has an appointed guardian
- When the person petitioning the court to adopt the child is married to the child’s parent.
Join us next time, when we wrap up this discussion about the consent laws involved in Michigan adoptions, and then move on to an in depth look at what the home study involves. Until then, if you or a loved one have questions about adoption, or any other aspect of family law in Michigan, we are here to help you. Call (248) 479-6200 to discuss your situation with a skilled family law attorney, or come in and talk to us at our Farmington Hills office. Our attorneys are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to assist you, no matter what issues you may have.