Michigan’s Licensing Requirements for Fostering & Adoption?

Mother hugging child
Fostering and adopting in Michigan requires a lot of planning.

The first thing to remember when considering fostering or adopting a child in Oakland County, is the fact that foster care is meant to be temporary, while adoption is meant to be permanent. Because of the temporary nature of fostering children, it isn’t recommended for a Michigan foster parent to expect to be able to adopt the children placed in their care.

The ultimate goal of fostering, is that the children will be able to be reunited with their birth parents. However, children whose parents have had their parental rights terminated by the court are eligible for adoption. For those of you who may be considering becoming a foster or adoptive parent, it is important that you understand the differences.

Individuals Eligible For Fostering Or Adopting

There are a few requirements that potential foster and adoptive parents must meet before the state will grant them custody of a child. However, the rules are not as strict as many people think. For example, the state doesn’t require that a potential adoptive or foster parent be married. It is the view of the court that a child can find stability and love in a single parent home just as well as they can in the home of a couple.

It is also not required that a person own their own home in order to foster or adopt a child. A rental home or an apartment is considered to be a perfectly acceptable housing option for a child and their new family. The law does require, however, that regardless of the type of home, it must contain enough bedroom space for the child, provide a safe place to play, and be free of health and fire hazards.

And finally, wealth is not a factor in becoming an adoptive or foster parent in the Oakland County area or in fact anywhere else in Michigan. Those who receive some form of state-funded financial assistance are still considered to be eligible for fostering or adopting, as long as they are able to meet the basic needs of their family.

Qualifications For Fostering Or Adopting

Michigan has a list of qualifications that the state looks for in applicants who are looking to foster or adopt children. They are as follows:

The applicant must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Be of good moral character
  • Be willing and able to provide for the children who are under their care
  • Understand the kind of care that needs to be provided to the children, or at the very least, be willing to learn how to provide that care
  • Have enough time available in their daily schedule to provide the necessary supervision for any children in their care
  • Have a fixed source of income and show that they are able to manage it wisely, in order to meet the needs of their family
  • Be physically, mentally, and emotionally healthy enough to provide the required care for the children relying on them
  • Be willing to comply with the state’s licensing rules and regulations

If it is a couple who are applying together for the chance to adopt or foster a child, they will both be required to participate together in certain processes. One requirement is the home study process, while another is attending the Parent Resources for Information, Development and Education training series, also called P.R.I.D.E.

If the person applying for the adoption or the opportunity to foster has a live-in partner, that person will also be required to participate in the home study process and attend the state mandated trainings.

Hopefully, this information will provide you with a rough overview of what the state will expect from people looking to become foster parents, or hoping to adopt. However, the process itself is quite long and complex. There is a great deal of paperwork involved, along with extensive background checks, and lengthy interviews.

If you or your loved ones need help with any aspect of family law in the Oakland County area, from fostering and CPS issues, to divorce, prenuptial agreements and personal protection orders, we are here to help. Call (248) 479-6200 to speak with an experienced family lawyer today.