WN Law PLLC

Understanding Michigan’s stepparent adoption process

If you live in Michigan and are already playing the role of mother or father to a child who is not biologically yours, you may be considering trying to adopt your stepson or stepdaughter to expand your rights and cement the family bond. Becoming an adoptive stepparent involves a lifelong commitment because once the adoption becomes official, you will have the same rights and obligations you would, had you biologically given birth to or fathered the child you are adopting.

If you wish to legally adopt your current stepchild, your situation must first meet certain criteria for you to move forward with the process.

Beginning the adoption process

In order for you to become an adoptive stepmother or stepfather, a court must first terminate the child’s biological mother or father’s rights to the child in question. This also means that he or she will no longer have to pay any child support orders that might be in place. The termination of parental rights might be voluntary, meaning the biological parent agreed to the termination, or involuntary, meaning a court decided terminating rights would be in the child’s best interest.

When the biological parent is on board

Typically, the easiest way for you, as a stepparent, to adopt your stepson or stepdaughter, is to simply have the child’s biological mother or father sign forms dictating that he or she agrees to the change. In doing so, that parent automatically gives up legal rights to the child.

When the biological parent is not on board

If, however, your stepson or stepdaughter’s biological parent is not on board with you adopting the child, things become a bit more complicated. A judge will have to terminate that parent’s rights before you can move forward with the adoption process, but again, your situation must first meet certain guidelines. The parent who would lose rights must not have visited with or provided for the child within the past two years, despite being able to do so, to have his or her parental rights terminated.

Ultimately, if you wish to adopt your stepchild and his or her parent opposes the adoption, you must provide clear, convincing evidence that doing so would be best for the child. If the other parent agrees with your adopting the child, you can typically move forward with relative ease.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

You Have Someone On Your Side

Email Us For A Response

How Can We Help?

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Office Location

WN Law PLLC
29 Pearl Street, Suite 421
Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Phone: 616-426-9491
Fax: 616-531-1010
Grand Rapids Law Office Map