Relative Adoptions

Your Relative Adoption Needs

Michigan state laws allow eligible family members to adopt relatives. Having worked with  families throughout our years of practice, our  adoption attorneys have been part of numerous relative adoptions both locally and through Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC). While the process of adopting a relative may not necessarily be easy, our firm can provide you with the information, experienced assistance and genuine support needed to complete these legal actions successfully.


Michigan Relative Adoption Laws and Facts

There are many circumstances that may open the door to a relative adoption, including untimely death, incarceration or incapacitation of a child’s parents, or removal of a child by social services, amongst others. Whatever the case may be, our firm works to educate you about your rights as a relative and to assist you in navigating the adoption process.

If you are a grandparent, aunt, uncle, adult sibling, adult cousin, or another family member interested in learning more about relative adoptions, we encourage you to reach out to our firm for guidance. Having helped families throughout Michigan and the United States successfully complete their adoption journeys, our adoption lawyers have the legal abilities and unwavering commitment needed to see that you receive the assistance and support you deserve. Adopting a relative means that you will assume all of the responsibilities associated with the child. Just as with any adoption process, the State of Michigan establishes numerous procedures and requirements that must be met in order for a relative to qualify for adoption. These may include criminal background checks and home studies, and the filing of a formal petition with the court.

Frequently Asked Questions

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: 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 my 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:   That depends.  Most counties will process the petition in less than six months.

Q: Do we have to have a homestudy done?

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.

Q: What if the child is almost 18 years old?

A:  A child can be adopted up to the age of 18 but must provide consent after the age of 14.  If the child is 18 years or older, he or she may still be adopted, it is just considered an “Adult” adoption.

Q: Can I adopt my relative that is visiting from another country?

A:        Yes you can, however, there are immigration consequences to this.  Under special circumstances USCIS will allow a foreign born relative to obtain a green card after adoption if it can be shown that the parties involved did not intend on circumventing the Hague Convention rules on adoption.

43120 Utica Road, Ste 200
Sterling Heights, MI  48314