Completing Intercountry Adoptions Not Finalized Abroad - Michigan

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Requirements for Completing the Adoption

Citation: Comp. Laws §§ 710.24; 710.56; 710.58; 710.59

The petition for adoption shall be verified by each petitioner and shall contain the following information:

  • The name, date and place of birth, and place of residence of each petitioner, including the maiden name of the adopting mother
  • The name, date and place of birth, and place of residence, if known, of the adoptee
  • The relationship, if any, of the adoptee to the petitioner
  • The full name by which the adoptee shall be known after adoption
  • The full description of the property, if any, of the adoptee
  • Unless the rights of the parents have been terminated by a court of competent jurisdiction, the names of the parents of the adoptee and the place of residence of each living parent, if known
  • The name and place of residence of the guardian of the person or estate of the adoptee, if any has been appointed

Six months after formal placement of the child, the court may enter an order of adoption. When the court enters an order of adoption, certified copies shall be given to the adopting parent or parents. If the consent to the adoption was given by a duly authorized representative of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, of a child-placing agency, or of a public or licensed private agency of another State or country, a certified copy of the order of adoption shall be furnished by the court to the department or agency.

When the parents or surviving parent has given consent to an adoption and the petitioner desires to change the name of the adopted child, the order of adoption and exemplification of record shall not contain the name of the child's natural parents or the name bestowed upon the child before the adoption.

Required Evidence/Documentation

Citation: Comp. Laws §§ 710.24; 710.26

In a direct placement, the petitioner shall attach to the petition a verified statement certifying that the petitioner has been informed of the availability of counseling services and whether the petitioner has received counseling.

In a direct placement, the petitioner shall attach a copy of a preplacement assessment of the petitioner completed or updated within 1 year before the petition is filed with a finding that the petitioner is suitable to be a parent of an adoptee; copies of all other preplacement assessments of the petitioner, if any others have been completed; and a verified statement stating that no preplacement assessments of the petitioner have been completed other than those attached to the petition and explaining any preplacement assessments of the petitioner that have been initiated but not completed.

Subsequent to or concurrent with the filing of the adoption petition, but before the hearing on the petition by the court, the petitioner, the department, an employee or agent of the court, or a child-placing agency, as appropriate, shall file all of the following documentation:

  • Except in instances of parental consent to adoption, a copy of each release or order terminating parental rights over the child having a bearing upon the authority of a person to execute the consent to adoption
  • A copy of the order of commitment, if a commitment was made to a child-placing agency or to the department
  • Proof of a guardian's appointment and authorization to execute the release or consent to the child's adoption
  • A copy of the consent to adoption, as required in this chapter
  • A copy of the adoptee's birth certificate, verification of birth, hospital birth registration, or other satisfactory proof of date and place of birth, if obtainable, unless this filing is waived by written order of the judge
  • The report of the investigation prepared pursuant to § 710.46
  • If the petition alleges nonsupport and noncommunication by a parent, an affidavit verifying that fact
  • Any additional facts considered necessary by the court

Background Studies

Citation: Comp. Laws §§ 710.23f; 710.46

In a direct placement, an individual seeking to adopt may request, at any time, that a preplacement assessment be prepared by a child-placing agency. A preplacement assessment is based upon personal interviews and visits to the residence of the individual being assessed, interviews of others who know the individual, and reports received under this subsection. The assessment shall contain all of the following information about the individual being assessed:

  • Age, nationality, race or ethnicity, and any religious preference
  • Marital and family status and history, including the presence of other children or adults in the household
  • Physical and mental health, including any history of substance use
  • Educational and employment history and any special skills and interests
  • Property and income, including outstanding financial obligations, as indicated in a current financial report
  • Reason for wanting to adopt
  • Any previous request for an assessment or involvement in an adoptive placement and the outcome
  • Whether the individual has ever been the respondent in a proceeding involving domestic violence or the abuse or neglect of a child
  • Whether the individual has ever been convicted of a crime
  • Any fact or circumstance that raises a specific concern about the suitability of the individual as an adoptive parent, including the quality of the environment in the home; the functioning of other children in the household; and any aspect of the individual's familial, social, psychological, or financial circumstances that may be relevant

A child-placing agency shall request an individual seeking a preplacement assessment to provide a document from the Michigan State police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation describing all of the individual's criminal convictions or stating that the agency's records indicate that the individual has not been convicted of a crime. The individual also must undergo a physical examination conducted by a licensed physician, a physician's assistant, or a nurse practitioner to determine that the individual is free from any known condition that would affect his or her ability to care for an adoptee.

Upon the filing of an adoption petition, the court shall direct a full investigation by an employee or agent of the court, a child-placing agency, or the department. The court may use the preplacement assessment described in § 710.23f and may order an additional investigation by an employee or agent of the court or a child-placing agency. The following shall be considered in the investigation:

  • The best interests of the adoptee
  • The adoptee's family background, including names and identifying data regarding the parent or parents, if obtainable
  • The reasons for the adoptee's placement away from his or her parents

A written report of the investigation shall be filed within 3 months after the order for investigation.

Placement Supervision and Reporting

Citation: Comp. Laws § 710.52

During the period before entry of the order of adoption, the child shall be supervised at the direction of the court by an employee or agent of the court, a child-placing agency, or the department, who shall make reports regarding the adjustment of the child in the home as the court orders. The investigations shall be made under reasonable circumstances and at reasonable intervals.

In a direct placement, the child shall be supervised during the period before entry of the order of adoption by the child-placing agency that investigated the placement or, in the court's discretion, by another child-placing agency.

Effect of Adoption Decree on Parental Rights

Citation: Comp. Laws § 710.60

After the entry of an order of adoption, if the adoptee's name is changed, the adoptee shall be known and called by the new name. The person or persons adopting the adoptee then become the parent or parents of the adoptee under the law as though the adopted person had been born to the adopting parents and are liable for all the duties and entitled to all the rights of parents.

After entry of the order of adoption, there is no distinction between the rights and duties of natural progeny and adopted persons, and the adopted person becomes an heir at law of the adopting parent or parents and an heir at law of the lineal and collateral kindred of the adopting parent or parents. After entry of the order of adoption, an adopted child is no longer an heir at law of a parent whose rights have been terminated or the lineal or collateral kindred of that parent. An adopted adult is not an heir at law of a person who was his or her parent at the time the order of adoption was entered or the lineal or collateral kindred of that person, except that a right, title, or interest that has vested before entry of the final order of adoption is not divested by that order.

Obtaining a U.S. Birth Certificate

Citation: Comp. Laws §§ 710.67; 333.2830

A person in charge of adoption records shall not disclose the names of the biological or adoptive parents of an adopted person, unless ordered to do so by a court of record, except to meet requirements of the director of Public Health for the purpose of creating a new certificate of birth in the adoptive name and sealing the original certificate of birth.

The director shall furnish to the adopting parent or parents a certified copy of the new birth certificate that shall not disclose the adoption of the person. A birth certificate issued to an adopted person shall not refer to adoption and shall conform as nearly as possible to the appearance of birth certificates issued in other cases.

If a child whose birth occurred outside the United States, a territory of the United States, or Canada is adopted by a resident of this State under the laws of this State or under the laws of a foreign country, the probate court, on motion of the adopting parent, may file a delayed registration of birth on a form provided by the Department of Public Health. The delayed registration shall contain the date and place of birth and other facts specified by the department.

If the date and place of birth of the adopted child cannot be documented from foreign records, or a medical assessment of the development of the child indicates that the date of birth as stated in the immigration records is not correct, the court shall determine the facts and establish a date and place of birth and may file a delayed registration of birth.

A probate court may, at the request of the adopting parent when filing a delayed registration of birth, enter a new name for the child on the delayed registration of birth. After the filing of a delayed registration of birth that includes a change of name, the new name shall be the legal name of the adopted child.