Home Study Requirements for Prospective Parents in Domestic Adoption - Michigan

Date:

Who Must Be Studied

Citation: Comp. Laws § 710.23f

In a direct placement, an individual seeking to adopt must undergo a preplacement assessment.

Agency or Person Conducting the Study

Citation: Comp. Laws § 710.23f

The preplacement assessment shall be prepared by a child-placing agency.

Qualifications for Adoptive Parents

Citation: Comp. Laws § 710.22

An individual is considered to be suitable to be a parent of an adoptee when there is no specific concern that placement of any child, or a particular child, in the home of the individual would pose a risk of harm to the physical or psychological well-being of the child.

Elements of a Home Study

Citation: Comp. Laws § 710.23f

A preplacement assessment is based upon personal interviews and visits at 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 the following information about the individual being assessed:

  • Age, nationality, race, ethnicity, and any religious preference
  • Marital and family status and history
  • Physical and mental health, including any history of substance abuse
  • Education and employment history and any special skills and interests
  • Property and income, including outstanding financial obligations
  • Reason for wanting to adopt
  • Whether the individual has ever been the respondent in a domestic violence proceeding or a proceeding concerning a child who was allegedly abused, dependent, deprived, neglected, abandoned, or delinquent, and the outcome of the proceeding
  • 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

The applicant must submit the following:

  • A document from the Michigan State police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation describing all the individual's criminal convictions or stating that the agency's records indicate that the individual has not been convicted of a crime
  • The results of a physical examination that indicates that the individual is free from any known condition that would affect his or her ability to care for an adoptee

Grounds for Withholding Approval

Citation: Comp. Laws §§ 710.23f; 710.22a

If the child-placing agency determines that the information in the preplacement assessment raises a specific concern, the child-placing agency shall find that the individual is not suitable to be an adoptive parent. The conclusion shall be supported by a written account of how one or more specific concerns pose a risk to the physical or psychological well-being of any child or a particular child.

A child shall not be placed with a prospective adoptive parent and an adoption order shall not be issued if a person authorized to place the child, or the court authorized to issue the order, has reliable information that the prospective adoptive parent has been convicted of any of the following:

  • Soliciting a child for an immoral purpose or child sexual exploitation
  • Criminal sexual conduct
  • A law of another State substantially similar to any of the above

When Studies Must Be Completed

Citation: Admin. Code R 400.12708

An agency shall have on file a written adoption evaluation and agency recommendation before approving the adoptive parents for each adoptive placement and before referring a child to, or placing a child in, the home for purposes of adoption.

Postplacement Study Requirements

Citation: Comp. Laws §§ 710.46; 710.52; Admin. Code R 400.12711

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 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 parent or parents

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

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, which shall make reports regarding the adjustment of the child in the home. 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.

In regulation: An agency shall provide postplacement supervision for the adoptive family at the adoptive parent(s)' home as needed, but not less than once every 3 months, after the placement of a child and until the final order of adoption. The agency shall do the following:

  • Assess and record the child's and adoptive family's adjustment and, where needed, include plans to assist the child or adoptive family
  • Keep the adoptive parents informed of the results of the agency's continuing assessment of the placement at the conclusion of each visit

Exceptions for Stepparent or Relative Adoptions

This issue is not addressed in the statutes and regulations reviewed.

Requirements for Interjurisdictional Placements

Citation: Comp. Laws § 3.711

Any out-of-home placement of a child outside the State is subject to the provisions of the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children.

The child shall not be sent into the receiving State until the appropriate public authorities in the receiving State notify the sending agency, in writing, that the proposed placement does not appear to be contrary to the interests of the child.

Foster to Adopt Placements

Citation: Comp. Laws § 710.46

If the adoptee has been placed for foster care with the petitioner for 12 months or longer and the foster family study was completed or updated not more than 12 months before the petition was filed, the court, upon motion by the petitioner, may waive the full investigation required by this section. The foster family study, with information added as necessary to update or supplement the original study, may be substituted for the written report.

Links to Resources

Michigan Adoption Law

'Adoption Program Statement' (Michigan Department of Human Services)

Adopting a Child in Michigan (Michigan Department of Human Services)