Below is helpful information about the Adoption process in Barry County. Forms for Adoptions can be found by clicking HERE. Please contact the Probate Court at (269) 945- 1390 with any questions you may have. The court can not give legal advice or assistance. If you have legal questions or need assistance you will need to contact an attorney of your choice. The court can not accept incomplete documents. Documents must be completed in ink and be legible.
Step-parent adoption: An adoption that occurs with the biological parent with custody marries or remarries an individual who is not the biological parent of an adoptee and that couple petition to adopt an individual.
In-family adoption: An adoption that occurs when an individual, related within the 5th degree by blood, marriage or adoption, petitions to adopt an individual.
Other adoption: An example would be when a full guardian of a minor petitions to adopt an individual.
Adult adoption: An adult files a petition to adopt an adult individual. This type of adoption may occur as an “other” adoption or as an in-family or step-parent adoption.
Necessary petition(s) must be filed with the court and $161.00 filing fee this includes a certified copy. Petitions may include: Petition for Adoption, Supplemental Petition or Petition for Hearing to Identify Father. In addition to the appropriate petitions, you must also file a copy of the adoptee’s birth certificate; order of filiation or judgement of divorce, if appropriate; and acknowledgement of paternity, if appropriate.
When the court receives the petition(s) and other paperwork, the court will order an investigation or homestudy. This investigation will be completed within three months. In all cases involving the adoption of a minor, the court will also perform a criminal history check.
Please note that the adopting parent information is completed at the top of the petition for adoption and the birth parent information is completed under item 6 of the petition.
Documents must be completed in black ink or typewritten.
You will need to complete the various documents that are required as they relate to your situation. Different situations include: a step-parent adoption and the birth father is a putative father; a step-parent adoption and the birth father is consenting; a step-parent adoption and the non-custodial parent is not paying support and visiting; or an in-family adoption where both parents are consenting to the adoption. This is not a complete list of circumstances for a stepparent, in-family or other adoption.
The court cannot assist you in completing the forms and you will need to complete the various forms, including the necessary orders, and present them to the court. These forms are not intended to be all-inclusive. Some circumstances may require an individual to draft their own petition or other documents. You may or may not need all the forms in this packet. If you choose to proceed with the adoption without the assistance of an attorney, it is assumed that you know the law as it relates to adoptions.
All individuals age 14 and older must consent to their adoption by the individual who has filed the petition for adoption.
NON-CUSTODIAL PARENT CONSENTS: Once the investigation is completed and the homestudy recommends the adoption, if the non-custodial parent has signed a consent before a judge and the consent is filed with this court, the court will enter an order terminating that parent’s rights. The non-custodial parent has a 21-day appeal/rehearing period from the date the order is entered to request a rehearing or an appeal and up to 63 days following the entry of the order to request leave to file a delayed appeal.
NON-CUSTODIAL PARENT DOES NOT CONSENT: If the non-custodial parent has not consented, the court will set a hearing on the supplemental petition or the petition for hearing to identify father regarding the termination of that parent’s rights. The petitioner and spouse will be notified along with the non-custodial parent. The petitioner and spouse will be expected to present the necessary evidence for the court to terminate the rights of the non-custodial parent. If the evidence is insufficient, the court will not terminate the parental rights and will dismiss the adoption petition. If the petition is proved, the court will terminate the rights of the non-custodial parent. There is a 21-day appeal/rehearing period from the date the order is entered for the non-custodial parent to request a rehearing or an appeal and up to 63 days following the entry of the order to request leave to file a delayed appeal.
In all circumstances, the 63-day appeal/rehearing period must be completed prior to the court finalizing the adoption.
Once the appeal/rehearing period of 63 days has expired, a hearing maybe scheduled with the court to finalize the adoption. At the time of the final hearing, the family should appear and you may invite any family or friends that you would like to this celebration. Please note a hearing is required if the adoptee is 14 years or older because the adoptee must consent to the adoption, in writing, before the court. For individuals born in Michigan, a $40.00 fee, checks should be payable to the State of Michigan, will be collected. If the adoptee was born out of state, the court will advise the petitioners of the amount due to the other state.
FINALIZATION WITHOUT A HEARING:
Once the appeal/rehearing of 63 days has expired, if a hearing is not requested, the court can sign the order of adoption. However, both adopting parents must appear before the court clerk to receive the order of adoption and complete a waiver of hearing and the Application for a New Birth Certificate. For individuals born in Michigan, a $40.00 fee, checks should be payable to the State of Michigan, will be collected. If the adoptee was born out of state, the court will advise the petitioners of the amount due to the other state.
Page Last Modified: May 10, 2013 at 10:36 am