On March 17, 2015, 2014 Public Act 376 amended MCL 722.1433, to change the adoption rules.
The Michigan Supreme Court in 1988 defined adoption as the act that legally establishes relations of paternity and affiliation among people who are not related by nature. The United States Supreme Court in 1977 defined adoption as “legal equivalent of biological parenthood”.
The most common type of adoption done with our firm is known as a step-parent adoption. This is where the parental rights of a non-custodial parent’s rights are terminated and the spouse of the custodial parent steps into the shoes of the non-custodial parent. One of the most common question is, should I talk to the non-custodial parent about the adoption. The answer is NO !!!!!! There are timelines and talking to the non-custodial parent could set you back YEARS in the adoption process. Also, it should not be made public, even on social media, that you desire to do an adoption.
In some cases, there may need to be a custody hearing or order entered before the adoption process should even be started. Because of the changes in 2015, the process is so much more complicated and many attorneys are unaware of the changes. Our firm is aware of the changes and has been in court representing people since these changes to the law.
Every case has special rules to have a step-parent adopt a child. In fact the latest handbook for judges on the subject of adoption is now over 500 pages. Adoption is not something you should consider doing on your own, and should be done with an attorney competent in the area of adoption.
If you are the non-custodial parent that the custodial parent desires to have their spouse adopt your child, you need to consult with an attorney before the legal process start, if possible. Understand that this process means you could lose all rights to your child(ren). Many times, there is no second chance.
The Law Offices of Steven A Heisler, Esq PLLC can help either parent, non-custodial parent and custodial parent.