In Michigan, the process for adopting a relative’s child is faster than a traditional adoption because the state tries to place children with relatives prior to placing them in foster care or group homes. However, the reasons for adopting a relative’s child are varied and complex. Some people choose to adopt the children of a relative because the child’s parent is imprisoned or incapable of caring for the child. Whatever your reason for wanting to adopt a family member, you can do so by filling out the required paperwork and completing the adoption process.
Obtain a Consent to Adopt by Parent form from the Michigan Judicial Court’s Family Division in the county where you or your relative resides.
Complete the consent form in its entirety. Information required includes the full names of the child, the adopting parent(s), the biological parent(s), the date(s) of birth of the biological parent(s) and the date and place of birth of the child.
Locate a notary public. Have the biological parent(s) sign the consent form in the presence of the notary public. If the biological parent is a minor, the minor’s parent must sign the form as well.
File the consent form with the Family Court Division of the Michigan Judicial Court. An investigation into the adoption will be made, during which you must prove you are a capable parent by answering all questions and providing all documentation asked of you. Once the investigation is complete and you are given permission to adopt the child, a hearing will be scheduled.
Attend the adoption hearing, which is held in the presence of a family court judge. Unless they are incarcerated, the biological parent or parents listed on the child's birth certificate must also attend. The judge will ask questions and have you sign paperwork, then he will sign the consent himself. Once the consent is signed by the judge, you are legally the adoptive parent of your relative’s child.