Many family law practitioners were shocked when, in the case of In re AJR, the Court of Appeals construed the provisions of MCL 710.51(6) to mean that a stepparent adoption could not occur when the parents of the minor child at issue shared joint legal custody. This holding (affirmed by the Michigan Supreme Court on June 25, 2014), became a complete bar to stepparent adoptions in situations where parents share joint legal custody. Because joint legal custody is routinely granted by courts -- even in situations where the non custodial parent is not involved the child -- this holding added a new step to the adoption process by requiring that a parent with joint legal custody to petition the court for sole legal custody. As practitioners know, the threshold for changing custody is not an easy one to clear. The decision in AJR thus made it significantly difficult for anyone to obtain a stepparent adoption. This changed in September 2016 when the Legislature amended the statute.
Adoption can provide children who are without a permanent family a chance for a better life. Through adoption, children are given the same benefits and legal right as those who are born into a family. As an example, an adoption will make the adoptee an heir of the adopting parent. In the state of Michigan, there are different ways that potential parents can adopt a child.
Two nurses from Detroit, Michigan, will be among the 12 women and 19 men who are expected to have their same-sex marriage cases heard by the Supreme Court this month on April 28. The two women initially went to court under the pretext of winning the right to jointly adopt each other's two children, but a federal judge eventually turned their case into one about their right to marry.
Giving a child up for adoption generally requires the consent of both the mother and father. If the biological father is not in agreement to give up the child and is not married to the mother, however, he must not only be able to establish paternity to stop the adoption from happening, but must also show that he is willing to make a commitment that he will raise and be a parent to the child.
Adopting a new child into a family is certainly a joyous occasion. The steps leading up to that joy, however, can be stressful, complicated and involve several different factors. One such element Michigan residents may want to understand more completely is the family assessment.
Many Michigan couples dream of starting a family. But a family looks different for everyone. For any number of reasons, some parents may choose to create a family through the adoption process.
When Michigan families choose to adopt, there are a number of different routes to take. International adoption is one of the options available, and since 1999 U.S. families have adopted over 240,000 foreign-born children. International adoptions give these families and the children they take in a chance for new beginnings.
Sadly, many of the issues that arise in the family law area have negative connotations. People equate divorce and child custody issues with stressful family disputes. And domestic violence situations are always hard to grasp. But one area of family law that brings happiness to Michigan families is adoption.
The state of Michigan is currently considering different bills that if passed would impact adoption within the state. The three pieces of legislation would enable a faith-based adoption agency to chose an adoptive family based on religious preferences.
It seems to be the never-ending legal battle, and one that may certainly make Michigan parents think twice about adopting. Nonetheless, the worst part about the case, which has reached the U.S. Supreme Court and back, is that the case is a dispute over a young, 3-year-old girl. The little girl is in the middle of this heated adoption dispute between her adoptive parents and her biological father.