According to the Child Welfare Information Gateway, the specific Michigan qualifications to adopt a child are few. In Michigan, you may meet the requirements to adopt if you are:
A husband and wife who wish to adopt jointly
Anyone who is married to the person who has legal custody of the child (in a stepparent adoption)
This means that Michigan has no specific adoption age limit, nor do you have to be married to adopt. However, there are a few adoption qualifications that aren’t specific to Michigan that Michigan families will have to follow. All families who wish to adopt must first complete a home study, which is essentially an assessment of your home and family performed by a social worker. Your home study professional will conduct the assessment in three different phases:
The documentation phase. This will require the gathering of background checks, financial records and medical records to show that you are financially and physically healthy enough to add to your family through adoption.
The home inspection. Your social worker will enter your home and ensure that all safety precautions have been taken for a child. He or she will point out any areas for possible improvement.
Interviews with each family member in the house. This is to ensure that everyone is feeling positive about and ready for adoption. Everyone needs to be on the same page before a child is brought into the home.
In addition to meeting Michigan’s adoption requirements and completing a home study, different adoption professionals may also have their own qualifications to adopt a child using their services. For more information about the adoption qualifications American Adoptions prefers its families to meet, call 1-800-ADOPTION.
Occasionally, we receive questions about whether felons are able to adopt. There is no black and white answer to this question. Whether or not you will meet the requirements for adopting a child in Michigan depends largely on the nature of the felony. If it was a crime of a violent nature or one that involved a child, you will most likely not be approved to adopt. If, however, it was a non-violent crime and you can explain the circumstances to your social worker as well as what you’ve learned and how you’ve changed, you may still meet Michigan adoption qualifications.
A quick chat with a social worker will determine whether you meet Michigan’s legal adoption requirements, but it’s just as important that you are emotionally prepared for adoption. Before you can meet the emotional adoption qualifications, make sure you:
Have moved on from infertility, if this is something that you and your partner have struggled with
Have fully embraced the opportunity to grow your family through adoption
Are as enthusiastic about growing through adoption as you would have been to grow biologically
Come to terms with the fact that adopting a child will come with both emotional highs and emotional lows
Told the people closest to you about your adoption plan
Because private adoption and adoption from foster care are different, Michigan’s foster care system may have different adoption requirements. To adopt from foster care or to become a foster parent, you must:
Be at least 18 years old
Complete an application for a license
Complete background checks
Provide medical statements
Have a completed home study
Provide three references
Attend relevant training
If you meet Michigan’s adoption qualifications, either for foster care or for private adoption, congratulations! Adoption is a beautiful journey and a wonderful way to add to your family. For more information about adoption in Michigan, contact an American Adoptions social worker at 1-800-ADOPTION.
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