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The Three Types of Adoption in Waterford & Clarkston

Clarkston Legal Aug. 7, 2019

AdoptionSince they give us a chance to build families up, most Waterford & Clarkston adoption attorneys love doing adoptions. The final court dates are often joyous occasions. Many Waterford & Clarkston judges allow families to decorate the courtroom and throw parties.

But adoptions are also highly technical matters which require a great deal of experience. There are many rules and procedures to follow. If something is done out of order or a step is missed, the emotional, legal, and financial fallout could be substantial.

About 100 million Americans have an adoption in their immediate or extended families.

Step-Parent Adoption

Most Waterford & Clarkston families are blended families. Generally, the husband and/or the wife have been married before, and as a result, the household includes some step-sibling relationships.

Raising children is hard enough, and raising step-children is even harder. There are visitation schedules to juggle and co-parents to include in family situations. Furthermore, not everyone in the house has the same last name. That difference may seem like a minor detail to some, but it is a very significant issue.

Step-parent adoption resolves these problems. The step-parent basically takes the place of the biological parent. So, the transition is rather seamless for the child. Step-parent adoptions also often have a unifying effect on a family that’s difficult to explain to people who have not experienced it.

The step-parent adoption process is also streamlined. In most cases, Waterford & Clarkston judges waive the home study and some other common adoption requirements.

Agency Adoption

Once upon a time, nearly all adoptions were agency adoptions. Now, they are fairly rare, but they are still a good option in many cases.

By the time a prospective adoptive family enters the picture, the child’s biological parents have already waived their parental rights. So, there is no need to interface with the family. Additionally, the agency takes care of most of the legwork and paperwork.

With everything going on, many adoptive families feel like junior partners. An Waterford & Clarkston adoption lawyer serves as a strong voice for adoptive families during all these proceedings.

Open Adoption

Private adoptions make up roughly 70 percent of all adoptions in Michigan. Moreso than in the other two areas, attention to detail is critical. Generally, the mother’s pregnancy and delivery phases are the most critical points of an open adoption.

Michigan law does not set a dollar amount on the financial assistance that adoptive families can give pregnant mothers. However, the law does limit such assistance to specific categories, which are:

  • Medical bills,

  • Counselling expenses,

  • Living expenses prior to the birth and up to six weeks after the birth,

  • Medical research expenses (g. the child’s family medical history), and

  • Transportation expenses.

If the adoptive family cannot support a category payment or pays something outside these categories, such as medical expenses which Medicaid paid, the adoption may be invalid.

Furthermore, the biological parents usually cannot give up their parental rights until after the baby is born. Until they sign waivers, parents basically have an absolute right to change their minds, no matter what written or oral promises they have made.

It’s rather difficult for biological parents to reverse adoptions. However, these situations are emotionally distressing, to say the least. So, make sure your attorney has lots of experience in adoption matters.

Reach Out to a Dedicated Lawyer

Adoptions are happy occasions, but it is not all wine and roses. For a confidential consultation with an experienced adoption attorney in Waterford Township, contact Clarkston Legal. Our main office is conveniently located near the courthouse in Pontiac.