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FAQ #19: What is the adoption process like?

March 23, 2011

For us the, the adoption process really began a few years ago when we began the process to become certified foster parents. Adopting through foster care in Michigan does have some requirements. We had to attend trainings (not sure if this would be required if you were not planning to foster), provide lots of documents on finances, our history, our home and had three home-studies. We also had to install an egress window (although, I’ve heard that the state is changing this requirement to a much smaller window and that there are funds available).

I often read on adoption blogs and hear from others that they found the whole process intrusive.  During our home study, we did have to discuss our relationships with each other, past significant others, and our families. We had to answer personal questions about our past. They looked around our home. They asked for proof of our finances and a budget worksheet. Anyone who babysits for us must be over eighteen and needs to have a background check completed on them. Neither D nor I had an issue with any of these requirements and we did not find them intrusive. They just did not seem like a big deal in light of the fact that they are done in order to bring us to our children. Also, we appreciate the fact that this process is an attempt to be thorough in providing a safe home for kids that deserve it.

When D2 and A’s parents’ rights were terminated, we were referred to an adoption worker at our agency. We had to fill out an “Adoption Application” but most of the other requirements had already been completed during our foster care licensing process. The adoption worker will come to our home a few times before the adoption is finalized to observe how the boys are doing. She also is compiling their history for us (all the paperwork done on them since coming into foster care nearly three years ago). This is part of the full-disclosure we are entitled to by adopting them.

The fees for adopting through foster care are minimal (under $500) for some legal fees and new birth certificates. Each boy will have a new birth certificate with our names on them as their parents and with their new full names (and, I think we have finally settled on middle names, as of last night).

Right now, we are really just waiting for paperwork to be processed and for a court date to be assigned and our adoption worker is hoping that things can be official by this summer.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. March 23, 2011 1:40 pm

    When you were licensed in the first place, were you licensed as foster parents or a foster-to-adopt home? The ‘adoption application’ sounds interesting; I’m not sure if we, in ohio, have anything like that. As far as I know, when we became licensed as a foster/adoptive home, that was the end of the paperwork on our part, but I will likely be surprised if we ever get to the point of signing adoption paperwork. 🙂 Ohio and Michigan sound very similar in process. I have some friends in other states where the process is dramatically different.

    • March 23, 2011 2:08 pm

      We were licensed as foster parents and our agency knew that we were also open to adoption. There is not a separate process or license for foster-to-adopt in Michigan (as far as I know). The Adoption Application was a quick form to fill out. Probably took about 30 minutes total (if that). It was a lot of stuff we had already put on forms before but I think the adoption department needed it filled out for their records.

  2. March 23, 2011 1:45 pm

    Woooohooooo!

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