Adoption proceedings fall under the jurisdiction of the family division of the circuit court and are governed under the Michigan Adoption Code.  The types of adoptions include:

  • Agency placement (where a child placing agency, the Department of Human Services, or the court selects prospective adoptive parents and transfers physical custody)
  • Direct placement (where a parent or guardian personally selects prospective adoptive parents (not a step-parent or related to the child within the fifth degree and transfers physical custody)
  • Step-parent
  • Guardian
  • Relative
  • Adult

Due to the extensive nature of adoption issues and the law involved,
this subject is best left to an in-depth discussion with your attorney.

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An action to determine paternity may be brought under the Paternity Act, the Acknowledgement of Parentage Act or a putative father may file notice of intent to claim paternity under the Adoption Code.

Putative fathers may not seek custody under the Child Custody Act of 1970
without prior acknowledgement of paternity or order of filiation.

Under the Paternity Act, an action may be filed by the child’s mother, putative father, or, if the child is a recipient of public assistance, by the Department of Human Services.  The filing party must allege that the child was born out of wedlock – the mother was unmarried for the entire time from the child’s conception to birth, or a court has previously determined that the child was not an issue of the marriage.  If the child was conceived or born while the mother was married to another man, the putative father has no standing to file an action for paternity.

Under the Acknowledgment of Parentage Act, if the mother and father of a child born out of wedlock sign an acknowledgment of parentage form and the signatures are notarized, parenthood is established without Paternity Act proceedings.  Upon signing, the parties consent to the court’s general jurisdiction regarding child support, custody, or parenting time.  After signing, the mother is presumed to have custody of the child unless the court orders otherwise or the parties agree in writing.  Parents may sign an Acknowledgement of Parentage at any time after the birth of the child.  An Acknowledgement of Parentage will generally only be set aside based upon an affidavit showing a mistake of fact, newly discovered evidence that could not by due diligence have been found before the acknowledgement was signed, fraud, misrepresentation or misconduct, or duress in signing the acknowledgement.

Under the Adoption Code, a putative father may file an acknowledgment in the family division of circuit court before an out-of-wedlock child is born.  Once the putative father files a verified notice of intent to claim paternity, it raises a presumption that he is the father unless the mother denies the claim.  The notice is admissible in paternity proceedings and creates a rebuttable presumption of paternity.

Due to the extensive nature of paternity disputes and the law involved,
this subject is best left to an in-depth discussion with your attorney.

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