Relative Adoptions

A Relative Adoption is an adoption of a child by a person related within the 5th degree by blood or marriage. These can also be an adoption by a full guardian with authority to consent to the adoption of the adoptee.

Once the petition has been reviewed and processed by the Court, the petitioner will receive a letter by mail from the Court indicating that the case has been referred for a home study. The investigator has three months to complete that home study. The fee for the home study is payable directly to the investigator on the date of the investigation.

After the adoption investigation is completed and a report is filed with the Court, the Court will notify the petitioners that the biological parent's rights may now be terminated, either by consent or a termination hearing. The consent must be done at a hearing before the Judge and the biological parent may contact the Court to schedule this hearing. If the biological parent is unwilling to give his/her consent to the adoption, the rights of the parent would need to be terminated by another method and it is strongly recommended that the assistance of an attorney is sought.

Once the rights of the biological parents have been terminated, that parent has the right to a 21-day appeal period. If the petitioners have completed the motion for immediate confirmation and the six-month waiting period has been waived for good cause, the adoption may be finalized after the expiration of the appeal period. Petitioners may request a confirmation hearing or the Order of Adoption will be mailed to the petitioners.

If a confirmation hearing is held, the petitioners and the adoptee must be present. Family and friends are welcome to be present at the hearing and photographs are acceptable.

Fees Associated with Relative Adoptions

Fee TypeFee Amount
Filing Fee$185.00 (Paid to Montcalm County at the Time of Filing)
Adoption Investigations$150.00 for One Child, $50.00 for Each Additional Child (Paid Directly to the Assigned Investigator)
Certified Copy of Order of Adoption$10.00 (Paid to Montcalm County Prior to Finalization)
Birth Certificate Fee$50.00 (Paid to the State of Michigan Prior to Finalization - $16.00 for Each Additional Copy)
Subsequent Petitions, Motions and Objections$20.00
Copies$1.00 Per Page

Fees may be paid by cash, check, or money order payable to Montcalm County.

View the Notice to Persons Representing Self (PDF).

Access the Starting a Relative Adoption page for more information.