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Confidential Intermediary ProgramThe confidential intermediary program was established as a court administered program under Michigan's adoption law, MCL 710.68b. The following represents the most frequently asked questions relating to the confidential intermediary program and is provided as a guide to understand this program. It must be stressed that each court where the final order of adoption was entered, will make their own determination regarding the services related to their confidential intermediary program.
The confidential intermediary program is a program available through the court where the final order of adoption was entered that allows for search and contact. This program is available for those adoptions in which the former parents' rights were terminated on or after May 28, 1945 and before September 12, 1980.
An individual would file a petition with the court where the final order of adoption was entered. The court contacts the Central Adoption Registry to determine if a former parent filed a statement giving their consent to or denial of their information; if no statement of denial is on file with the Central Adoption Registry, the court shall, by written order, appoint a confidential intermediary.
The following individuals may petition the court for the appointment of a confidential intermediary:
As outlined in statute, the confidential intermediary, at a minimum must be approved by the court after completing training and filing an oath of confidentiality with the court. The court will determine the type of training needed for the confidential intermediaries serving their court.
At a minimum, the confidential intermediary will:
The confidential intermediary shall discreetly and confidentially contact the individual being sought to ascertain whether the individual is willing to release information to the petitioner or to meet or communicate with the petitioner. If the individual, who has been found, consents, in writing, to the release of information, the intermediary shall release the information to the petitioner. Upon written mutual consent, the confidential intermediary may facilitate a meeting or other communication between the petitioner and/or the individual. The process of such will be carried out per court instruction.
If the confidential intermediary fails to contact a former family member within six months after the appointment, the adult adopted person may petition the court for the release of information that is considered identifying and any additional information obtained by the confidential intermediary. (NOTE: The adoption law speaks only to the adult adopted person's petition).
If the confidential intermediary is unable to locate the birth family member named in the petition, can the adult adopted person choose to again petition the court for the release of identifying information?
The court requires the confidential intermediary to submit a report to the court designating all efforts made to locate the former family member and all information obtained. The court then could:
The confidential intermediary is required to report that fact to the court and the petitioner.
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