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Snyder signs bills improving adoption process

Tuesday, April 15

LANSING, Mich. – Gov. Rick Snyder today signed legislation streamlining the process for direct placement adoptions.  

"Adoption is emotional for all involved,” Snyder said. “These bills will help avoid unnecessary delay in the process encouraging a smooth transition for everyone."

House Bill 4646, sponsored by state Rep. Mike Shirkey, allows a parent or guardian to relinquish parental rights, without going to court in cases of direct placement adoption after the birth of a child. The release must be voluntarily signed following a required 72-hour wait period after the child's birth and an attorney representing the parent or guardian must be present. The out-of-court consent must be signed before filing a petition for adoption. The bill also requires the release to include the specific steps that must be taken for revocation.

It is now Public Act 117 of 2014.

HB 4647, sponsored by state Rep. Margaret O'Brien, shortens the time period between formal adoption placement and the issuance of a court ordered adoption for children under 1 year. If the child is under 1 year old at the time of the filing the adoptive parents need only wait three months for a court ordered adoption as opposed to the previously required six months unless the court determines that circumstances have arisen that make the adoption undesirable. It is now PA 118.  

HB 4648, sponsored by state Rep. Kenneth Kurtz, supports the parental rights of unmarried biological fathers in cases where the mother files for relinquishment. In cases where the court maintains the father’s parental rights the temporary placement of the child is terminated and he or she is to be returned to the mother or guardian and the pending adoption proceeding is dismissed. The bill also prevents the mother’s initial relinquishment filing from being used in future court proceedings under the Child Custody Act. It is now PA 119.

For more information on legislation, visit legislature.michigan.gov.

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