Courts Step-Parent Adoption

Step-parent adoptions are the most common type of adoption handled in this office. This is an adoption in which a biological parent and a step-parent petition the court to adopt a child so that the child is the legal child and heir to the step-parent.

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 investigation. The investigator has three months to complete a home study. The fee for the investigation/home study is payable directly to the investigator.

After the adoption investigation is completed and a report is filed with the Court and the adoption is recommended, 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 directly. If the biological parent is unwilling to give their consent to the adoption, the rights of the biological parent would need to be terminated (see instructions for Termination of Parental Rights).

Once the rights of the biological parent have been terminated, that parent has the right to a 21-day appeal period. Once that appeal period has expired and no appeal has been filed, the adoption may be finalized.  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 Step-Parent Adoptions
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, Objections… $20.00
Copies…………………………………….$1.00/page
Fees may be paid by cash, check, or money order payable to Montcalm County  

Notice to Persons Representing Self
Starting a Step-Parent Adoption
Termination of Parental Rights