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Adoption is the legal process by which a person becomes a lawful member of a family different from their birth family. Once a final order of adoption has been ruled by a court of law, the adoptive parents gain the same rights and responsibilities as parents whose children are born to them.

Subsequently, an adopted child gains the same rights as birth children in regard to inheritance, child support and other legal matters. In most U.S. jurisdictions, at the time the adoption is finalized, the adopted child’s name is legally changed, and the court orders the issuance of a new, amended birth certificate.

Adoptions takes place in various forms, and are generally classified as independent, agency, stepparent, relative placement and adult adoption.

  • Independent adoption occurs when birth parents and adoptive families find each other on their own or through the help of an adoption intermediary, i.e., a pastor, family friend or doctor.
  • In a stepparent adoption, the family adopting is a birth parent with a new spouse; this usually succeeds a divorce or spousal death.
  • Adult adoption is the process whereby a person 18 years or older is legally adopted by one or more persons 18 years or older.
  • Relative placement adoption occurs when the birth parent(s) is still a minor, has died or is disabled, or the child has been removed due to abuse and neglect, and another relative assumes physical custody and responsibility for the child.

Please call Creighton McLean & Shea PLC in Livonia to discuss your adoption law needs with one of our attorneys. You can reach us by phone at 734-245-9289 or contact us via email to arrange an initial consultation.