Family Law


Family Law

Experienced Grand Rapids Adoption Attorneys You Can Trust

At the Van Den Heuvel Law Office, the most rewarding part of our day occurs when the adoption of a child is finalized. Adoption is near and dear to our hearts because Mr. Van Den Heuvel is a father of six, two of whom he adopted from Russia. He thoroughly understands the challenges and the joys associated with the adoption process, so we guide you through it step by step. With our compassionate and competent assistance, you face adoption with confidence.

Dedicated to Simplifying and Facilitating Adoptions in Michigan

We are here to help complete your family. Whether you are a stepparent wanting to adopt your spouse’s child or a third party wanting to adopt an unrelated child, we thoroughly explain the steps involved and prepare the necessary legal documentation. Our office is experienced in family law and we are devoted to assisting families in a variety of adoption matters, including:

  • Infant and newborn adoptions
  • Adult adoption
  • Kinship/relative adoption (including adult adoptions)

Adopting a child is a deeply personal decision for your family. Let us provide you the legal guidance you need to achieve your adoption goals.

Step-Parent Adoptions Require Consent of the Other Parent

If you want to adopt a stepchild, you must have the consent or agreement of both your spouse and the child’s other parent. By giving his or her consent, the noncustodial parent gives up all rights and responsibilities, including child custody rights and child support. Sometimes getting the child’s other parent to agree to your adoption can be difficult. We are experienced in handling these types of delicate matters and proceed with compassion and determination. By working with a family law attorney who is familiar with adoption, termination, and the Michigan Adoption Code and Laws, you will be able to avoid many of the common mistakes made by applicants.

Providing the Skill and Confidence to Proceed with Your Adoption

Many divorce attorneys claim they can handle an adoption, but they don’t actually have the requisite experience needed to successfully navigate the adoption process. Mr. Van Den Heuvel has been through the adoption experience himself, so he has the practical and legal experience to handle your adoption with skill and patience.

Beginning the Adoption Process

An individual or family wishing to adopt must first undergo an assessment carried out by an approved child-placement agency. The assessment can take from three to six months, after which initial meetings take place between the adoptive child and the prospective adoptive parents. The child can be placed in the temporary care of the adopting parents for a supervisory period that usually lasts six months, followed by the formal placement.

The Adoption Petition

Michigan’s probate code sets out in detail what needs to be included in your petition. In most cases, this involves: (1) The name, birth information, and place of residence of each petitioner, including the adopting mother’s maiden name (2) The full name by which the child will be known following the adoption (3) The relationship between the adoptee and the petitioner, if relevant (4) The names and place of residence of the child’s biological parents, unless these rights have been terminated by a competent court (5) Details of the child’s name, date and place of birth, place of residence, and property.

The Final Adoption Order

Six months after the formal placement (or less if the court decides), the family court can enter a final adoption order, which completes the legalities of the adoption. The child’s ties with its biological parents are severed at this point, with the child assuming the status of the adoptive parents’ biological child. This status brings with it the rights and privileges of a biological child, such as inheritance rights. The adopting parents receive certified copies of the final adoption order. If a government department or agency was involved in giving consent to the adoption, they too receive a copy of the order.

Contact Our Adoption Lawyers to Make a Special Addition to Your Family

The legal team at the Van Den Heuvel Law Office is committed to helping you with your adoption needs. We are conveniently located in Grand Rapids, Michigan, near the M6. Our office provides flexible hours to schedule your appointment, so please contact us at 616-698-0000 or online. We are also available on Skype by appointment.

Contact a Knowledgeable Grand Rapids Attorney

For An Initial Consultation

To talk with our attorney about your legal concerns, contact the Van Den Heuvel Law Office by calling 616-698-0000. You may also complete our online contact form. After-hours consultations are available by appointment. We are also available on Skype by appointment.

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