At Dykema, we recognize that each adoption and assisted reproductive technology matter is unique, intensely personal and emotional. We offer the full spectrum of legal services in the sensitive areas of adoption and assisted reproductive technology. We represent biological parents as well as individuals and couples seeking to become parents. Clients benefit from the substantial resources and depth of experience of a nationally recognized, full-service law firm, even as they receive an exceptional level of personalized attention in these sensitive matters.
Our lawyers provide individualized attention, support, and cost-competitive representation to birth parents or prospective adoptive parents seeking private adoptions recognized in Michigan. When adoptions cross state lines, we work directly with adoption professionals in other states. Our goal is always to ensure that adoptions are legally stable and meet client needs and preferences regarding openness issues, including the sharing of identifying information and degree of personal contact (if any) between adoption partners. We handle all types of private adoption, including:
- Newborn adoptions (within Michigan and interstate)
- Special needs adoptions
- Stepparent adoptions
- Intra-family adoptions
- Guardian adoptions
- Adult adoptions
We provide all legal services associated with adoption in Michigan, including:
- Counsel regarding adoption options and plans
- Counsel regarding pre-placement assessments
- Counsel and legal assistance in the search for an adoption partner
- Counsel regarding payment of birth parent prenatal expenses and record maintenance for these payments
- Counsel and legal assistance in early placement of a newborn adoptee in the adoptive home
- Counsel and legal assistance in bringing a newborn adoptee to Michigan from another state, or in sending a newborn adoptee to another state from Michigan
- Preparation and filing of all court documents required for adoption
- Litigating birth father issues
- Negotiating agreements regarding pre- and post-adoption contact among the adoption partners, if needed
- Counsel to adoption agencies about difficult adoption issues
- Counsel to hospitals regarding their adoption responsibilities
- Defense of adoption agencies against licensure deficiencies
Our clients often require services and advice outside the realm of legal counsel. In those instances, we call on our network of highly experienced counseling agencies and other qualified professionals to provide advice and assistance.
For parents who have chosen open adoption, we can keep birth parents informed about the progress of the adoptee; keep the adoptee informed about his or her biological background and birth parents; facilitate face-to-face meetings between adoption partners, and renegotiate agreements regarding post-adoption contact. When adoptions are not open or have occurred in the past, we can search for adult biological family members.
Assisted Reproductive Technology
A thorough grounding in the rapidly evolving field of assisted reproductive technology (ART) law is the keystone of our superlative level of service in this area. We offer legal services connected to such assisted reproductive technologies as: gestational surrogacies and traditional surrogacies for either the Intended Parents or the surrogate; egg donations for both anonymous and known donors; and embryo “adoptions.”
Depending upon the genetic origin of the embryo, resolution of the legal issues surrounding surrogacies may involve such steps as seeking a pre-birth order; arranging a stepparent adoption; or direct placement adoption.
We also review documents from agencies that facilitate finding a donor, as well as those from the IVF provider and cryopreservation facilities. In many cases, we assist the IVF provider in the development of their documents.