Starting a Relative Adoption

Documents Required

Certified copies (containing the raised seal) of the following documents:

  • Child's Birth Certificate
  • Marriage license for petitioners
  • Judgment of Divorce for petitioners' previous marriages, if any
  • Any custody, support, visitation, paternity orders entered regarding the minor child.
  • Death Certificate for any deceased parent
  • For relative adoptions, proof of relationship
  • For adoptions by guardians, Order Appointing Guardian, Letters of Guardianship

Other Requirements

  • Must be a resident of Montcalm County for not less than one year prior to the date of filing.
  • Petitioners must be married for at least one year prior to the date of filing.
  • Must be related to adoptee within the 5th degree by blood or marriage, or full guardian with authority to consent to the adoption of the adoptee.
  • Consent of the mother and legal father is required. A putative father does not need to give his consent; however, it should be obtained whenever possible. If the petitioner is a guardian, and the Guardian has obtained authority to execute the consent from the Court which appointed the guardian, the parents do not need to give their consent.
  • The adoptee (if 14 years of age or older) must consent to the adoption.


It is recommended that the document be brought to the Juvenile Court office by the petitioner for filing. Filings may be completed by mail, however, there may be a delay if your documents are not complete or correct. View the Location / Hours of Court.

Keep copies of all documents filed with the court for your records. Copies obtained from the court are $1 per page.