Adoptive Parent(s) Resource Guide

Serving 15 Michigan Counties


Adoption is the permanent placement of a child.

Foster Care is the temporary placement of a child with reunification as the goal.

Birth parents rights have been terminated, and the Michigan Children’s Institute is the child’s legal guardian until the adoption is finalized.

Birth parent rights are still intact, and decision making is shared between the birth parents, the agency and the court system.

There are no visitations with birth parents; however, visitation with siblings may be required.

Visitations with birth parents and siblings occur at a minimum of weekly.

Adoptive families are required to have an approved home study or to have a foster care license, which is preferred.

Foster care requires that the family obtain a foster care license.

Adoptive families are required to work with agency representatives for the case planning needs of a child until the adoption is completed.

Foster families are required to work with agency representatives for the case planning needs of a child until reunification occurs.

Home visits are required on a quarterly minimum basis until the adoption is finalized, in addition to the monthly foster care home visits.

Foster home visits are required on a monthly minimum basis. Annual or semi-annual home visits are also required to maintain your license.

Training is required as a part of the initial home study process.

Training is a requirement as a part of the initial licensing process. Ongoing training is also required to maintain your license on a yearly basis.

Children awaiting adoptive families are generally ages 10-17.

Children available for foster care placement are ages 0-17.

Applicants are required to be eighteen years of age or older.

  • Applicants must complete orientation and additional required trainings.
  • A complete home assessment is required to assess space, maintenance, safety considerations, approved sleeping arrangements and other household requirements.
  • A social history assessment and interviews will be completed for all household members, including children and significant others.
  • Applicants are required to submit legal documentation, including but not limited to social security cards, birth certificates, marriage licenses/divorce decrees, pet documentation, etc.
  • The medical, mental and emotional health and substance use history of each household member will be assessed, including but not limited to the submission of medical and mental health clearances.
  • A minimum of three unrelated references are required for each applicant.
  • A financial assessment is required to assess the financial stability of the home, including but not limited to completing a financial worksheet, and the submission of utility bills and legal income verification.
  • A background check is completed for each applicant, including, but not limited to a criminal clearance, fingerprinting, Central Registry clearance, etc. Police, court and probation discharge records are required if applicable. Additional clearances are completed for other household members.
  • An assessment of any previous foster care, day care or adult foster care licenses held or applied for and to assess previous adoption assessments.
  • Home visits are completed on a regular basis until the assessment process is completed.
1. Can I “foster to adopt”?

The primary goal of foster care is to reunify a child with their biological family. Should a child not be able to be reunified, adoption may become the goal. Typically, children in foster care are adopted by their current foster parent or a relative of that child. Children who do not have an identified adoptive family are generally ages ten and older and have various mental health and behavioral needs.

2. What is the greatest need for and adoptive family?

Our agency completes adoptions through foster care only, for children ages 0-17. However, children who do not have identified adoptive families are generally ages 10-17. There is also a high need for adoptive parents who understand that children who have experienced trauma are likely to have a higher level of medical, mental health and behavioral needs. The greatest need is for adoptive parents who are willing to foster sibling groups, teenagers, and children with medical or mental health needs.

3. Who can adopt?

Adoptive parents are ages 18 or older, stable housing and legal, verifiable income to support their home. Orchards welcomes individuals from all backgrounds, relationship status, marital status, religious and cultural background. Please click on this link to see our:

Qualifications for Becoming a Foster or Adoptive Parent
4. How long is the adoption process?

It generally takes a family six months or longer to complete the adoption process from the time an application is completed. The process can be delayed based on any barriers in your household that need to be resolved (i.e. home repairs, criminal history, obtaining beds/car seats, scheduling home visits) or delays in receiving required documentation. The adoption process can also take longer in situations where there is a competing party, which means there is more than one family that has expressed interest in adopting a specific child.

5. Is there a cost to adopting?

There is no cost for the completion of the licensing process and/or adoptive home study; however, to finalize an adoption, it generally costs up to $300 per child that is paid to the county court.

6. I am interested in learning more about adoption, what do I do now?

Click on the link below to complete an online inquiry to start the process, and sign up for an orientation:

Become a Foster or Adoptive Parent


7. For more information on foster care, please click on this link: