Adoptions are processed by the Adoption Department of the Livingston County Juvenile Court.  This page contains general guidelines, checklists, and forms required for the submission of Adoption Packets. 

General Guidelines

These guidelines are merely to assist prospective adoptive parents with links to some of the forms required.  Please refer to the checklists for each type of adoption for a complete and thorough list of required documentation that must be submitted with your Adoption Packet.

  • The petitioners and/or the adoptee must be a resident of Livingston County
  • This is a legal proceeding; however, the Court cannot give legal advice and/or assist in completing any forms in this packet. The Petitioner(s) must determine whether or not they need the assistance of an attorney.
  • Filing fees and investigation fees must be paid at the time of filing by check or money order made payable to the Livingston County Juvenile Court
    • Filing fee of $185.00 (includes $175.00 filing fee and $10.00 for certified adoption order)
      • Fee applies per adoptee
      • Required on all adoption petition filings
    • $20.00 fee for supplemental petitions or motions filed after the filing of the adoption petition
      • Fee applies per supplemental petition or motion filed
    • $100.00 home investigation fee for Step-parent, Relative, and Legal Guardian Adoptions only
      • Fee applies per household, not per adoptee
      • Required on all adoptions
      • If you have had a foster care home study completed within the last 12 months regarding the adoptee, you may request that the fee be waived.
    • $50.00 investigation fee for Adult Adoptions only
      • Fee applies per adoptee
      • Required on all adoptions
    • Birth certificate fee by check or money order made payable to the appropriate State.  If the adoptee was not born in the State of Michigan, you must contact the appropriate State and inquire of the forms and fees required to amend the birth certificate.  You can obtain information on who to contact regarding this information at
  • Petitioner(s) are responsible for providing notice as directed by the Court.  The Court will not be responsible for Personal Service or Service by Publication.  Petitioner(s) are responsible for process server fees or publication fees as charged.
  • A request to waive filing fees may be made to the Court by submitting an Affidavit and Order – Suspension of Fees (SCAO form MC 20), if the Petitioner(s) are receiving public assistance or meet established poverty level guidelines.  Please note that if your filing fees are waived or suspended by the Court, it does not apply to any fee associated with changing a birth certificate.  
  • Adoption Proceedings can be broken into four phases:
    • Acceptance and processing of the Adoption Petition Packet
    • Investigation of the prospective adoptive parents, including background checks, home visits, and reference checks.
      • For Stepparent, Relative, and Guardian adoptions, the Court will order a home study.  The home study will be completed within 3 months.  In that time, the Court will also complete a criminal background check and central registry clearance check with the Department of Health and Human Services for the petitioners and any other adults residing in the home over the age of 18.
      • For Adult adoptions, the Court will order an investigation.  The investigation will be completed within 3 months.  In that time, the Court will complete interviews with the petitioners and adoptee, as well as complete criminal background checks.
    • Termination of Parental Rights of the legal parent(s), unless the parent(s) are deceased or the adoptee is over the age of 18. 
    • Confirmation of the Adoption.  Confirmations can be handled administratively, or by scheduling a Court hearing before the Judge.
  • Adoptees over the age of 14, and Guardians with specific authority must consent to adoptions at a private hearing before a Judge or Referee of the Circuit Court. 
  • Time frames vary for each type of adoption filed, and the circumstances of each case, and therefore an approximate length of time cannot be given. 
  • If you are considering adopting a child from foster care, you can visit the Michigan Adoption Resource Exchange (MARE) for more information, and to learn about waiting children.

All Adoption Packets with the appropriate forms are also available in the Juvenile Court Lobby.

The State Court Administrative Office provides the Numerical Index of approved Adoption Court forms.

 Guidelines Regarding Termination of Parental Rights

Stepparent Adoptions

Relative and Non-Relative Guardian Adoptions

  • The legal parents must voluntarily consent to the adoption.
  • If the legal parents are unwilling to provide consent to the adoption, and have not provided for the welfare of the adoptee, the Petitioners may file a petition seeking the termination of parental rights through a Neglect/Abuse case with the Juvenile Court.  The Petitioner is required to have full guardianship status in order to have standing to file a termination petition through a Neglect/Abuse case.  The Court cannot assist in the filing of a Neglect/Abuse Petition.

Adult Adoptions

  • Parental rights are not terminated in Adult Adoptions, however, the Court is required to provide biological parents with notice of the adoption proceedings.

 Requesting Information from an Adoption File

  • In order to request any information regarding an adoption, including a certified copy of an adoption order, you must file a Petition for Adoption Information and Order (SCAO form PCA 327).  This applies to all parties, including the adult adoptee and adoptive parents.
  • There is a $20.00 petition fee, made payable to the Livingston County Juvenile Court.
  • You must also provide a copy of your driver's license or photo identification card with the petition, and your signature must be witnessed by a deputy court clerk or a notary.  If your Petition is filed without a copy of your ID, the Petition will be returned to you.
  • Please note that if you are requesting a Certified Copy of Court-Ordered Adoption, there is a $10.00 fee for the certified copy, plus a $1.50 per page if the petition is approved.  As payment is required for Certified Copies of Court-Ordered Adoption, they will not be sent through the mail until the Court has received the payment.  Certified Copies of Court-Ordered Adoption can be picked up from the Juvenile Court window, after the Adoption Caseworker has contacted you and informed you the petition has been approved and the paperwork is ready for pickup. Once the fee is remitted, you will be given the Certified Copy of Court-Ordered Adoption.  Payments being made via credit or debit card will not be accepted until the Certified Copy is picked up. Please keep the payment for the Certified Copy fee separate from the petition fee, in case your petition is denied.
  • If you are only requesting a Certified Copy of an Adoption Order, and you are an authorized party that can receive a certified copy, please allow 5-7 business days for processing your request for a Certified Court-Ordered Adoption.
  • Any other information requested, or a denied Petition for Adoption Information and Order will be mailed to you.
  • If you have requested to receive identifying information, the Court must send a clearance request to the State of Michigan Central Adoption Registry.  It can take up to 30 days for the Court to receive a response from the Central Adoption Registry.  Once the Court has received the clearance request back from the State of Michigan, you will receive written information within 28 days indicating the information you are allowed to receive, or that identifying information cannot be released and the reason it cannot be released.
  • The Court must follow specific rules set forth by statute in responding to these requests.  The Court rules that the Court must follow can be found here:
  • Additional helpful information regarding the release of information from adoption files can be found here:

As this is a legal document, you as the petitioner must decide if you need the assistance of an attorney to fill out this form.  The Court cannot assist you in filling out the form, tell you what to write, or provide any legal advice.