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Adoption

A Loving Home

Providing loving homes and forever families for children in foster care

Children and teens adopted through DABSJ come from the foster care system. This means they have experienced abuse or neglect that caused them to be removed from their home. Our number one goal is reunification, so we do everything we can to work toward returning home with their family. Sometimes, that is not possible, and the family cannot provide a healthy and safe home.

When that happens, we look for loving and permanent families for the children. Officially, the parental rights have been terminated and the children are available for adoption.

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The children waiting for adoption have experienced trauma and difficult situations. They may have special needs. But they also have needs like any other child: to feel safe, to be loved, to have a place to call home.
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An Adoption Specialist guides the thoughtful and deliberate process of selecting families for children and assisting the family and child with the transition to the adoptive home. Once the child is in the home, the Adoption Specialist provides support and referral services.

Each adoption journey is unique, but they are all filled with love. If you are looking to add to your family through adoption, DABSJ is here to support you.

FAQs About Adoption

Children In Need Of Loving Homes

Each child is different, but they all come from the foster care system and have had to face difficult experiences. Often, there are sibling groups. Many children are older (8 and up). We also see children who are medically fragile or have moderate to severe mental health and behavioral needs. Any infants or toddlers available for adoption typically have special needs.

It Is Recommended That You Become A Foster Parent

The State of Michigan does not require that all adoptive families become licensed foster parents– however, many do because it is necessary for many children.

  • The transition to adoption is smoother when families foster their intended children first. When children first move into the home for foster care, they bring a higher level of support and services with them. 
  • Children 14 and older are legally required to consent to their own adoptions and they need time with their families before they consent to adoption.
  • When children cannot return home to their birth parents, it is better for them to be adopted by their foster parents to avoid unnecessary moves and losses later on.
  • Many adoption workers will only consider pre-adoptive families that are licensed.
  • When a family that wants to adopt is already licensed, it allows the child to move to the home sooner. This avoids the need for interim placements, reducing the number of moves for children.

Become A Foster Parent

There are four steps to become a licensed foster parent:

DABSJ IS Here to support you

DABSJ provides all the training and assessment services in order to become licensed at no charge. Our families complete a training called Pressley Ridge. This training helps families who are facing difficult challenges and complex situations. The ultimate goal is to prevent or reduce a child’s trauma by ensuring they are safe and well cared for by a well-trained foster parent and/or adoptive parent.

In addition to the trainings, we have an incredible statewide network for adoptive and foster families called AFSN: Adoptive Family Support Network with support groups, events, and more. It’s a great way to connect with families who “get it.” 

Sometimes, foster care workers identify families that need additional support with a placement. A family may be referred to our Enhanced Foster Care program. It is designed with the goal of making each child’s foster home their only placement, providing support that helps child and family through difficult situations.

Financial Support

Yes, and we will help connect you with it. Children adopted from the foster care system often qualify for Adoption Assistance/Subsidy. Adoption Assistance/Subsidy provides financial support to the family after adoption (and generally until age 18) that is based on the child’s special needs and on the additional efforts of the parents to meet those special needs.

Ongoing Medicaid is part of Adoption Assistance/Subsidy. DABSJ’s Adoption Specialists complete the Adoption Assistance/Subsidy application process on behalf of adoptive families.

Adoptive Family Support Network

Adoption is a unique way to form a family, and sometimes families need a unique kind of support to make it work. With the Adoptive Family Support Network, we give adoptive and foster parents access to a community of people who can provide answers and share experiences. AFSN supports all kinds of families and all types of adoptions throughout Michigan.

Children Waiting to Be Adopted

Every day, there are children looking for loving homes and forever families. The children shown below are currently waiting to be adopted. You can learn more about them and their hopes for the future by clicking on their photo. Each child is assigned an adoption specialist who can answer questions about that child’s needs and adoption plan.

Other children in Michigan are waiting for a forever family.

Adoption Stories

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The Best Joy You Can Experience: Teen Brothers Adopted Amid Pandemic

Jason and Kelly Noling both came from very big families. Their parents had multiple siblings, and there were always plenty of aunts, uncles, cousins, and ...
Read More →
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How Therapy Changed Our Family | Julie and Marcus’ Story

Not long after I became a licensed foster parent I met a boy named Marcus and he stole my heart. He had been living in ...
Read More →

Adoption Records

Are you an adult adoptee searching for information from your adoption records or links to your biological family?

Are you a biological family member searching for information on a child placed for adoption?

Adoption records are housed at the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services in Lansing, MI. Birth Parents and siblings can give consent or denial to have information about them released to an adult adoptee who is searching.

Adult adoptees may send a signed letter with your adopted name, names of your adoptive parents, where/when you were adopted, and your date of birth. Please include your return address, phone number, and email address. Also include a copy of your drivers’ license and marriage license if your name is different than your adopted name. Mail to Connie Stevens, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Central Adoption Registry, PO Box 30037, Lansing, MI 48909.

Former parents may complete a Parent’s Consent or Denial to Release Information to Adult Adoptee – DHS-1919 form.

Adult siblings may file either the  Release of Information to Adult Adoptee by Brother/Sister as Proxy for Deceased Parent – DHS-1918 form or the Adult Former Sibling Statement to Release Information to Adult Adoptee – DHS-1917 form.

For questions related to this, please contact Connie Stevens at MDHHS 517.335.6075.

Interested in Adoption?

DABSJ is inclusive and welcoming – from our team members, to the children we serve, to the families we license as foster parents. You could play a part in providing homes and hope for children who need a place to be themselves.