File For Full Custody In Michigan If You Aren’t a Biological Parent

Lots of people call our office trying to obtain custody for a child to whom they are not the biological parent. So, how are parental rights obtained for those who are not the biological parent of a child? What follows are various methods which grant parental rights and custody to those who are not the biological parents of a child.

Acknowledgment Under Adoption Code

One may file a verified notice of intent to claim paternity before an out-of-wedlock child is born under the Adoption Code. A rebuttable presumption (evidence refuting the claim may be brought forth by the mother) is created that one who files said notice is the father of the child.

Acknowledgment of Parentage

Parties for a child born out of wedlock may sign and notarize a form which establishes paternity. However, in these situations, the mother is granted full custody unless a court orders otherwise or the parties agree on a different custody arrangement in writing.

Equitable Parent Doctrine

The equitable parent doctrine applies to those situations where a child was conceived and born in wedlock, and the non-biological husband seeks custody of the child as he is willing to assume all rights (custody and parenting time) and obligations (paying child support) that a biological father would have. This doctrine is not applicable for unmarried parties and children born out of wedlock.


The first requirement involved in the adoption process is that the biological parent’s parental rights have been terminated. Many parents terminate those rights voluntarily; in many other cases the court terminates those rights where it finds that termination is in the best interests of the child. Once parental rights have been terminated, a petition to adopt must be filed. The adoption process may be by agency placement or direct placement (biological parent selects adoptive parents). There is a minimum six month waiting period from the time a petition is filed and a final order of adoption is issued. The time frame may be extended to as long as 18 months.

Get a Michigan Family Law Attorney Today

Akiva Goldman & Associates is an experienced family law firm. Contact our Michigan Family Law attorney today for a free initial consultation at 586-268-2400. Our lawyers can let you know whether obtaining custody of a minor child is a real possibility, and if so, identify the appropriate method of obtaining your objectives.

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