Adoption Process 101: The Basics

One of the most enjoyable aspects of family law is the chance to bring together loving parents with children who need them. For many, the journey to become adoptive parents stems from infertility. For others, the choice is one made out of a generous desire to provide stable care for especially medically or emotionally-challenged young people. Some start by fostering while others adopt relatives or stepchildren who can benefit from the constancy of caring parents. Whatever the path to adoption, it is a joyous part of the family law practice and we are pleased to be able to help people grow Continue Reading…

What’s “Suitable” Courtroom Attire?

There was a time when there was no question about courtroom attire because the answer was so obvious – a suit or dress. That’s how people dressed throughout most of history. Men wore suits to the office, to church, for funerals, dances, and even walking the dog. Women wore dresses to work, school, parties and grocery shopping. So when it came time to dress for court, there was no question. But in these times of “Business Casual,” what’s the new standard for courtroom attire? The short-answer, according to Michigan Family Law Attorney Kathryn Wayne-Spindler is, “I advise my clients to wear business slacks Continue Reading…

Adoption Equality

Supreme Court Same-Sex Marriage Ruling impacts Michigan’s gay and lesbian families looking to achieve Adoption Equality in Michigan Amidst sweet engagements and mass wedding ceremonies, June 26, 2015 will also go down in the books for many gay and lesbian couples as the day their adoption plans became (closer to) reality. It may take some time for Michigan officials to formalize the specifics of Second-Parent Adoption. But for many same-sex couples, along with the right to marry, the Supreme Court ruling will extend the rights of gay and lesbian married couples to adopt each other’s children and to jointly adopt non-related children. Continue Reading…

Private Adoption Attorneys in Michigan: Alternative to Agencies

There’s a bill before the Michigan Congress to allow adoption agencies (some of which receive state funds) to discriminate based on religious beliefs. “The legislation would protect agencies refusing service over religious beliefs from “adverse action” by the state, including limiting public funding and ‘discriminating against the child placing agency,’” according to the Huffington Post article, “Michigan May Allow Adoption Agencies To Refuse Service To Gay Couples”.  More than a quarter of the adoption agencies in Michigan are run by religiously-affiliated organizations so there are concerns that LGBT individuals might be denied access to adoption services. One answer to these Continue Reading…

Adoption Home Study Advice

Adoption Home Study Advice There is tons of advice out there on hundreds of adoption blogs regarding preparing the paperwork and interview answers for an adoption or foster home study process. This is not one of those blogs. This collection of tips focuses on preparing yourself and your home for the social worker’s home visit. Many of the suggestions come from social workers that have performed countless home study visits. Cleanliness and Safety Social workers are looking for a home that is reasonably clean and safe.  In other words, don’t hire a cleaning service.  There are countless online anecdotes from Continue Reading…

Semi-Open Adoption Options

When it comes to adoption negotiations, Open vs. Closed, can be an emotional one. It is after all, hard to know what the future has in store five, 10 or 20 years down the road. There is a delicate balance between what is best for the child, adoptive and birthparents. The good news is that it’s no longer an all-or-nothing decision. As Open Adoption becomes the norm, there are many emerging hybrids. There are obviously pros and cons to all adoption variations so it is important to work with an experienced attorney to determine what options will work for each family. Open Adoption Open Continue Reading…