LANSING – Children’s rights activists got a boost last week when the Office of Children’s Ombudsman recommended greater access to second-parent adoptions in Michigan.
The Office of the Children’s Ombudsman is an independent government agency that works to assure the safety of children in the child welfare system by investigating complaints regarding foster care placements, advocating for children, and recommending changes to improve law, policy and practice regarding child welfare. In its 2003 Annual Report, the OCO recommended the Michigan Adoption Code be amended to “…permit adoption of a child by two adults who are not married if the court determines it is in the child’s best interest.”
This change in the law would benefit the child by ensuring the eligibility for health benefits by both parents, ensuring both parents can consent to medical treatment, and creating financial security for the child.
Current Michigan law is ambiguous as it relates to second-parent adoptions for unmarried couples. The issue made headlines around the state in the summer of 2002, when Chief Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court Maura Corrigan ordered Washtenaw County judges to stop performing them.
For more information about second-parent adoption in Michigan visit the Coalition for Adoption Rights Equality at http://www.secondparentadoption.org.
Find your state Representative and Senator and tell them to support second-parent adoption: visit http://www.vote-smart.org or call the Michigan State House Clerk’s office at 517-373-0135.