This article is the fifth installment in the series on Michigan children and the child protection system.
When a court attempts to reunify a child or children to a family and the process fails, there are several options the court may consider. Those options include a permanent guardianship, generally with someone related to the child or at least well known to the child.
Another option is to place the child in long-term foster care; this can be done if there is no likelihood the child will be adopted, and maintaining at least a legal relationship with one or both parents is preferential. Sometimes a child – no matter how bad the home situation was – is more traumatized by not being allowed any contact with a parent over time.
Finally, a court can terminate one or both parent’s right. If this occurs, the child or children are committed to the State of Michigan and the Michigan Children’s Institute and become eligible for adoption.
As with every other situation involving the law, there are always exceptions, and this is not meant to be an absolute list of outcomes but a general guideline as to the most common approaches in cases involving child abuse and neglect.
The information in this article is not intended to serve as legal advice nor does it replace consulting a lawyer about your legal situation and questions.