Adult Adoptions

Instructions to open an Adult Adoption File.  The Adoption Specialist is not an attorney and can’t assist with any legal advice.

Adoptee must be 18 years of age or older.

Cost for the filing fee is $236.00.  It breaks down to:  $175 – Filing Fee, $11 – Certified Order of Adoption, $50 – Interview by Adoption Specialist.  Check or Money Order made out to Berrien County Probate Court. 

Adoption Specialist must conduct an informal interview with the interested parties and submit the report to the Judge for review.

No termination of parental rights is necessary, but the birth parent(s) must be notified of the hearing and proof of service filed with the Adoption Specialist.  Must be sent certified mail a letter explaining why the adoptee wants to become adopted, Notice of Hearing and Proof of Service.

Adoption that is final on the day of the hearing.

Adult Adoptee must sign his/her consent in the presence of the Judge.

For the hearing we will need one week in advance:

  • Proof of Notice of hearing, copy of the letter, Proof of service to the Birth Parent(s) done by Certified Mail.

Drafted consent by the Adoptee, Final Order Allowing Fees and Costs, Order of Adoption, Record of Adoption and check or a money order for the new birth record and if the adoptee was born in Michigan - $50 “The State of Michigan”. 

After the hearing, the Adoption Specialist will mail the certified copy of the Order of Adoption to the adoptee along with any true copies.  The Adoption Specialist will send to Vital Records the Adoption Record, fee, and Order of Adoption for a new birth certificate.

Need the following to obtain the new Social Security Card and that is done by the petitioner if there is a name change:

  • Certified Order of Adoption
  • New Birth Certificate

Digital County Survey Winner
Berrien County Courthouse
811 Port Street, St. Joseph, MI 49085
Berrien County Administration Center
701 Main Street, St. Joseph, MI 49085
Privacy Statement     Contact Us     Site Map
Last Updated 4/22/2016   
Copyright 2016 Berrien County. All Rights Reserved.

General Telephone: (269) 983-7111
From Niles, Buchanan, Galien: (269) 684-5274
From Three Oaks, New Buffalo, Lakeside, Union Pier: (269) 756-9571

Link to Link to Link to