17th Circuit Court


Mission Statement

Our mission is to provide quality, efficient adoption services to the public & our community agency partners to aid in establishing permanency for children as expeditiously as possible. We will provide prompt, post adoption services to birthparents, adoptive parents, and adopted persons in a way that is supportive and informative.

Department Values

  • Promote self-help resources to ensure equal access to the judiciary regardless of income
  • Ensure fairness to parties by being informative and impartial
  • Serve with compassion and integrity

Adoption Filing - General Information

Incomplete paperwork will not be accepted. Adoption department staff are unable to assist with filling out paperwork and cannot provide legal advice. If you need assistance you may contact the Legal Assistance Center located at 180 Ottawa Ave NW 5th floor, Grand Rapids, MI 49503, or you may hire an attorney who is familiar with the adoption process.


  • $185.00 filing fee per adoptee
  • $100.00 home assessment fee per family
Filing By Mail

Adoption filings can be made by mailing complete required documents and the appropriate fees (please include one check, made payable to the “17th Circuit Court Family Division”).

Attn: Holly Hernandez
17th Circuit Court - Adoption Department
180 Ottawa Ave NW Suite 3500
Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Filing In Person

Filings will be by appointment only to ensure staff are available to assist. Please contact 616-632-5107 or 616-632-5108 to schedule an appointment.

Other Requirements

MCL 710.24a details parties considered interested in a petition for adoption. All interested parties must be given proper notice of a proceeding. It is the petitioner's duty to obtain an address for the non-custodial parent(s) to ensure proper legal notice is obtained before scheduling court proceedings.

It is the consenting party's responsibility to contact the clerk if they are willing to consent. All consent hearings will be scheduled by calling the Adoption Clerk at 616-632-5107 after the petition for adoption has been filed and after the required home assessment has been conducted.

Kent County requires that parties be married for a minimum of 1 year before filing, and that in ALL non-agency filings (Relative/Non-relative guardian, stepparent, adult adoptions) parties MUST reside in Kent County. Proof of residency is required.

Licensing Record Clearances MUST be completed by ALL individuals residing in the home 18 years of age or older. Be sure to ask the adoption department for additional clearances if necessary.