Local adoption specialist plays roll in adoption reform

Shelia Davis is heading to Lansing for the formal signing of several adoption bills that she helped to form.

Governor Snyder is getting ready to formally sign a set of adoption bills during a special ceremony on Tuesday, and one Charlevoix woman gets to be a part of it.

Shelia Davis is the founder and director of Heaven Sent Adoption Services in Charlevoix. Two years ago she was contacted by State Representatives who asked her for her opinions on ways the adoption process could be improved.

"Two years ago going through all those phone calls and stuff you just don't know what's going to come from that," said Davis.

Davis has two daughters and one son that are adopted. Her clients' experiences and her own are why she is so passionate about being a part of the three adoption bills that will become law in October 2014. She says they will make things easier for birth mothers and the families who are looking to adopt.

"I just think it's going to help these moms to move forward and that's really important," said Davis. "And then the families securing that adoption placement are not worrying, "Could something happen? What if this, what if that?" Just that relaxation that they can have and parenting and moving forward."

House Bills 4646, 4647, 4648 are now Public Acts. All three target multiple areas in the adoption process between mother, father, and the adoptive parents. They essentially speed things up for everyone involved and can reduce the chance of having the birth mother change her mind about the adoption.

Amy Paulus and her husband Michael already have three children of their own. But for the last three years they've been looking to add a son or daughter to their family.

"I know for us it makes us feel a lot better," said Paulus. "We have three children already and to bring a baby into the family and then to say, "I'm sorry we have to give them back," is really a frightening thought. We don't want them to bond with a child and them then to lose it. That would be very difficult."

Paulus says they were nervous to adopt in Michigan because previous laws left things up in the air for months after the baby was born. She and her husband are happy that won't be the case anymore.

"It will make it a lot easier for us if a situation opens up here in our home state," said Paulus.