While many Duggar fans have expected adoption in the near future for either Jessa Seewald or Jill Dillard, they likely weren't expecting the announcement that Jim Bob and Michelle would be adopting their 20th child. However, to the surprise of many, it appears that Jim Bob and Michelle will be the first of the Duggar clan to adopt. The pair have already been granted guardianship of an eight-year-old relative with the adoption process well underway.
Christian Today reports that Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar are reportedly in the process of adopting their 20th child. Despite having 19 biological children of their own, Michelle and Jim Bob are reportedly ready and willing to take another child into their large brood. The pair were granted temporary guardianship of the eight-year-old relative on August 31, 2016.
The adoption and guardianship news comes as Michelle's niece Rachel Hutchins claimed she could no longer properly care for the child. Hutchins reportedly was suffering financial hardship and is currently homeless and unemployed. Additionally, Hutchins also has a past with the law, having been arrested for breaking and entering. Hutchins was charged after she broke into a tow truck business in Springdale, Arkansas, and stole a pocket knife and $2 in change. She is currently on probation for three years stemming from the charges.
Michelle's niece reportedly gave birth to the child now under Duggar care when she was a teenager and has struggled to raise him. Therefore, Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar decided to take their child into their home. The Duggars are slated to report back to court on November 14 to make the guardianship permanent.
A family friend says that the Duggars are hopeful after the November 14 court appearance that they will be able to move forward with the adoption after they are granted permanent guardianship of the child.
"There's a strong hope that once that happens they will be able to adopt him."Duggar Family News: Life Is Not All Pickles and Hairspray, revealed copies of the court documents involving the guardianship of the child.
The documents reveal that the child was being cared for by his maternal grandmother, Carolyn Hutchins, from August 2015 until June 2016. However, in July, the grandmother suffered a stroke and was no longer able to care for the child. Therefore, Michelle Duggar stepped in to take care of her great-nephew in lieu of her sister Carolyn.
The documents claim that Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar are "legally qualified" to care for the child and that they have had "physical control and custody" of the child since July of 2016. The documents also reveal that the father of the child is unknown and that no father is listed on the birth certificate. A paternity test has never been performed.
It was also noted that the biological mother had signed a Waiver of Notice of Consent of Guardianship to the Duggars and that an Emergency Order of Guardianship was granted. Visitation between the mother and child was noted in the court proceedings, but it outlined that supervision was required for all visits between the child in Duggar care and his biological mother.
Meanwhile, Jessa Seewald has revealed that despite already benigma pregnant with her second child, the young couple still have plans to adopt. Jessa says that they are planning on a domestic adoption and noted that there are other families that have walked this road that can provide advice. However, it seems that Jessa can now look to her own parents for advice on adoption as the Duggars continue their bid to adopt their great-nephew and add a 20th child to the mix.
What do you think about Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar adopting a 20th child?
[Image via Facebook/ Duggar Family Official]