Adoption in Mississippi

Chris Holt, your Mississippi Family Lawyer handles the full spectrum of adoption cases.

The legal procedure for adoption focuses on the best interest of the child and protects the privacy of the child and the biological parents.

Can adoptive parents be single?

The adoptive parent may be single or, if married, joined in the petition by the spouse. The adoptive parents file a petition for adoption in the county chancery court where they live. They can also file where the child was born, abandoned, or currently lives.

What kind of consent is needed?

Adoption requires written consent from the biological parents, the child’s guardian. If the parents are deceased, two adult relatives. If the parents are unknown, any person having physical or legal custody of the child (other than a foster parent), the social worker who placed the child in foster care, and the child, if he or she is over 14 years old.

How long do you wait to gain custody?

With the proper filing and consent, adoptive parents may receive temporary custody of the child under an interlocutory decree for up to six months before the judge finalizes the adoption. The judge can enter the final adoption judgment right away in some cases. The judge may rule against the adoption during the interlocutory period, but the adoptive parents have the right to appeal.

What kind of documentation is required?

You must provide a doctor’s certificate stating the physical and mental health of the child. You must also include a sworn statement listing all the child’s property. If the child has a mental or physical health problem, the adoptive parents must include an affidavit stating their awareness of the condition.

Do you need consent from both parents?

If the biological mother is unmarried, the law only requires her consent. It is advisable to also get the natural father’s consent also. The parties must wait at least three days after the child’s birth to sign consent forms.

Who is listed as parents on the adopted child's birth certificate?

Once the adoption is final, the Bureau of Vital Statistics issues a new birth certificate with the child’s new name and adoptive parents’ names. The Bureau of Vital Statistics also secures the original birth certificate. All documents about the adoption are confidential and cannot be released without a court order or the consent of the biological parent. Information such as hereditary diseases may be released to the adoptive parents or the child when 18 years old or older.

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