Can I Adopt in Mississippi?
You must be at least 21 years old to adopt in Mississippi. Applicants can be single, married, or divorced. You can own or rent a home. Medical records from a physician showing the parents are in good physical and mental health are required. All adult members of the home must pass a criminal background check. Children must be covered by health insurance and a plan to care for the adopted child must be implemented. Character and employee references are required. The home itself must be safe, and the water must be approved if not on an approved system. Additionally, the home must have an active telephone line, smoke detectors, and an ABC fire extinguisher. The child must have their own bed, and no child can share a room with someone of the opposite sex. Parents must have access to reliable transportation at all times. For more information please visit the Mississippi Department of Human Resources website.
What Adoption Regulations Exist in Mississippi?
Advertising: Only licensed adoption agencies may advertise that they are seeking birth mothers for adoption. Any agency, attorney, or physician who publishes an advertisement for adoption is required to include their physical address in the advertisement. No person, agency, firm, corporation, or children’s group home, may advertise for adoption or receive money for services provided without a valid license. § 43-15-117
Relinquishment: Birth parents must wait at least 72 hours after the birth of their child to give consent to an adoption. Parents have 6 months from the date of the final adoption decree to revoke consent. § 93-17-15
Birth parent expenses: The payment following expenses are permitted in Mississippi: court approved legal fees, adoption related attorney fees, birth related medical/hospital fees, living expenses for the mother, and counseling for the parents and/or child. § 43-15-23(4); 43-15-117(4)
Post-adoption contact agreements: Contact agreements in Mississippi are not legally enforceable.
Birth father rights: Unmarried father’s wishing to receive notice of adoption proceedings may file a voluntary acknowledgement of paternity form with the Mississippi Department of Human Health. The form creates a relationship between the father and mother as if both had been married at the time of birth. § 93-9-28
Finalization: Out of 313 adoptions completed in 2014, the average time between TPR and adoption finalization was 10.1 months. (acf.hhs.gov)
Review Mississippi adoption laws in detail.
Is Adoption Assistance Available in Mississippi?
Many of the children waiting to be adopted in Mississippi have special needs. Federal (Title IV-E) and state (non-IV-E) programs exist to help adoptive parents meet their child’s needs. In Mississippi, the maximum monthly amount ranges from $325-500. For more information please visit NACAC.org.
Can I adopt a Child from another country?
It is always possible to adopt a child from another country, even if you live in the United States. Children under 18 adopted from a Hague Convention country entering the U.S. with an IH-3 visa may automatically receive U.S. citizenship.
Children adopted from a non convention country must qualify as orphans before receiving U.S. citizenship. When U.S. citizens finalize an adoption abroad, they must apply to the USCIS for an IR-3 visa for the child. An IR-3 visa classifies the child as an immigrant and provides the child with citizenship upon arrival in the States.
Parents wishing to receive a State birth certificate for their child must submit a validation or readoption of a foreign adoption to a State court.
Adoptions in Mississippi can be completed through the Department of Human Services.
You must be at least 21 years old to adopt. Applicants can be single, married, or divorced. You can own or rent a home. You must pass physical background checks, your home must pass a safety inspection, and you must complete an adoption home study.
Only licensed adoption agencies may advertise that they are seeking birth mothers for adoption. Birth parents must wait at least 72 hours after the birth to execute consent. Parents have 6 months from the date of the final adoption decree to revoke consent.
The payment following expenses are permitted: legal fees, birth related medical/hospital fees, living expenses, and counseling for the parents and/or child.
Contact agreements are not legally enforceable. A paternity registry exists for unmarried fathers.
The average time between TPR and adoption finalization in 2014 was 10.1 months.