Mississippi Adoption Guide

Everything you need to know about adoption in Mississippi!

Kenneth Knudson September 12, 2016

Welcome, Mississippians! This guide was written to provide you with a single place to find information about adoption within Mississippi. It will walk you through everything from laws that will impact your adoption to reviews of adoption service providers in Mississippi.

We’ve divided this guide into five parts: first, general information about adopting in MS, then sections dedicated to domestic infant adoption (starting in Slide 6), foster adoption (Slide 19),  international adoption (Slide 29), and stepparent adoption (Slide 33). And don’t miss our slide filled with links to helpful adoption resources (Slide 36).

International Adoption: Post-Adoption Requirements
2. International Adoption: Post-Adoption Requirements

In order for a child adopted from a different country to enter the United States, adoptive parents must meet all requirements set by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the country in which the child resides, and occasionally the adoptive parents’ State of residence.

As part of this process you will need to request a U.S. visa first so the child can enter the States, and then a birth certificate once a final decree of adoption comes through. Although readoption in the U.S. is not always a requirement depending upon the type of visa, many adoption professionals recommend this option to protect the child.

Application for a U.S. Visa
Depending upon the status of the child’s home country, adoptive parents will need to first fill out form I-800A(Hague Convention country) or I-600A(non Convention country). This application demonstrates that you are capable to adopt a child and consists of a USCIS form, home study, and application fee.

The type of visa you apply for depends upon the child’s country of origin. If the child is from a Hague Convention country, fill out form DS-260 to be sent to the Embassy or Consulate who issues the immigrant visa. This step comes before receiving an adoption order.

If the child is from a non Hague Convention country, adoptive parents file for either an IR-3 visa or IR-4 visa.

IR-3 visas are issued when the adoption is completed and finalized abroad, and the adoptive parents have seen the child before finalization in the child’s home country. In this case re-adoption is not required, and the child entering the States automatically becomes a U.S. citizen.

IR-4 visas are issued when an adoption is to be completed in the U.S. after the child arrives in the States. This usually occurs when parents are unable to visit the child in their home country. The child will become a citizen only when the adoption is finalized in the States and a parent-child relationship has been established.

Application for a U.S. birth certificate
The Bureau of Vital Statistics issues either a revised or a new U.S. birth certificate for children born out of this country and entering the U.S. through adoption in Mississippi.

Adoptive parents need to submit the final decree of adoption to the Bureau of Vital Statistics. Once the decree of adoption is received, the director prepares the birth certificate, which contains the following information:

-The adopted name of the child
-The child’s race, sex, DOB
-The child’s place of birth (town, district, county, except when born in penal or mental institution, then the country will suffice)

Step-by-step adoption process from Hague Convention countries

SOURCE: § 93-17-21

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Kenneth Knudson

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