The last step of your child’s adoption process is their adoption finalization in Mississippi. With the completion of this step, you child will legally become a permanent member of your family, and you’ll be granted legal parental rights along with the final decree of adoption.
The adoption finalization usually won’t occur for at least six months after being placed with your child. Before you can receive the final decree of adoption at the adoption finalization hearing in Mississippi, a few steps must happen first:
Your child’s biological parents must terminate their legal parental rights in accordance with all Mississippi adoption consent laws, and they must wait at least 72 hours after the birth of their child before they can do so.
If your adoption is occurring across state lines, you must gain Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC) clearance before you can return to Mississippi with your child.
If you’re adopting a child with native heritage, you must adhere to the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) processes.
You must complete all your post-placement requirements under the supervision of your Mississippi-licensed home study professional.
Once you’ve completed those steps, your Mississippi adoption attorney will contact you about scheduling your MS adoption finalization hearing. This will take place in your local district court, which has jurisdiction over matters related to adoptions in Mississippi.
Find more information about where your adoption will be finalized below:
Although the post-placement process is several months long, the Mississippi adoption finalization hearing itself is usually very short, typically only last 20 to 60 minutes. At this hearing, the judge will issue your final decree of adoption. This document certifies the completion of your child’s adoption and confirms that they’re a permanent and legal member of your family.
Most Mississippi adoption finalization hearings go as follows:
The adoptive family, their adoption attorney and sometimes their social worker will be sworn in.
The adoptive family may be asked questions about why they chose adoption and if they’re able to provide their child with a good home.
The adoption attorney or social worker may be asked questions about the adoption process.
The final decree of adoption is signed.
With the final decree of adoption in Mississippi, your child’s adoption process is completed and your legal parental rights are issued. This legal step is often seen by adoptive families as a moment to celebrate for the first time as an official family.
After the Mississippi adoption finalization process is completed, you can file for your child’s amended birth certificate and their social security card.
The MS adoption process technically ends with finalization, but adoption is a lifelong journey of exploration for adoptive parents, birth parents and adoptees alike. Talking about adoption and continuing to reflect on adoption as a family will be important for growing closer together through the years.
Remember that if you ever have questions, need post-adoption support or information, need help facilitating birth family communication or anything else, you can always call American Adoptions.
Call 1-800-ADOPTION to learn how to finalize an adoption in Mississippi today, or request your free adoption information here.
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