In 2015, there were 4,773 Mississippi children living in out-of-home care apart from their biological families. The same reports show that about 30 percent of those children will not be able to reunite with their biological family members, and they will instead become legally eligible for foster care adoption in Mississippi. Many of those children are older, part of a sibling group, or have additional needs.
Although American Adoptions specializes in the adoption of newborns and is unable to provide Mississippi foster care adoption services, adopting a child from foster care is a great way to grow your family. The information below can help you learn more about foster care adoption in Mississippi so that you can determine if it’s the right option for your family:
There a few different ways that you could get involved with foster care in Mississippi:
By getting licensed as a foster parent, you would be able to give children a temporary safe home while they wait for a more permanent situation with their biological family or an adoptive family.
Foster parents can choose to adopt a child that they’ve been fostering should that child become legally available for adoption. This is called foster to adopt in Mississippi. Seventy percent of children in MS foster care will never become eligible for adoption. But if a child does require a foster care adoption, his or her foster parents can be considered for permanent placement if they want to foster to adopt.
You don’t have to become a foster parent if you’ve decided that you want to adopt from foster care in Mississippi. Instead, you can ask to be matched with children who are already eligible and awaiting adoption through Mississippi foster care adoption.
When you foster to adopt or adopt through foster care in Mississippi, you may be eligible for Mississippi adoption assistance to help with the costs of caring for the new addition to your family. State regulations allow for a Mississippi adoption subsidy that will vary based on the needs of the child(ren) that you foster or adopt.
In order to adopt a child from foster care in Mississippi, prospective foster/adoptive parents must:
Be legal Mississippi residents
Pass criminal background checks
Be at least 21 years old
Not have more than four children living in their home
Be able to financially support themselves on their own
In addition to these basic requirements, foster/adoptive parents must complete a home study, training courses, health checks and more. Individual foster care agencies can also have their own set of requirements that adoptive parents must meet in addition to those listed above, so contact your agency to learn more.
Before a child can become eligible for adoption from foster care in Mississippi, their biological parents must first terminate their legal parental rights. This can occur voluntarily by the parents themselves, or it can occur involuntarily if the parents fail to meet the court-mandated steps to regain custody.
At age 18, a child “ages out” of Mississippi foster care, but they can still be adopted by former foster parents who want them to be a legal member of their family via an adult adoption.
The following foster care adoption agencies and Mississippi adoption photolisting sites can help you if you’re interested in learning more about foster care and adoption in Mississippi, or if you’re ready to begin the process now:
Contact your agency to learn more about foster care adoption in Mississippi.
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