Adoption Laws in Mississippi: What You Need to Know
Each state establishes its own set of adoption laws, which means that there are many different sets of adoption laws within the U.S. This is why hopeful adoptive families should always work with adoption agencies and attorneys who are familiar with Mississippi adoption laws and the adoption laws across the country.
If you work with a national adoption agency like American Adoptions, as many families do, you may adopt a child outside of Mississippi. This makes it even more important that your adoption professional be well-versed in adoption laws in Mississippi and in the expectant mother’s home state. Call 1-800-ADOPTION to receive free information about Mississippi adoption with our agency.
In the meantime, the guide below will help you learn which domestic adoption laws in Mississippi could affect how you adopt a child.
Note that the information below is not meant as legal advice. Please consult your adoption attorney if you have legal concerns.
Who Can Adopt in Mississippi?
According to adoption laws in Mississippi, an adoptive parent may:
Be married, but must petition to adopt jointly with their spouse; or
Be an unmarried adult; and
Must have lived in Mississippi for at least six consecutive months immediately prior to the adoption
Same-sex couples were legally prohibited from adopting in Mississippi until 2016, when that ban was repealed and same-sex couples were granted equal adoption rights.
It’s important to note that in addition to the legal requirements of Mississippi adoption laws, individual adoption professional will typically have their own set of preferences and requirements that prospective adoptive parents must meet. Most adoption professionals in MS will require adoptive parents to be at least 21 years old, for example. These adoption requirements will vary depending on the type of adoption and the adoption professional that you choose.
Regardless of the type of adoption and the agency you work with, all adoptive families in Mississippi must first be approved to adopt through a Mississippi-licensed home study professional. This process will include home visits, family interviews, training courses, background checks and more.
Who Can Be Adopted in Mississippi?
Mississippi adoption laws state simply that “any person may be adopted.”
A minor’s biological parents must also terminate their legal parental rights before a child can legally become eligible for adoption in Mississippi. This must be done in accordance with Mississippi adoption consent laws and procedures.
Mississippi Adoption Laws about Advertising
Only validly licensed child-placing agencies are legally allowed to advertise for adoption in Mississippi.
Attorneys, physicians and others may help an expectant parent to locate a prospective adoptive parent, but they may not charge a fee or exchange anything of value for this service.
Adoptive parents should always defer to their licensed adoption professional if they’re unsure of how Mississippi adoption laws regulate how they may search for an adoption opportunity.
Mississippi Adoption Laws about Birth Parent Expenses
The adoption laws in Mississippi regulate what expenses can be paid to birth parents by the adoptive parents, and how much. In MS, these allowable birth parent expenses include:
Court-approved legal fees
Attorney fees for services performed for the adoption
Reasonable and actual medical expenses for the birth and medical treatment of the child
The birth mother’s living expenses
Counseling services for the birth parents and/or the child
The court will need to approve of all birth parent expenses paid by the adoptive parents, and American Adoptions will make sure that prospective birth parents have the medical, legal and counseling support services that they need throughout the adoption process. American Adoptions also offers adoptive families a unique Risk-Sharing Program that will financially protect them in the event of an adoption disruption, so that families are reimbursed for any lost expenses in a disrupted adoption situation. Call 1-800-ADOPTION now to learn more about this service and more about adoption in Mississippi with our agency.
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