FAQs about Adopting a Child in Mississippi
Are you interested in adopting a child in Mississippi? If so, you probably have a lot of questions but don’t worry, all of your questions will be answered, you just have to get the process started! We recommend that you begin by reading over the frequently asked questions that are answered below and then contact a local Jackson adoption attorney to get the rest of your questions answered.
Q: Who can adopt a child in Mississippi?
A: An unmarried adult, or a married adult whose spouse joins in the petition for adoption, may petition to adopt a child in Mississippi, provided that each parent listed on the petition for adoption is at least 21 years old. For a long time same-sex couples were not allowed to adopt a child in Mississippi, however in 2016 a federal judge struck down this ban and now qualifying same-sex couples are permitted to adopt children in our state.
Q: What is the adoption process like?
A: While each adoption is a bit different, most adoptions in Mississippi progress along in roughly the same manner and involve contacting the Department of Human Services, filling out and submitting a petition for adoption, attending up to five weekly training sessions, undergoing a home study, being matched with a child in need of a family, visiting with that child, and ultimately having that child placed in your home and undergoing several follow up visits by a social worker who is checking to make sure that things are going well. After this process is successfully completed the adoption will be finalized by the court.
Q: How many children are waiting to be adopted in Mississippi?
A: According to AdoptUSKids, there are currently 3,700 children in foster care in Mississippi, approximately 148 of whom are waiting to be adopted.
Q: What is the difference between a closed adoption and an open adoption?
A: Essentially a closed adoption takes place when a child’s biological parents and the adopting family do not exchange identifying information about each other while, on the other hand, an open adoption involves the birth family and the the adoptive family exchanging such information. Historically, most adoptions conducted in the United States were closed in order to prevent the child and their biological parents from finding each other in the future, however, open adoptions are very common today and it is not unusual for all parties to an adoption to remain in each other’s lives.
Q: I’m interested in adopting a teenager, will he or she have a say in the adoption process?
A: Yes, in Mississippi a child who is 14 years old or older will be included in the adoption process to some extent and must consent to the adoption before it can be finalized.
Reach Out to Us for Help with Your Case
Here at the law office of Derek L. Hall, PC, our experienced Jackson adoption attorneys regularly provide representation to clients throughout Mississippi who are seeking to adopt a child. The adoption process is complicated and can at times be confusing, but having a competent family law attorney by your side every step of the way will help ensure that this life changing process progresses as smoothly as possible. To get started contact our Jackson office today to schedule your free initial consultation.