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Mississippi Adoption Laws

Adoption can be a wonderful way to add joy and love to your family. But like many things these days, it's not without its legal hurdles. If you are planning on adopting, it's best to be familiar with the Magnolia State's laws regulating adoptions. Like those of any other state, these laws address who can be adopted, who can adopt, and how adoptions take place.

Continue reading for a brief overview of adoption laws in Mississippi.

State Laws

State laws on adoption determine who is allowed to adopt and the special requirements for adoptive parents. These laws are designed to protect the best interests of the person being adopted. The adoption process can be complicated, and an attorney may help in understanding the law and what the legal requirements of adoptive parents will be.

Adoption Laws in Mississippi

State adoption laws can vary depending on where you live. Mississippi requires adoptive parents to be state residents for 90 days before filing adoption paperwork. It also requires adoptees to reside in their new homes for six months before the adoption is finalized. Mississippi's adoption laws are listed in the table below:

Code Section

93-17-1

Who May Be Adopted

Any person

Age that Child's Consent Needed

14 years of age and older

Who May Adopt

  • Any unmarried adult, or
  • Spouses jointly.

In either case, the parties must also be Mississippi residents for 90 days before they file the application. Under limited circumstances, the party or parties may do so prior to 90 days.

Home Residency Required Prior to Finalization of Adoption?

Six months, while the waiting period may be shortened if the child resided in the adoptive home prior to the entry of an interlocutory decree or is the stepchild of the petitioner

State Agency/Court

Dept. of Human Services, Public Welfare, or Chancery Court

Statute of Limitations to Challenge

Six months to challenge interlocutory decree, or Six months from the date of the final decree

Mississippi law allows any person to be adopted. However, after the age of 14, the adoptee must consent to the adoption. Any unmarried adult may adopt regardless of sexual orientation, and the result of a court ruling in 2016 Mississippi joined the other 49 states in allowing same-sex couples to adopt.. Like many states, Mississippi has specific adoption courts that hear adoption proceedings to protect the best interests of the adoptee.

Mississippi Adoption Laws: Related Resources

Deciding to adopt can be a serious decision, emotionally and legally. You can consult with a Mississippi adoption attorney if you would like legal assistance regarding an adoption matter. You can also find more resources and information on this topic by visiting FindLaw's section on Adoption.

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