MISSISSIPPI ADOPTION ATTORNEY
Lawyer for Agency, Related, and Stepparent Adoptions In Hernando And Desoto County
The decision to adopt a child is one that you may consider for many years before beginning the process, as you want to ensure that you can provide the best possible life for a child in need. However, even after you have made the decision and you know the child whom you wish to adopt, it can still take significant time for the adoption to be finalized, during which you will need to progress through a legal process that can often be complicated.
Fortunately, you do not have to handle this process on your own. At Douglass & Runger, PLLC, Attorneys at Law, we know how the Mississippi adoption process works, and we can provide you with the legal advice and representation you need, whether your adoption is relatively straightforward or highly contentious. We will do all that we can to help you bring your child home and start building a life together.
Types Of Adoption In Mississippi
Before you begin the legal process of adoption in Mississippi, you will need to have identified the child you wish to adopt. Depending on your previous relationship with the child and how you came to know him or her, the adoption process can be significantly different. Possible types of adoption in Mississippi include:
- Related adoption: In this case, you adopt a child with whom you already have a familial relationship with, perhaps your sibling, grandchild, or niece or nephew. This is common when the parents are deceased or unable to care for the child.
- Stepparent adoption: In this special type of related adoption, you are married to one of the child’s biological parents. If the other parent is alive and has parental rights, you will need to obtain that parent’s consent or seek to terminate that parent’s rights.
- Agency adoption: You may adopt a child through the foster care system, in which case the Mississippi Department of Human Services will need to approve, or through a private adoption agency, in which case that agency will need to provide consent.
- Private adoption: You may arrange an adoption directly with the child’s biological parents if they are willingly giving the child up for adoption.
- Adult adoption: In Mississippi, it is legal to adopt anyone whether they are a minor or an adult. Adult adoption can be important symbolically, as well as to give the adoptee the full inheritance rights of a biological child. Adults, as well as children over the age of 14, must consent to their own adoption.
What Happens In A Mississippi Adoption?
When you know the child whom you wish to adopt, your attorney can help you file a petition for adoption with the county court and ensure that you include any required documentation related to the child’s health and property, as well as expenses you have accumulated through the adoption process up to that point. You can file a petition for adoption in Mississippi as an unmarried adult or as a married couple, including a same-gender couple as of 2016.
In considering your petition for adoption, the court will ensure that you have obtained consent from any necessary parties, which may be simple if the parties consent willingly but quite difficult if they object. You may need your attorney to help you make the case that the adoption is in the child’s best interests and that the other party’s parental rights should be terminated because they are abusive, dangerous, or neglectful to the child, or simply unable or unwilling to care for the child.
Finally, most adoptions require a home study by a licensed professional to ensure that you are a suitable parent, as well as a six month period after the child begins living with you before the adoption is finalized. After the adoption is final, you will have full parental rights and a legal responsibility to provide and care for your child.
Contact a DeSoto County Adoption Lawyer
Adoption is not always easy, but the reward is worth the work, and with an experienced adoption attorney you will always have the support you need. Contact us at 901-388-5805 for a consultation on your adoption in Hernando, Horn Lake, Southaven, Olive Branch, and throughout DeSoto County and the surrounding areas.