When you decide to expand your family through adoption, you should understand the state laws that govern this process. You can adopt in Mississippi if either you or the child has lived in the state for at least six months.

Review the answers to the common questions individuals have about adopting a child in Mississippi.

Who can adopt in Mississippi?

Either a married man and woman, a single man or a single woman can adopt in Mississippi. The state prohibits joint adoption by same-sex couples. Anyone adopting a child must be at least 21 years old.

What legal documents does the state require?

You must submit an adoption petition either in your county or the county where the child lives. Supplemental documents with this petition must include:

  • A statement from a nurse practitioner or doctor that details the child’s mental and physical health status
  • An affidavit indicating that you are aware of any physical or mental health issues documented by the doctor or nurse practitioner
  • An affidavit that details the fees and expenses you have paid during the adoption process
  • An affidavit that details all assets the child owns if applicable

Who must consent to the adoption?

The child must sign a form providing consent for the adoption if he or she is 14 or older. The child’s biological parents must also consent to the adoption under oath unless the court has terminated their parental rights. If you are adopting a newborn, the law requires birth parents to wait 72 hours before relinquishing these rights and consenting to the adoption.

What is a home study?

All adoptions in Mississippi require a study of the adoptive parents’ home. You must pay for either the state Department of Human Services or an adoption agency that has a valid state license to conduct this home study.

Every adoption case is unique, with family circumstances that may influence the legalities in your case. However, these answers provide a starting point from which to move forward with your journey to adopting a child.