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 laws that regulate who can be adopted, by whom, and how. Here is 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, and are designed in order to protect the best interests of the person being adopted. The adoption process can be legally complex 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. For instance, Mississippi requires adoptive parents to be state residents for 90 days before filing adoption paperwork, and also requires adoptees to reside in their new homes for 6 months before the adoption is finalized. Mississippi’s adoption laws are listed in the table below.

Code Section

93-17-1, et seq.; No

Who May Be Adopted

Any person

Age that Child's Consent Needed

14 years and older

Who May Adopt

Any unmarried adult, or husband and wife jointly. Must be Mississippi resident for 90 days preceding filing except under certain circumstances; couples of the same gender are prohibited from adopting.

Home Residency Required Prior to Finalization of Adoption?

6 months; waiting period may be shortened if child resided in adoptive home prior to entry of interlocutory decree or is stepchild of petitioner.

State Agency/Court

Dept. of Human Services/Public Welfare/Chancery

Statute of Limitations to Challenge

6 months to challenge interlocutory decree; or 6 mos. from date of final decree

Mississippi law allows any person to be adopted, although after the age of 14, the adoptee must consent to the adoption. And while any unmarried adult may adopt regardless of sexual orientation, state law does not permit 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.

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

Contact a qualified attorney.