Maggio Law Firm, PC

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It's unwise to skirt laws, especially where adoption is concerned

Adoption is a legal process that can be very complicated. If you are an adult in Mississippi with an interest in growing your family through this means, it is important that you understand what the laws call for in the state.

If your adoption proceeding is one that involves a child from another state, the thicket of legal compliance gets even thicker. State laws differ but adherence is still required. If you are seeking to adopt a child from another country, be ready for proceedings that are even more rigorous. And regardless of who you may be, you need to be ready to toe the legal line.

This may be something that celebrity Chris Rock and his estranged wife, Malaak Compton-Rock, are coming to appreciate as they are reportedly under investigation by South African authorities. In question is whether or not Rock and his wife brought a child out of South Africa without following the proper legal procedures.

The 7-year-old girl has been with the Rocks and their two older biological daughters at the family's New Jersey estate since 2008. She reportedly entered the country on tourist visa at that time. In 2010, countering media speculation about the child, Rock representatives said she was the daughter of a South African family friend. But in that same year, Compton-Rock identified the girl as the newest addition to the family in the dedication of a book she had written.

The true status of the child is something of a mystery. The couple split in 2014 after 19 years of marriage and since then, Rock has spent time with his biological daughters but reportedly has not had contact with the little girl.

Compton-Rock denies that there is anything improper going on. The New York Daily News quotes her attorney as saying that the child is in contact with her birth parents and that his client is in the process of trying to formally adopt her. Further, he says his client has never been contacted about any police investigation.

Clearly, adoption is a serious issue. The law can be unforgiving if statutes are not followed. If you have questions about adoption, seek the help of an attorney to be sure of your rights and obligations.

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