Maggio Law Firm, PC

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Growing your family through foster care adoption

Adoption can be a wonderful way to grow your family, and there are many children in Mississippi's foster care system who need homes. However, there is a process parents must go through when adopting a child through foster care.

First of all, the parents must call the state Foster/Adoption hotline in order to receive further information and obtain an application. After the parents' application is received by the Mississippi Department of Human Services, it will be evaluated to make sure that the parents fulfill all of the necessary requirements to adopt a child. After that, the parents' names may be added to a waiting list.

Following this, the parents will go through five weekly training sessions. There are a number of issues that will be discussed in these training sessions. First, parents will learn how a child is brought into the custody of the MDHS. Second, parents will learn how to explain to the child what adoption is. Third, parents will learn about how the process of separation and attachment works. Fourth, parents will learn the basics of how a child develops. Finally, parents will learn techniques for managing their child's behavior.

Next, there will be a home study. This involves having a number of interviews with a social worker to discuss both the practicalities of adoption as well as the emotional issues involved. This will allow the social worker to decide if the parents are ready to adopt a child and whether the child would be a good fit for the adoptive family.

After this, the placement process will begin. At first, the parents and the child will visit for short periods of time, which will gradually lead up to an overnight stay. Once the social worker believes all parties are ready, they will make the necessary arrangements for the child to be placed in the parents' care.

Finally, after the child is placed in the parents' care, the social worker will visit the home a number of times over a period of six months to help all parties adjust, after which the adoption can be finalized by the court.

There are many personal reasons why parents in Mississippi would may want to adopt a child through foster care. However, before they embark on such an endeavor, it may help to consult with a family law attorney to learn more about the process.

Source: MDHS, "How to Adopt a Child Through Foster Care," accessed Aug. 15, 2016

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