Many people in Mississippi want to have a child of their own to love, care for and raise, and for some of them, adopting a child is a way for them to begin a family. Adoption is a noble act, but prospective parents should be aware that there are a number of steps on the path towards adopting a child.
First of all, prospective parents will contact the state foster or adoption hotline to obtain further information along with an application. After filling out the application and returning it, the application will go through an evaluation process in order to see if the prospective parents fall under the minimum requirements to adopt, such as age and income requirements, as well how long they have been married. At this point, the prospective parents' names may be added to a waiting list.
If the prospective parents' application is approved, they will then go to five weekly training sessions. These sessions address a variety of topics pertinent to adoption. For example, they may go over child development, how parents can talk to their child about adoption, how to effectively manage a child's behavior and they can go over the process of separation and attachment.
After that, there will be a home study. This includes a number of interviews with a social worker, where both the emotional and practical matters regarding the adoption will be discussed. These interviews help the social worker and the potential parents decide if they are truly ready to adopt and if so what type of child would best fit into their lives.
Finally, there is placement. At first the parents and child will have short visits. These visits will expand overtime until there are overnight visits. When the social worker deems everyone is ready, the child will be placed in the parents' home. The social worker will continue to visit the family for a minimum of six months until a recommendation can be made to have the court finalize the adoption.
It may seem like a lengthy process for parents who are anxious to adopt. However, the wait is worth it in the end when parents are able to bring an adoptive child into their family. Of course, it can also help to have the help of a family law attorney every step of the way, to ensure the process runs smoothly.
Source: Mississippi Department of Human Services, "How to Adopt a Child," Accessed Oct. 24, 2016