The adoption process can dramatically improve the lives of both children and parents in Gulfport. However, in order for the adoption process to be successful, the parties must follow all legal requirements for adoption in Mississippi.
If a married couple wishes to adopt a child, the spouses can file a joint petition for adoption. Otherwise, a single person may also adopt a child. The petition must be filed in the county chancery court where the adoptive parent or parents live, where the child lives, where the child was found or where the child currently lives.
A doctor's certificate accompanies the petition. The certificate states the physical and mental health of the child. If the child has physical or mental health problems, the adoptive parents must sign an affidavit stating that they are aware of the problems. The petition will also be accompanied by a sworn statement listing all of the child's property.
In order for a child to undergo the adoption process, the child's biological parents must provide their written consent. If the biological mother is not married, only her consent is legally required, but the biological father's consent should still be acquired if possible. If the parents are both deceased, two adult relatives must provide consent. If the child is over 14-years-old, the child's consent must be acquired as well.
After the proper legal steps are taken, the adoptive parents may get immediate custody of the child. The process to get the adoption finalized sometimes takes up to six months, depending on the circumstances. Once finalized, the family law judge orders the issuance of a new birth certificate with the adoptive parents' names on it. The old birth certificate is sealed, and the documentation of the adoption is confidential and cannot be released without a court order or consent of the biological parent.