While family law sometimes gets a reputation for being all about the end of homes and relationships, one of the most important things family law courts do is create new families through the adoption process.
Like the other states, Mississippi has a set of statutes and other rules which apply to adoptions in this state. The rules are designed to allow children to be placed with loving adoptive parents when there is a need while at the same time protecting both the interests of those children and the rights of their biological parents.
Relatively speaking, adoptions are easier when the parents, or parent in the case of a stepparent adoption, consent to the adoption. However, there are still some procedural requirements that an adoptive parent will have to follow, and the judge still has to find that the adoption is in the best interests of the child.
An adoption to which the biological parents object is much more difficult to accomplish. In such cases, the person who wants to adopt the child will have to show, by what is called clear and convincing evidence, that he or she is legally entitled to adopt over the parents’ objections.
There are actually several reasons that can legally justify an adoption even over a parent’s objection. Basically, though, the adoptive parent is going to have to show that the child’s biological parent is permanently unwilling or unable to fulfill the parental role.
Even uncontested adoptions can be complicated, and battles relating to an adoption will likely require litigating in court. A person who is interested in adoption, including a stepparent or a child’s close relative, will likely want to get the assistance of an experienced family law attorney who can help the person evaluate legal options.