2010 Mississippi Code
TITLE 93 - DOMESTIC RELATIONS
Chapter 17 - Adoption, Change of Name, and Legitimation of Children.
93-17-3 - Jurisdiction for adoption proceedings; who may be adopted; who may adopt; venue of adoption proceedings; certificate of child's condition; change of name; adoption by couples of same gender prohibited; completion of home study.

§ 93-17-3. Jurisdiction for adoption proceedings; who may be adopted; who may adopt; venue of adoption proceedings; certificate of child's condition; change of name; adoption by couples of same gender prohibited; completion of home study.
 

(1)  Except as otherwise provided in subsections (2) and (3), a court of this state has jurisdiction over a proceeding for the adoption of a minor commenced under this chapter if: 

(a) Immediately before commencement of the proceeding, the minor lived in this state with a parent, a guardian, a prospective adoptive parent or another person acting as parent, for at least six (6) consecutive months, excluding periods of temporary absence, or, in the case of a minor under six (6) months of age, lived in this state from soon after birth with any of those individuals and there is available in this state substantial evidence concerning the minor's present or future care; 

(b) Immediately before commencement of the proceeding, the prospective adoptive parent lived in this state for at least six (6) consecutive months, excluding periods of temporary absence, and there is available in this state substantial evidence concerning the minor's present or future care; 

(c) The agency that placed the minor for adoption is licensed in this state and it is in the best interest of the minor that a court of this state assume jurisdiction because: 

(i) The minor and the minor's parents, or the minor and the prospective adoptive parent, have a significant connection with this state; and 

(ii) There is available in this state substantial evidence concerning the minor's present or future care; 

(d) The minor and the prospective adoptive parent are physically present in this state and the minor has been abandoned or it is necessary in an emergency to protect the minor because the minor has been subjected to or threatened with mistreatment or abuse or is otherwise neglected; or 

(e) It appears that no other state would have jurisdiction under prerequisites substantially in accordance with paragraphs (a) through (d), or another state has declined to exercise jurisdiction on the ground that this state is the more appropriate forum to hear a petition for adoption of the minor, and it is in the best interest of the minor that a court of this state assume jurisdiction. 

(2)  A court of this state may not exercise jurisdiction over a proceeding for adoption of a minor if, at the time the petition for adoption is filed, a proceeding concerning the custody or adoption of the minor is pending in a court of another state exercising jurisdiction substantially in conformity with the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act or this section unless the proceeding is stayed by the court of the other state. 

(3)  If a court of another state has issued a decree or order concerning the custody of a minor who may be the subject of a proceeding for adoption in this state, a court of this state may not exercise jurisdiction over a proceeding for adoption of the minor unless: 

(a) The court of this state finds that the court of the state which issued the decree or order: 

(i) Does not have continuing jurisdiction to modify the decree or order under jurisdictional prerequisites substantially in accordance with the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act or has declined to assume jurisdiction to modify the decree or order; or 

(ii) Does not have jurisdiction over a proceeding for adoption substantially in conformity with subsection (1) (a) through (d) or has declined to assume jurisdiction over a proceeding for adoption; and 

(b) The court of this state has jurisdiction over the proceeding. 

(4)  Any person may be adopted in accordance with the provisions of this chapter in term time or in vacation by an unmarried adult or by a married person whose spouse joins in the petition. The adoption shall be by sworn petition filed in the chancery court of the county in which the adopting petitioner or petitioners reside or in which the child to be adopted resides or was born, or was found when it was abandoned or deserted, or in which the home is located to which the child has been surrendered by a person authorized to so do. The petition shall be accompanied by a doctor's or nurse practitioner's certificate showing the physical and mental condition of the child to be adopted and a sworn statement of all property, if any, owned by the child. In addition, the petition shall be accompanied by affidavits of the petitioner or petitioners stating the amount of the service fees charged by any adoption agencies or adoption facilitators used by the petitioner or petitioners and any other expenses paid by the petitioner or petitioners in the adoption process as of the time of filing the petition. If the doctor's or nurse practitioner's certificate indicates any abnormal mental or physical condition or defect, the condition or defect shall not in the discretion of the chancellor bar the adoption of the child if the adopting parent or parents file an affidavit stating full and complete knowledge of the condition or defect and stating a desire to adopt the child, notwithstanding the condition or defect. The court shall have the power to change the name of the child as a part of the adoption proceedings. The word "child" in this section shall be construed to refer to the person to be adopted, though an adult. 

(5)  Adoption by couples of the same gender is prohibited. 

(6)  No person may be adopted before a court ordered home study of the prospective adopting parties is satisfactorily completed if required by Section 93-17-11. 
 

Sources: Codes, 1942, § 1269-02; Laws,  1955, Ex. ch. 34, § 2; Laws, 1973, ch. 361, § 1; Laws, 1994, ch. 437, § 1; Laws, 2000, ch. 535, § 1; Laws, 2004, ch. 527, § 1; Laws, 2006, ch. 382, § 1; Laws, 2007, ch. 496, § 4, eff from and after July 1, 2007.
 

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