2010 Mississippi Code
TITLE 93 - DOMESTIC RELATIONS
Chapter 17 - Adoption, Change of Name, and Legitimation of Children.
93-17-5 - Parties to adoption proceeding; consent of child; unmarried father's rights.
§ 93-17-5. Parties to adoption proceeding; consent of child; unmarried father's rights.
(1) There shall be made parties to the proceeding by process or by the filing therein of a consent to the adoption proposed in the petition, which consent shall be duly sworn to or acknowledged and executed only by the following persons, but not before seventy-two (72) hours after the birth of said child: (a) the parents, or parent, if only one (1) parent, though either be under the age of twenty-one (21) years; or, (b) in the event both parents are dead, then any two (2) adult kin of the child within the third degree computed according to the civil law, provided that, if one of such kin is in possession of the child, he or she shall join in the petition or be made a party to the suit; or, (c) the guardian ad litem of an abandoned child, upon petition showing that the names of the parents of such child are unknown after diligent search and inquiry by the petitioners. In addition to the above, there shall be made parties to any proceeding to adopt a child, either by process or by the filing of a consent to the adoption proposed in the petition, the following:
(i) Those persons having physical custody of such child, except persons having such child as foster parents as a result of placement with them by the Department of Human Services of the State of Mississippi.
(ii) Any person to whom custody of such child may have been awarded by a court of competent jurisdiction of the State of Mississippi.
(iii) The agent of the county Department of Human Services of the State of Mississippi that has placed a child in foster care, either by agreement or by court order.
(2) Such consent may also be executed and filed by the duly authorized officer or representative of a home to whose care the child has been delivered. The child shall join the petition by its next friend.
(3) In the case of a child born out of wedlock, the father shall not have a right to object to an adoption unless he has demonstrated, within the period ending thirty (30) days after the birth of the child, a full commitment to the responsibilities of parenthood. Determination of the rights of the father of a child born out of wedlock may be made in proceedings pursuant to a petition for determination of rights as provided in Section 93-17-6.
(4) If such consent be not filed, then process shall be had upon the parties as provided by law for process in person or by publication, if they be nonresidents of the state or are not found therein, after diligent search and inquiry, or are unknown after diligent search and inquiry; provided that the court or chancellor in vacation may fix a date in termtime or in vacation to which process may be returnable and shall have power to proceed in termtime or vacation. In any event, if the child is more than fourteen (14) years of age, a consent to the adoption, sworn to or acknowledged by the child, shall also be required or personal service of process shall be had upon the child in the same manner and in the same effect as if it were an adult.
Sources: Codes, 1942, § 1269-03; Laws, 1955, Ex. ch. 34, § 3; Laws, 1964, ch. 309, §§ 1, 2; Laws, 1998, ch. 516, § 13; Laws, 1999, ch. 507, § 1; Laws, 2002, ch. 533, § 1, eff from and after July 1, 2002.
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