2010 Mississippi Code
TITLE 93 - DOMESTIC RELATIONS
Chapter 17 - Adoption, Change of Name, and Legitimation of Children.
93-17-7 - Parental objection; causes for termination of unfit parents' rights.

§ 93-17-7. Parental objection; causes for termination of unfit parents' rights.
 

(1)  No infant shall be adopted to any person if either parent, after having been summoned, shall appear and object thereto before the making of a decree for adoption, unless it shall be made to appear to the court from evidence touching such matters that the parent so objecting had abandoned or deserted such infant or is mentally, or morally, or otherwise unfit to rear and train it, including, but not limited to, those matters set out in subsection (2) of this section, in either of which cases the adoption may be decreed notwithstanding the objection of such parent, first considering the welfare of the child, or children sought to be adopted. Provided, however, the parents shall not be summoned in the adoption proceedings nor have the right to object thereto if the parental rights of the parent or parents have been terminated by the procedure set forth in Sections 93-15-101 through 93-15-111, and such termination shall be res judicata on the question of parental abandonment or unfitness in the adoption proceedings. 

(2)  An adoption may be allowed over the objection of a parent where: 

(a) The parent has abused the child. For purposes of this paragraph, abuse means the infliction of physical or mental injury which causes deterioration to the child, sexual abuse, exploitation or overworking of a child to such an extent that his health or moral or emotional well-being is endangered. 

(b) The parent has not consistently offered to provide reasonably necessary food, clothing, appropriate shelter and treatment for the child. For purposes of this paragraph, treatment means medical care or other health services provided in accordance with the tenets of a well-recognized religious method of healing with a reasonable, proven record of success. 

(c) The parent suffers from a medical or emotional illness, mental deficiency, behavior or conduct disorder, severe physical disability, substance abuse or chemical dependency which makes him unable or unwilling to provide an adequate permanent home for the child at the present time or in the reasonably near future based upon expert opinion or based upon an established pattern of behavior. 

(d) Viewed in its entirety, the parent's past or present conduct, including his criminal convictions, would pose a risk of substantial harm to the physical, mental or emotional health of the child. 

(e) The parent has engaged in acts or omissions permitting termination of parental rights under Section 93-15-103. 

(f) The enumeration of conduct or omissions in this subsection (2) in no way limits the court's power to such enumerated conduct or omissions in determining a parent's abandonment or desertion of the child or unfitness under subsection (1) of this section. 
 

Sources: Codes, 1942, § 1269-09; Laws,  1955, Ex. ch. 34, § 9; Laws, 1968, ch. 323, § 1; Laws, 1980, ch. 485, § 6; Laws, 1986, ch. 379; Laws,  1998, ch. 516, § 15; Laws, 1999, ch. 507, § 3; Laws, 2002, ch. 533, § 3, eff from and after July 1, 2002.
 

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