2018 Mississippi Code
Title 93 - Domestic Relations
Chapter 31 - Supporting and Strengthening Families Act
§ 93-31-3. Delegation of powers regarding care and custody of child to attorney-in-fact; revocation or withdrawal; duration of power of attorney.

Universal Citation: MS Code § 93-31-3 (2018)
  • (1)

    • (a) A parent or legal custodian of a child, by means of a properly executed power of attorney as provided in Section 93-31-5, may delegate to another willing person or persons as attorney-in-fact any of the powers regarding the care and custody of the child other than the following:

      • (i) The power to consent to marriage or adoption of the child;

      • (ii) The performance or inducement of an abortion on or for the child; or

      • (iii) The termination of parental rights to the child.

    • (b) A delegation of powers under this section does not:

      • (i) Change or modify any parental or legal rights, obligations, or authority established by an existing court order;

      • (ii) Deprive any custodial or noncustodial parent or legal guardian of any parental or legal rights, obligations, or authority regarding the custody, visitation, or support of the child; or

      • (iii) Affect a court’s ability to determine the best interests of a child.

    • (c) If both parents are living and have shared custody as a matter of law or under an existing court order, both parents must execute the power of attorney.

    • (d) A power of attorney under this chapter must be facilitated by either a child welfare agency that is licensed to place children for adoption and that is operating under the Safe Families for Children model or another charitable organization that is operating under the Safe Families for Children model. A full criminal history and child abuse and neglect background check must be conducted on any person who is not a grandparent, aunt, uncle, or sibling of the child if the person is:

      • (i) Designated or proposed to be designated as the attorney-in-fact; or

      • (ii) Is a person over the age of fifteen (15) who resides in the home of the designated attorney-in-fact.

  • (2) A power of attorney executed under this chapter shall not be used for the sole purposes of enrolling a child in a school to participate in the academic or interscholastic athletic programs provided by that school or for any other unlawful purposes, except as may be permitted by the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (Public Law 114-95).

  • (3) The parent or legal custodian of the child has the authority to revoke or withdraw the power of attorney authorized by this section at any time. Upon the termination, expiration, or revocation of the power of attorney, the child must be returned to the custody of the parent or legal custodian as soon as reasonably possible.

  • (4) Until the authority expires or is revoked or withdrawn by the parent or legal custodian, the attorney-in-fact shall exercise parental or legal authority on a continuous basis without compensation for the duration of the power of attorney.

  • (5) The execution of a power of attorney by a parent or legal custodian does not, in the absence of other evidence, constitute abandonment, desertion, abuse, neglect, or any evidence of unfitness as a parent unless the parent or legal custodian fails to take custody of the child or execute a new power of attorney after the one-year time limit, or after a longer time period as allowed for a serving parent, has elapsed. Nothing in this subsection prevents the Department of Human Services or law enforcement from investigating allegations of abuse, abandonment, desertion, neglect or other mistreatment of a child.

  • (6) When the custody of a child is transferred by a power of attorney under this chapter, the child is not considered to have been placed in foster care and the attorney-in-fact will not be subject to any of the requirements or licensing regulations for foster care or other regulations relating to out-of-home care for children and will not be subject to any statutes or regulations dealing with the licensing or regulation of foster care homes.

  • (7)

    • (a) “Serving parent” means a parent who is a member of the Armed Forces of the United States, including any reserve component thereof, or the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Officer Corps or the Public Health Service of the United States Department of Health and Human Services detailed by proper authority for duty with the Armed Forces of the United States, or who is required to enter or serve in the active military service of the United States under a call or order of the President of the United States or to serve on state active duty.

    • (b) A serving parent may delegate the powers designated in subsection (1) of this section for longer than one (1) year if on active-duty service or if scheduled to be on active-duty service. The term of delegation, however, may not exceed the term of active-duty service plus thirty (30) days.

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