One of life’s most gratifying experiences is giving a home to a child in need of one. At Malouf & Malouf, our attorneys can help make that a reality for you. In Mississippi, before you can proceed with an adoption, the biological parents’ legal rights to the child must first be terminated. There are several ways this can be achieved. The easiest way is to obtain the consent of the biological parent or parents. The second method parental rights are terminated is by the death of the biological parent. The third and most difficult method to terminate parental rights is to convince a judge that the statutory grounds for involuntary termination of parental rights are present. The following is a non-exhaustive list of the statutory grounds for involuntary termination of parental rights: (1) the parent’s desertion or abandonment of the child, (2) the parent’s failure to have any contact with a child under the age of three for six months or a child three years of age or older for one year, (3) child abuse, (4) the parent has a diagnosable alcohol, drug addiction, or mental illness which makes the parent unable to assume minimally acceptable care of the child, or (5) the parent has been convicted of certain crimes against children.
The termination of one parent’s parental rights does not terminate the other parent’s rights. One of the most common adoption situations is Step-Parent adoptions. If you are a Step-Parent and want to adopt, the parental rights of the biological parent must first be terminated as outlined above. Regardless of the facts of your specific situation, our experienced adoption attorneys will work to assist you through the entire process.