2002 Regular Session
To: Judiciary A
By: Representative Montgomery (15th)
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 93-17-3, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE THAT PERSONS DELINQUENT IN CHILD SUPPORT OBLIGATIONS MAY NOT ADOPT A CHILD; TO AUTHORIZE BACKGROUND CHECKS TO VERIFY ANY DELINQUENCY; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 93-17-3, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
93-17-3. (1) 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, provided that the petitioner or petitioners shall have resided in this state for ninety (90) days preceding the filing of the petition. However, if (a) the petitioner or petitioners, or one (1) of them, be related to the child within the third degree according to civil law, or if (b) the adoption is presented to the court by an adoption agency licensed by the State of Mississippi, said residence restriction shall not apply. Such 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 shall have 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, a sworn statement of all property, if any owned by the child, and a sworn statement that the petitioners are not delinquent in any child support. Should the doctor's or nurse practitioner's certificate indicate any abnormal mental or physical condition or defect, such condition or defect shall not in the discretion of the chancellor bar the adoption of the child if the adopting parent or parents shall file an affidavit stating full and complete knowledge of such condition or defect and stating a desire to adopt the child, notwithstanding such 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" herein shall be construed to refer to the person to be adopted, though an adult.
(2) Adoption by couples of the same gender is prohibited.
(3) Any person who wishes to adopt a child shall not be delinquent in any child support. The court may order a background check to determine if the petitioners are delinquent in any child support. If it is determined that the petitioners are delinquent in child support, an adoption order may not be granted.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2002.