2005 Regular Session
To: Judiciary A
By: Representative Holland
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 93-17-11, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REQUIRE THAT IN ALL ADOPTIONS OTHER THAN FAMILY ADOPTIONS, THE COURT SHALL REQUIRE THAT A HOME STUDY BE PERFORMED BEFORE A FINAL DECREE IS ENTERED IN THE PROCEEDING, AT THE PETITIONERS' SOLE EXPENSE, TO DETERMINE WHETHER THE PETITIONERS ARE SUITABLE PARENTS FOR THE CHILD; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 93-17-11, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
93-17-11. At any time after the filing of the petition for adoption and completion of process thereon, and before the entering of a final decree, the court may, in its discretion, of its own motion or on motion of any party to the proceeding, require an investigation * * * and report to the court to be made by any person, officer or home as the court may designate and direct concerning the child, and shall require in all adoptions other than family adoptions that a home study be performed by a duly licensed and qualified social worker at the petitioner's or petitioners' sole expense and at no cost to the state or county. The investigation and report shall give the material facts upon which the court may determine whether the child is a proper subject for adoption, whether the petitioner or petitioners are suitable parents for the child, whether the adoption is to its best interest, and any other facts or circumstances that may be material to the proposed adoption. The home study shall determine whether the petitioner or petitioners are suitable parents for the child. The court, when an investigation and report are required by the court or by this section, shall stay the proceedings in the cause for such reasonable time as may be necessary or required in the opinion of the court for the completion of the investigation and report by the person, officer or home designated and authorized to make the same.
Upon the filing of that consent or the completion of the process and the filing of the investigation and report, if required by the court or by this section, and the presentation of such other evidence as may be desired by the court, if the court determines that it is to the best interests of the child that an interlocutory decree of adoption be entered, the court may thereupon enter an interlocutory decree upon such terms and conditions as may be determined by the court, in its discretion, but including therein that the complete care, custody and control of the child shall be vested in the petitioner or petitioners until further orders of the court and that during such time the child shall be and remain a ward of the court. If the court determines by decree at any time during the pendency of the proceeding that it is not to the best interests of the child that the adoption proceed, the petitioners shall be entitled to at least five (5) days' notice upon their attorneys of record and a hearing with the right of appeal as provided by law from a dismissal of the petition; however, the bond perfecting the appeal shall be filed within ten (10) days from the entry of the decree of dismissal and the bond shall be in such amount as the chancellor may determine and supersedeas may be granted by the chancellor or as otherwise provided by law for appeal from final decrees.
After the entry of the interlocutory decree and before entry of the final decree, the court may require such further and additional investigation and reports as it may deem proper. The rights of the parties filing the consent or served with process shall be subject to the decree but shall not be divested until entry of the final decree.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2005.