Mississippi

Mississippi

Adoption

Access to Adoption Records

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Who May Access Information
Citation: Ann. Code § 93-17-207

Nonidentifying information may be provided to:

  • The adopted person who is age 18 or older
  • The adoptive parent
  • The legal guardian or custodian of an adopted person
  • The offspring or birth sibling of an adopted person if the requester is age 18 or older

Identifying information is available to the adopted person who is age 21 or older.

Access to Nonidentifying Information
Citation: Ann. Code §§ 93-17-205; 93-17-207; 93-17-209

The Bureau of Vital Statistics shall maintain a centralized adoption records file for all adoptions performed in this State after July 1, 2005 that shall include the following information:

  • The medical and social history of the birth parents, including information regarding genetically inheritable diseases and any similar information about the adopted person’s grandparents, aunts, uncles, brothers, and sisters, if known
  • A report of any medical examination that either birth parent had within 1 year before the date of the petition for adoption, if available and known
  • A report describing the adopted person’s prenatal care and medical condition at birth, if available and known
  • The medical and social history of the adopted person, including information regarding genetically inheritable diseases, and any other relevant medical, social, and genetic information, if available

Any birth parent may file with the bureau at any time any relevant supplemental nonidentifying information about the adopted person or the birth parents, and the bureau shall maintain this information in the centralized adoption records file.

Nonidentifying information shall be released for a reasonable fee to any qualified person listed above. If the information is not on file, the adopted person may request the bureau to locate the birth parent and obtain the information.

If an agency receives a report from a physician that a birth parent or another child of the birth parent may have a genetically transferable disease, the agency shall notify the adopted person of the existence of the disease if he or she is age 21 or older, or the adopted person’s guardian, custodian, or adoptive parent if he or she is under age 21. If an agency receives a report from a physician that an adopted person may have a genetically transferable disease, the agency shall notify the adopted person’s birth parent of the existence of the disease.

Mutual Access to Identifying Information
Citation: Ann. Code §§ 93-17-205; 93-17-215; 93-17-217; 93-17-219

The bureau shall maintain as part of the centralized adoption records file the following:

  • The name, date of birth, Social Security number (both original and revised, where applicable), and birth certificate (both original and revised) of the adopted person
  • The names, current addresses, and Social Security numbers of the adopted person’s birth parents, guardian, and legal custodian
  • Any other available information about the birth parent’s identity and location

The birth parent may file with the bureau at any time an affidavit authorizing the bureau to provide the adopted person with his or her original birth certificate and with any other available information about the birth parent’s identity and location, or an affidavit expressly prohibiting the bureau from releasing any information about his or her identity and location, and prohibiting any licensed adoption agency from conducting a search for such birth parent. An affidavit filed under this section may be revoked at any time by written notification to the bureau.

An adopted person age 21 or older may request identifying information regarding either birth parent, unless that birth parent has executed an affidavit prohibiting the release of such information. The adopted person must submit to counseling in connection with any release.

If an affidavit is not on file, the adopted person may request the agency to undertake a search for the birth parent who has not filed an affidavit.

Access to Original Birth Certificate
Citation: Ann. Code §§ 93-17-21; 93-17-205

The original birth certificate shall not be a public record and shall not be divulged except upon the order of the court or pursuant to §§ 93-17-201 through 93-17-223.

The birth parent may file with the bureau at any time an affidavit authorizing the bureau to provide the adopted person with his or her original birth certificate, or an affidavit expressly prohibiting the release of any information. The affidavit may be revoked at any time by written notification to the bureau.

Where the Information Can Be Located

  • Mississippi Department of Health, Vital Records
  • The licensed agency involved in the adoption

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Collection of Family Information About Adopted Persons and Their Birth Families

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Agency or Person Preparing the Report
Citation: Ann. Code § 93-17-205
The Bureau of Vital Records of the Mississippi State Board of Health shall maintain a centralized adoption records file for all adoptions performed in this State after July 1, 2005.

Contents of Report About the Adopted Person
Citation: Ann. Code § 93-17-3
The adoption 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 and a sworn statement of all property, if any, owned by the child.If the doctor’s or nurse practitioner’s certificate indicates any abnormal mental or physical condition or defect, the condition or defect shall not in the discretion of the chancellor bar the adoption of the child if the adopting parent or parents file an affidavit stating full and complete knowledge of the condition or defect and stating a desire to adopt the child, notwithstanding the condition or defect.

Contents of Report About the Birth Family
Citation: Ann. Code §§ 93-17-205; 93-17-207
The adoptive parents may access nonidentifying information about the child’s birth family from the centralized adoption records file. Available information may include:

  • The medical and social histories of the birth parents, including information regarding genetically inheritable diseases or illnesses and any similar information furnished by the birth parents about the adopted person’s grandparents, aunts, uncles, brothers, and sisters
  • A report of any medical examination that either birth parent had within 1 year before the date of the petition for adoption, if available
  • A report describing the adoptee’s prenatal care and medical condition at birth, if available
  • The medical and social histories of the adopted person, including information regarding genetically inheritable diseases or illnesses, and any other relevant medical, social, and genetic information

When the Report Is Made
Citation: Ann. Code § 93-17-3
The report on the child’s condition must be filed with the adoption petition. Information about the birth family may be accessed at any time from the centralized adoption records file.

Exceptions for Stepparent or Relative Adoptions

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.

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Intestate Inheritance Rights for Adopted Children

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Birth Parents in Relation to Adopted Person
Citation: Ann. Code § 93-17-13
The birth parents and their relatives shall not inherit by or through the adopted child, except for a birth parent who is the spouse of the adopting parent.

Adoptive Parents in Relation to Adopted Person
Citation: Ann. Code § 93-17-13
The adopted child shall inherit from and through the adoptive parent(s) and other children of the adoptive parent(s) by the laws of descent and distribution of the State of Mississippi, and likewise the adoptive parent(s) and their other children shall inherit from the adopted child.

Adopted Persons Who Are Not Included in a Will

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.

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State Recognition of Intercountry Adoptions Finalized Abroad

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Effect and Recognition of a Foreign Adoption Decree

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.

Readoption After an Intercountry Adoption

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.

Application for a U.S. Birth Certificate
Citation: Ann. Code § 93-17-21(2)

Either an original or a revised birth certificate may be issued by the Bureau of Vital Statistics to any child who was born outside the United States or its possessions and adopted by an order of a court in this State. Upon presentation of a certified copy of the final decree of adoption containing the required information, the Director of the Bureau of Vital Statistics shall be authorized and directed to receive the certified copy of the decree of adoption and prepare and record a birth certificate that shall disclose the following information:

  • The adopted name of the child
  • The child’s race, sex, and date of birth
  • The child’s place of birth (the actual town, district, and county, except when the child is born in a penal or mental institution when the name of the county shall be sufficient)
  • The names, race, ages, places of birth, and occupation of the adoptive parents, including the maiden name of the adoptive mother

The certificate shall have the appearance and indicia for a ‘revised’ certificate issued to a child born in this State. The Director of the Bureau of Vital Statistics shall be authorized and directed to issue certified copies thereof, the same as if the birth certificate were that of a child who had never been adopted.


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