Mississippi foster and adoption guidelines

Every child deserves a home. Adults also need the connections that a family brings. Please let us help you on your adoption and foster journey.

For information about becoming a foster parent in Mississippi, please contact:

Tamika Garner, LSW, program manager
Mississippi Department of Child Protection Services Foster Care Unit
Phone: 601-359-4262
Email: tamika.garner@mdhs.ms.gov

For more information about adopting a child from foster care in Mississippi, please contact:

Carolyn D. Quin, LMSW, MS, CHES
Mississippi Department of Child Protection Services Adoption Unit
Office: 601-359-4280
Email: carolyn.quin@mdhs.ms.gov

Things you should know

Foster and adoption licensing requirements

Minimum requirements include:

  • Completion of required agency forms.
  • Medical information completed by a physician.
  • You can be single or married.
  • Verification of marriages and divorces, if applicable.
  • Currently reside in the state of Mississippi.
  • Applicants must be at least 21 years of age.
  • Child Abuse Registry checks for all adults in the home.
  • Police record clearance for all adults in the home.
  • References for employment and character.
  • Sanitation and water inspection, if not on approved system.
  • Home visits and interviews with all household members.
  • Active telephone service in the home.
  • Smoke alarm and no less than a four-pound ABC-type fire extinguisher.
  • Minimum income that proves applicant is self-supporting and could financially meet the needs of an additional family member.
  • Transportation available at all times.
  • Participate in at least 15 hours of pre-service training.
  • Child must have his or her own bed, and no adult or child of the opposite sex may sleep in the same room with him or her.
  • Life insurance coverage for family, child and a plan for the child in the event of disability or death of parent.

Costs to foster and adopt

There are fees involved for home studies completed by some private agencies. However, many families use low-cost or almost no-cost adoption and foster options every year.

Agency contact and orientation information

View a list of Mississippi Licensed Child Placing Agencies.

Parent support groups

Parent Support Groups are a network of foster and adoptive parents lead by Partners in Permanency’s post adoption program. Information about a support group in your area can be located by calling 800-748-3005 and asking for Dorothy.

Southern Christian Services For Children and Youth offers a lending library.  Please learn more about available topics, read their instructions, and view the online check out form, or call them at 601-354-0983. Materials will be mailed with return mailing instructions.

Information on Mississippi's children

There are 3,700 children in foster care in Mississippi; 148 of these children are waiting for adoptive families.