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Mississippi Foster and Adoption Guidelines
Every child deserves a home in which to grow and prosper. Adults also need the connections that a family brings. Please let us help you on your adoption and foster journey.
Things You Should Know
- Foster and Adoption Licensing Requirements
- Costs to Foster and Adopt
- Agency Contact and Orientation Information
- Parent Support Groups
- Information on Mississippi's Waiting Children
Minimum Requirements include:
- Completion of required agency forms
- Medical information completed by a physician
- You can be single or married. If married, couples must be legally married for at least two years
- Verification of marriages and divorces, if applicable
- Currently reside in the state of Mississippi
- Applicants must be between the ages of 21 and 65 years
- 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 for a child with special needs
- Child must have his or her own bed, and no adult or child of the opoosite 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
There are fees involved for homestudies completed by some private agencies. However, many families use low-cost or almost no-cost adoption and foster options every year.
- Bethany Christian Services
Contact: Karen Stewart
Address: 2624 Southerland, Jackson, MS 39216
Description of Adoption Services: Birthparent counseling during pregnancy, domestic adoptions (infant), international adoptions, interim care for newborns (foster care).
Catholic Charities, Inc.
Contact: Angela Griffin
Address: 200 N. Congress Street, Suite 100, Jackson, MS 39201
Description of Adoption Services: Pre and post-placement services for adoptive families, services to birth parents, and counseling available throughout the life of an adopted child.
Catholic Social & Community Services, Inc.
Contact: Jennifer Williams
Address: 1790 Popps Ferry Road, Biloxi, MS 39532
Description of Adoption Services: Homestudy and post-placement reports, domestic adoptions, information seminars about international adoptions, pre- and post-adoption support services.
Catholic Charities Therapeutic Foster Care
Address: 748 North President St., Jackson, MS 39202
Description of Foster Care Services: Therapeutic Foster Care services in Hinds, Rankin, and Madison counties.
Harden House Adoption Program
Contact: Pat Sartain
Address: 1800 N. Gloster St., Suite A, Tupelo, MS 38804
Description of Adoption Services: Harden House Adoption Program recruits and trains families to provide a permanent placement for children who are in the foster care system. Pre- and post-adoption services to families including crisis intervention, buddy family network, respite, support groups for parents and teens, adoption family retreat, and on-going adoptive parent and professional training.
MS Children’s Home Services
Contact: Jerri Strickland
Phone: (601) 352-7784
Address: 1900 North West St., Jackson, MS 39202
Description of Adoption Services: Infant adoption, special needs and Russian adoptions. The agency provides homestudies for families who are networking to adopt domestically or internationally as well as provides post placement visits. Worker on-call 24 hours at toll free number: 800-388-6247
MS Department Of Human Services
Contact: Edna Mclendon
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 352, Jackson, MS 39205
Description of Adoption Services: Adoption assistance, adoption training sessions, free home studies if adopting special needs children in the state, and pre- and post-adoption placement services. Contractual agreements for placement of children with private agencies. Placement of abandoned and “safe” babies in foster and adoptive homes. Assist in payment for attorneys’ fees for children 6 and older and children under 6 with diagnosed special needs; Sponsor adoption picnics and celebrations for recruitment purposes; Quarterly placement committee meetings for placement of special needs children; Searches for adopted children that were in the custody of the state. The MS Adoption Resource Exchange provides the following services: Media coverage for children in state custody, such as Wednesday’s Child; Free incoming calls on hotline and online application.
MS Families For Kids
Contact: Britney Johns
Address: 620 North State St., Suite 304, Jackson, MS 39202
Description of Adoption Services: Older special needs; international adoptions; limited infant adoptions. The agency specializes in sibling group placement. Children 3 years old and up represent the largest number of children the agency works with.
Contact: Mildred Williams
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 4799, Jackson, MS 39296
Description of Foster Care Services: The agency specializes foster care.
Contact: Marcus Davenport, Debbie Velie or Renae Hellen
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 7055, Tupelo, MS 38804
Description of Adoption Services: domestic adoption, maternity care program; international adoption from Haiti, Nepal, Poland, Ukraine; other countries available through NCAF partners; Hague accredited.
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.
Library materials can be viewed at the Harden House Adoption Program or by emailing the Harden House Adoption Program at firstname.lastname@example.org or contacting the office at 888-893-7318. Materials will be mailed with return mailing instructions.
There are 3,700 children in foster care in Mississippi; 148 of these children are waiting for adoptive families.