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Miss. Looking at Making International Adoption Easier

JACKSON, Miss.–A bill is being crafted right now in the Miss. Senate Judiciary A committee that could help people in the state that are looking to adopt internationally.

“The bill is trying to make it easier to adopt,” said Miss. senator Kelvin Butler of District 38. “Trying to make it easier for those parents where they won’t have to get an attorney.”

A meeting on the topic was held Thursday at the state capital and revolved around trying to help parents not have to involve lawyers after they’ve successfully adopted a child from overseas and have got them in the state.

At that point they’re considered a U.S. citizen according to members who spoke at the meeting but parents now have to involve state lawyers most of the time to “re-adopt” the kids once they get them to Mississippi.

“There’s no set fee, every attorney is going to charge differently,” said David Calder Director of the Child Advocacy Clinic at the University of Mississippi Law School. “But generally lawyers charge between $1,000 to $10,000.”

Calder said that financial burden, after already getting the child from overseas, can be another adoption hurdle the state could erase.

The way this would be accomplished is by having a standard set of documents for parents to fill out once they arrive back home and not have to hire a lawyer.

“They would be representing themselves,” said Calder. “Once they’ve arrived back home they’re sometimes trying to save every penny they can.”

The bill will continue to be crafted moving forward and could possibly be brought up in the next legislative session.

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