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In re M.D.T.

November 19, 1998

IN THE MATTER OF THE ADOPTION OF M. D.T.: A.M.T.O. AND M. A. D.
v.
H. S. L. AND J. R. L.



Before Pittman, P.j., Roberts And Smith, JJ.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Pittman, Presiding Justice

DATE OF JUDGMENT: 07/17/97

TRIAL JUDGE: HON. HARVEY T. ROSS

COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: BOLIVAR COUNTY CHANCERY COURT

NATURE OF THE CASE: CIVIL - DOMESTIC RELATIONS

DISPOSITION: AFFIRMED - 11/19/98

MOTION FOR REHEARING FILED:

MANDATE ISSUED:

STATEMENT OF THE CASE

¶1. This case involves an adoption of an infant by the birth mother's uncle and aunt-in-law. Nine (9) years after the consent to adoption was issued by the birth mother and birth father, they now wish to have that adoption declared void for want of jurisdiction. This is an appeal from an Order Dismissing Complaint so ordered by Chancellor Harvey T. Ross, Chancery Court of Bolivar County, Mississippi, Second Judicial District on July 17, 1997.

STATEMENT OF THE FACTS

¶2. On December 23, 1987, A.M.T.O. (birth mother) and M.A.D. (birth father) each signed a Consent to Adoption form in regard to their birth daughter, M.D.T. On January 15, 1998, J.R.L. and H.S.L. (adoptive parents) signed a Petition for Adoption of M.D.T. (born December 18, 1987). On May 27, 1988, Chancellor Bizzell entered a final Decree of Adoption wherein H.S.L. and J.R.L. (adoptive parents) adopted M.D.T. and the child's name was changed to L.J.L.

¶3. On March 27, 1997, A.M.T.O. and M.A.D. (birth parents), filed an Order to Obtain Copies of Confidential Adoption and on April 5, 1997, they filed a Complaint to Set Aside Consents to Adoption and to Set Aside Adoption for Want of Jurisdiction. In the Complaint, the birth parents allege that their original consents to adoption are "void as a matter of law" and "void ab initio" as they were the "product of fraudulent misstatements, fraudulent concealment, duress, coercion, overreaching, and over-persuading" by the adoptive parents and others.

ΒΆ4. On May 6, 1997, Chancellor Harvey T. Ross signed an Order Appointing Guardian Ad Litem. The adoptive parents filed an Answer on May 19, 1997, and a Motion to Stay Discovery and a Motion for Summary ...


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