Gay Pine Belt couple legally adopts son

Gay Pine Belt couple legally adopts son

HATTIESBURG, MS - The deadline has passed for the state to oppose the federal same sex adoption, and the first couple in the Pine Belt wasted no time getting to the Forrest County Chancery Court Wednesday.

Russ Royals and Donnie Cleveland had legal guardianship over their son John, but when Royals decided to legally adopt their son, Cleveland had to give up all of his legal rights.

The couple said that was a difficult time for them as a family.

"There was nothing legally that I could do. If something happened to me, I was left out of the picture, and he could go to anyone," Cleveland said.

On Wednesday, a judge signed the papers to complete the adoption so that both Royals and Cleveland are legal parents.

"He's mine, praise God he's mine, the legal battle is over," Cleveland said.

"I am just on cloud nine. This is four years in the making," Royals added.

Coincidentally, Royals adopted their son exactly one year ago.