Adopting a child is a life changing experience for everyone involved. It can create a family where none existed or it can add to an existing family. The process of adopting a child, however, can be lengthy, and at times both frustrating and confusing. If you need help understanding the adoption process you should know that there are people who can help you.
There are several different types of adoption that are recognized in the State of Tennessee, including:
- ·Private – private adoptions are often facilitated by an attorney who helps connect a birthmother with a potential adoptive parent.
- ·Agency – involves using a private adoption agency to connect an adoptive parent with a birthmother and/or child available for adoption.
- ·DCS – children who are wards of the state because their parents’ are unable or unwilling to care for them are available for adoption through the Department of Children’s Services.
- ·Family – this includes step-parent adoptions, grandparents adopting a grandchild, or any other inter-family adoption.
- ·Foreign – adopting a child from another country.
The exact procedures involved in adopting a child will vary somewhat, depending on the type of adoption you choose to pursue. Inter-country adoptions are usually the most complicated because you must comply with the laws and procedures of both the country in which the child is located and the United States. On the other end of the spectrum, family adoptions are typically the easiest, assuming everyone involved consents to the adoption.
If you choose to go through an agency or DCS there will be a lengthy application process that typically includes a thorough background check and medical examination for all adults in the home as well as a home study of the family in general. The court process for any adoption also involves filing a Petition to Adopt and notifying all involved parties. Before any child can be adopted anyone with legal rights to the child must either consent to the adoption or have their rights terminated.
If all of this sounds complicated it is because it can be complicated. It can also be heartbreaking to get partway through the process and then have everything fall apart. The best way to avoid complications and ensure that the adoption process proceeds as smoothly as possible is to utilize the services of an experienced Tennessee adoption attorney. Regardless of the type of adoption you choose to pursue, an experienced attorney can guide you through the process and answer all of your questions.
If you are interested in pursuing adoption in the State of Tennessee, consult with the experienced Tennessee adoption attorneys at Bennett, Michael & Hornsby. Contact the team today by calling 615-898-1560 to schedule your appointment.