Knoxville Adoption Lawyers
Decades of Experience with Tennessee’s Adoption Process
Adopting a child can be a rewarding experience. Moving through the adoption process, however, can be challenging, as the process is complex and requires the help of a skilled attorney. At Held Law Firm, our highly-proficient attorneys have the knowledge, resources, skills, and tools you need to manage every phase of the adoption process.
Adoption in Tennessee
The legal requirements for adoption under Tennessee law are:
- You must be at least 21 years old
- If you are not related to the child, you must have been a resident of the state for at least six months (exceptions may be made for military personnel)
- You must demonstrate that you can financially and emotionally manage the care of your adopted child
Unmarried couples are not allowed to adopt, but married, divorced, single, and LGBT parents are permitted. Whether or not a potential parent currently has children and their current work status will not affect eligibility. However, potential parents are encouraged to carefully consider whether adoption is right for their situation.
The Adoption Process
Tennessee recognizes various types of adoption, such as stepparent adoptions, foster parent adoptions, adult adoptions, private adoptions, and adoptions processed through domestic and international agencies. Adoptions within the state are done through a specific framework subject to regulations and procedures set by the county where you plan to adopt.
If you are currently a foster parent with Tennessee’s Department of Children’s Services (DCS) and are currently caring for a foster child, you will be the first option if that child becomes available for adoption. If you are not currently a foster parent and have been identified as a potential adoptive parent, you will have to undergo required self-assessments and education through Tennessee KEY training. This is to help you understand the adoptive child’s feelings as well as your family’s strengths.
If you are not currently a foster parent, DCS requires you to undergo a formal home study by a licensed agency. This is to ensure your home will be safe and productive for the prospective child. At the conclusion of this home study, the agency will have a written description of your family, references regarding your parenting skills, financial statements, medical records, and other verifications. This is to determine if the child will be a good fit for you and your family.
Diligent Legal Assistance for Adoptive Parents
At Held Law Firm, we have the experience, resources, and skills needed to help you navigate all aspects of the adoption process, from meeting initial requirements to handling any issues that arise. We take pride in helping clients grow their family by giving children loving homes.
To learn more, contact us at (865) 685-4780 today.
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Over 50 Years of Experience in Family Law