Nashville Adoption Attorney
The Adoption Lawyer with Brighter Day Law Can Help You Resolve Adoption Issues in Chatham, Davidson County, Montgomery County, Sumner County, Robertson County, Williamson County, Wilson County, and Throughout Middle Tennessee
If you want to add someone new to your family or want to formally recognize a relative as your own child, you can do so with adoption. Adoption is the legal process of transferring parental rights and responsibilities from a child’s biological or current parents to adoptive parents. A qualified Nashville adoption attorney at Brighter DaySM Law can help you with every aspect of your adoption case, so contact an adoption lawyer at our firm today for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.
Table of Contents
- An Experienced Adoption Lawyer Can Help You Understand the Laws, Rules, and Required Qualifications that Apply to Adoption Cases in Tennessee
- Calculate the Expenses of Adoption with Our Nashville Adoption Lawyer
- Adoption vs. Foster Parenting
- Understand the Factors that Impact Consent with Our Adoption Lawyer
- Frequently Asked Questions Answered by Our Nashville Adoption Attorney
An Experienced Adoption Lawyer Can Help You Understand the Laws, Rules, and Required Qualifications that Apply to Adoption Cases in Tennessee
If you are looking to adopt someone as your child, you must be at least 18 years old and a resident of Tennessee. Residency in Tennessee is based on living in the state for at least six consecutive months at the time you file your adoption petition. This requirement can be waived for adoptive parents serving in the military if they are stationed outside the state as long as they lived within the state for six consecutive months before joining the military. Furthermore, spouses are required to adopt together unless one of the spouses is designated by the court as incompetent.
Calculate the Expenses of Adoption with Our Nashville Adoption Lawyer
While adoption serves as a powerful means to have someone legally brought in and recognized as a member of your family, the process can be costly. This is in addition to the long-term future expenses the adoptive family or parent can expect to pay once they are given custody of their newly adopted child.
Some of the fees associated with adoption include:
- Hospital and healthcare services for newborn babies, including delivery and potentially any relevant pregnancy-related expenses;
- Counseling and adoption-related training and education fees for both the adoptive and birth parents;
- All applicable legal fees;
- The applicable living expenses of the newly adopted child, including housing expenses, food costs, clothing costs, utilities, and transportation.
Adoption vs. Foster Parenting
To become a foster parent in Tennessee, you must be at least 21 years old and a resident of Tennessee. You must also complete a course called “Parents as Tender Healers” (PATH) and complete a home study. The home study involves at least one visit to the home of the prospective adoptive family, as well as every member of the family residing in that household. The objective of the home study is to determine the prospective parents’ reasons for adoption, their ability to provide for and care for the child in question, the family’s character and values, as well as their physical and mental health, and the suitability of the home for raising a child in terms of, for example, fire safety and cleanliness.
Prospective foster parents and people wishing to adopt must also clear basic background checks and not have a record of certain crimes, such as drug abuse, violence, or addiction. They must also demonstrate that they have sufficient income or savings to care for the child and all personal expenses they are responsible for (which can include alimony or child support payments to another parent).
Gathering the evidence needed to prove this to the court can take time, and missing important pieces of proof and errors in the application process can harm your case. Speak with Brighter DaySM Law’s Nashville adoption attorney for expert guidance on how to manage your adoption case from start to finish.
Understand the Factors that Impact Consent with Our Adoption Lawyer
There are many cases in which consent for adoption may not be required from a child’s parents. These include:
- If a parent surrendered their parental rights to the child;
- If a parent had their rights to the child terminated by a court order;
- If a man who is not on the child’s birth certificate and is not married to the mother can sign a Waiver of Interest which acts as a valid termination of the man’s parental rights and consent is not needed from him for adoption;
- If a legal father who is not the child’s biological father signs a Denial of Paternity, since doing so voids the need for obtaining consent from him for adoption;
- If a parent’s parental rights are terminated via a lawsuit filed by either the prospective adoptive parents, an agency, or a Guardian ad Litem – someone appointed by the court to watch after someone during a case.
All of these situations can be difficult to establish and prove, and there may be amicable alternatives available, such as mediation, adoption via an agency, or adoption via proceedings overseen by lawyers with adoption experience. Contact Brighter DaySM Law’s adoption lawyer to learn more about how to go about your adoption case and handle the many evidentiary and operational requirements that are part of the adoption process.
Frequently Asked Questions Answered by Our Nashville Adoption Attorney
Only prospective adoptive parents, state-licensed child placement agencies, and licensed clinical social workers can advertise for adoption. Lawyers who are subject to Tennessee’s state laws regarding lawyer advertising for adoption can also advertise for adoption.
In Tennessee, birth parents can consent to adoption after waiting three days after the child’s birth. This waiting period can be waived by the court if there are good reasons to do so. Consent must be given in court in front of a judge who will witness the biological parents’ consent and affirm from them that they understand and are willing to terminate their parental rights with their child. In other cases, the child’s parent or parents, legal parent, or guardian must consent to adoption, and children aged 14 or more must also provide their written consent that they agree to be adopted.