Agency and Foreign Adoptions
At the law firm of Douglass & Runger, Attorneys at Law, we understand that adopting a child can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience. We realize, however, that the adoption process can often include a wide range of obstacles and challenges to overcome. The good news is that if you are looking to adopt a child, you do not need to navigate the process alone. Our team has the knowledge, tools, and resources to help your family manage every aspect of a Tennessee adoption. We have both personal and professional experience with adoptions, and we are ready to provide the skilled guidance you need.
Adoption Proceedings in Tennessee
The decision to adopt a child is not one to be made lightly. Before adopting, you and your family will need to carefully consider all of the relevant factors and the possible consequences of adoption. Planning ahead is also critical. Under Tennessee law, adoptive parents must be at least 18 years old and have resided in Tennessee for at least six consecutive months. An unmarried individual is permitted to pursue an adoption, as is a married couple. An unmarried couple may not adopt a child together. The skilled attorneys at our firm are well-versed in Tennessee adoption laws, and we will work with you in deciding whether adoption is a good choice for your situation.
Once you have made your decision to adopt, your next step is to file your petition for adoption with the appropriate court. Depending on your situation, one or both of the child’s birth parents may need to give up their parental rights or have those rights terminated by the court. With this in mind, adoptions can quickly become stressful and contentious for all involved parties. At Douglass & Runger, Attorneys at Law, we work to identify problems and to develop solutions so that the adoption process can be completed as efficiently as possible.
Handling All Types of Adoptions
The knowledgeable team at Douglass & Runger, Attorneys at Law understand the challenges that are generally associated with the process of adoption. We offer sound advice and trusted representation in most adoptions, including:
- Stepparent adoption: It is not uncommon for a stepparent to seek a legal parent-child relationship with his or her stepchild. Stepparent adoptions generally require the relinquishment or termination of the other birth parent’s parental rights;
- Foster parent adoption: Foster parents entrusted with the care of a child in the custody of the state may decide to formally adopt the child. In such cases, the state will set the conditions that must be met for the adoption to take place;
- Agency adoption: Adoption agencies throughout Tennessee and across the country connect prospective adoptive parents with children in need. Many of these agencies facilitate foreign adoptions as well as domestic adoptions; and
- Private adoption: In certain situations, adoptive parents may wish to adopt a child to whom they have no prior relationship, without an adoption agency involved. It is important to work with an attorney during a private adoption to ensure that all of the legal concerns are addressed properly.
Tennessee law provides a framework for the process of adoption throughout the state, but each county may also have specific regulations, protocols, and procedures as well. Through adoption, a whole new world of opportunities can be opened for both you and the child, and our team is here to help you every step of the way.