Adoptions Attorney in Knoxville
Adopting a childis one of the most significant life decisions anyone can make. Embarking on an adoption journey entails establishing a new relationship between a parent and child while terminating or transferring the birth family’s rights to the new adoptive family. The process should alwaysbe done through legal means.
While adding a new member to the family is a joyous time, several parts of the application and approval process are tedious and might require the assistance of an attorney. Don’t take your chances with the adoption of your new child; employ the aid of a professional adoption attorney at Shepherd & Associates P.C. in Knoxville, TN.
Types of adoption in Knoxville, TN
- Step-parent and Relative Adoption: this is the most common type of adoption, where an incoming parent or blood relative chooses to take the new responsibility of being a parent when their family member cannot or will not.
- Agency and DCS Adoption: children under the care of the state of TN can be adopted into new families after a successful adoption application process.
- Independent and Private: this occurs when new adoptive parents reach an agreement with a child’s birth parents on the transfer of their parental rights, with or without the assistance of an adoption agency.
- International or Interstate Adoption: some families may wish to adopt a destitute child from another country or state in the US. They can apply for adoption in the child’s origin country or state, or through the state of Tennessee through a proper legal process.
Who can adopt a child in Knoxville?
These days, there are no longer strict rules regarding “traditional families,” as an increasing number of single parents and same-sex (LGBTQ) couples wish to and continue to adopt children successfully. Instead, a more critical requirement is for the adopting parent(s) to demonstrate that they are physically, emotionally, and financially stable; also,that they will be capable of taking on the responsibility of being a parent to the child.
Adoptions in Knoxville, TN must also go through a “home study” by a licensed child-placing agency, along with proper training and self-assessments to ensure that the incoming parent is sufficiently capable of carrying out the duties of being a good parent to the adopted child.
Preparing for child adoption in Knoxville
The first step is for the birth family to surrender their rights to the child, which can either be voluntary or involuntary. While voluntary surrender is more straightforward, involuntary surrender requires a petition to be filed separately or as part of an adoption petition to the local court, to terminate the rights of the parents.
Involuntary surrender of parental rights requires a hearing and grounds for termination, such as failure to support the child, failure to visit the child, abuse and neglect, or the extended incarceration of a parent.
Next, the prospective parent needs to complete a series of application filings including:
- A home study carried out by an accredited child placement agency
- Submission of a home study with details of the family, medical reports, and financial statements
- Filing of a Foster or Adoption Application for parenting to the Department of Children Services
- Enrolling in a 30-hour education and self-assessment process
Completing these steps only prepares you for the adoption and doesn’t guarantee that you will be successful. However, should you fail to meet any of these requirements, you may face delays or rejection of your adoption application.
Beyond the application process itself, prospective parents also need to be psychologically prepared for the adoption as there are many sensitive issues that must be handled with the utmost care. Once all the requirements are met, the child’s team will decide whether you are the right parent for the child.
If selected, extensive information about the child will be shared with you so that you and your family can make the best-informed decision about if the child is a good fit and whether you feel capable of caring for them.
With a combined experience of more than 40 years, you can trust Shepherd & Associates P.C. with your adoption needs in Knoxville, TN. Our legal experts are knowledgeable about all the adoption requirements, including the complexities that come with the process. Let us help you properly prepare for this exciting journey in your life.
SHEPHERD & ASSOCIATES, P.C.
Shepherd & Associates is located in Maryville, TN and serves clients in and around Rockford, Walland, Alcoa, Louisville and Blount County.
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