Independent and Private Adoptions

Knoxville Adoption Attorneys Representing Clients in Independent and Private Adoptions

Serving families with more than 40 years of combined legal experience with compassionate adoption legal services

Independent, or private adoptions take place without the involvement of an adoption agency, although an agency will still be required to perform a home study. Private adoptions are facilitated through networking among the prospective adoptive parents and the birth parents who are looking to find the right home with which to place their child.

The Knoxville adoption lawyers at Shepherd and Associates, P.C. support our clients who are looking to adopt through a private adoption. We are here to consult with you and answer any questions about private or independent adoption.

What are some of the benefits of private and independent adoption?

Private adoptions have the potential to move more quickly because there are not as many restrictions placed on the process other than what the law requires. There is no waiting list, no agency red tape to wade through and it is a more personal process for all involved.

The adoptive parents must have physical custody of the child for six months before the adoption is finalized, but the termination of parental rights typically occurs sooner. Once the birth parents’ rights have been terminated, the adoptive parents become the child’s legal guardians until finalization of the adoption occurs.

Things to be aware of with private adoptions

Typically, in private adoptions, a prospective adoptive family reaches an agreement with a pregnant birth mother and the birth father that they will adopt the child.

Many complications can occur in private adoptions, and the prospective adoptive parents should have the counsel of an experienced adoption attorney. Birth mothers are also entitled to their own legal representation and counseling, should they wish to have either, and the adoptive parents are generally responsible for the cost.

What is the difference between an open or closed adoption?

It is the decision of the adoptive parents and the birth parents whether the adoption will be open or closed. In a closed adoption, the birth parents typically have no further contact with the child once their parental rights have been terminated. In an open adoption, the adoptive parents and the birth parents agree on the frequency and degree of contact the birth parents will have with the child once the adoption has been finalized. Perhaps the birth parents will receive pictures of the child, or have yearly phone calls or visits. Depending on the unique circumstances of the child, the birth parents, and the adoptive parents, the continued involvement of the birth parents may be healthy for the child. It is important to note that these agreements, even if written and signed by all parties, are not legally binding or enforceable.

The role of the adoption attorney in a private adoption

Our experienced adoption attorneys from Shepherd & Associates, P.C. facilitate the meeting of the two parties by using ethical practices. We also review and draft legal documents, facilitate interstate adoptions, help initiate the home study process and finalize the adoption when the time comes.

When working through a private or independent adoption arrangement, we can also refer clients to counselors who can help them deal with the emotional rollercoaster that can occur when they keep getting their hopes up only to see them dashed later.

Private adoptions are good for clients who are well-suited to taking the initiative as they plot their journey to parenthood.

Consult with a Knoxville adoption attorney experienced with independent and private adoptions

Adoption is a huge decision, but once you make it you are in for a deeply emotional experience. You will require legal assistance throughout the process, and it is vital that you work with an adoption attorney that you can trust to be your advocate and to handle the complicated legal aspects of growing your family and sharing your love with a child who will change you and whose life you will change forever. To learn more information about what we can do for you, or to schedule a consultation with Shepherd and Associates, P.C., call 865-982-8060 or fill out the contact form on this website today.


Shepherd & Associates is located in Maryville, TN and serves clients in and around Rockford, Walland, Alcoa, Louisville and Blount County.

Attorney Advertising. This website is designed for general information only. The information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.



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