We have worked on hundreds of adoption cases in East Tennessee, including working with birth parents, adoptive parents, and adoption agencies. Because of Mr. Crane’s involvement in, and knowledge of, Tennessee adoption law, he has worked with other experienced adoption attorneys to write several amendments to Tennessee’s adoption statutes. He has also taught continuing legal education classes concerning adoption laws for other attorneys.
The following are types of adoptions that commonly occur:
Contested Adoption: a parent of a child refuses to allow his/her child to be adopted
A common situation involves a mother divorced from or never married to her child’s father. When she marries or remarries, her new husband wishes to adopt the child. If the biological father refuses to consent to the adoption, the mother and her husband may sue the father for termination of his parental rights. Contested adoptions are expensive because of the large amount of time they require, and the attorney cannot guarantee the outcome.
Uncontested Adoption involving adoptive parents and a child related to one of them
If adoptive parents want to adopt a child who is closely related to one of them and if the child’s parents give their consent to the adoption, the adoption proceeding will be relatively simple, and therefore relatively inexpensive.
Uncontested Adoption involving adoptive parents and a child not closely related to either adoptive parent
This type of adoption will be more expensive because a home study of the adoptive parents’ home by a licensed clinical social worker or child-placing agency is required. In addition, legal proceedings are required for the child’s biological parents to give their consent to the adoption.
International Adoption: requirements of the immigration laws of the United States and the adoption laws of the child’s home country must be obeyed
Most often the adoption occurs in the child’s home country, after which the child is brought to the United States. Adoptive parents usually engage an attorney or other legal representative to assist them with the adoption proceedings in the child’s home country. Adoption agencies helping with foreign adoption proceedings often assist adoptive parents to comply with American immigration laws. A very simple and inexpensive legal proceeding called a “readoption” may be necessary to make a foreign adoption legally effective in Tennessee. Adoptions of children who are not citizens of the United States are somewhat expensive because of the costs of travel to and from the child’s home country.
Adults may be adopted by other adults. Adult adoptions are sometimes done after a child reaches age 18 when one of the child’s parents refused to consent to his/her adoption earlier. Adult parents are not required to consent when an adult is adopted. The only person who must consent to the adoption of an adult is the adult who is being adopted.
Please call us to schedule an appointment to discuss your adoption case.