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Adoption Lawyer Knoxville, Tennessee

Adoption is a happy event for most families, but it’s a lifetime commitment with a confusing legal process. People adopt for many reasons, such as being unable to have biological children, adopting a spouse’s child or choosing to make a foster child permanently part of the family.

Hiring the best adoption lawyer in Knoxville, Tennessee, offers is important, and Shepherd & Long can assist. We have over four decades of experience helping adoptive parents meet state and federal requirements. Whether you’re worried about applying or have a problem later, we’re here to help!

If you’re ready to start the adoption process, please call 865-383-3118 to schedule your consultation. Alternatively, you can use the contact form.

Types Of Adoptions Available In Knoxville, Tennessee

You and the adoptive child might face various circumstances, which bring many forms of adoption. These include:

  • Relative and Stepparent Adoption – Tennessee offers relative and step-parent adoptions. This option works when a blood relative wants to adopt a minor child or the birth parent chooses to marry, and the new spouse wishes to become the child’s legal parent.
  • International Adoption – Sometimes, Tennessee families want to adopt children from another country. This can be finalized in the USA or within the child’s country. There are countless regulations and rules to follow, and we can help you!
  • Private and Independent Adoption – Private adoptions happen without using an adoption agency. The prospective adoptive parents and birth parents must agree to the terms and fulfill all legal requirements.
  • DCS and Agency Adoption – If the state of Tennessee is the child’s guardian, there’s a specific protocol to adopt them. This includes a home study, filling out an application, and more. Likewise, DCS (the Department of Child Services) can work with agencies to support and train foster parents, finding permanent solutions.

Who Is Eligible To Adopt In Knoxville, Tennessee?

Throughout the years, misconceptions about who can legally adopt a child have sprung up. You don’t have to be married with a large income and home. Almost anyone can adopt, including single people, those living in rentals, and people with part-time jobs.

The state of Tennessee wants to know that you’re stable financially, physically, and emotionally and are committed to loving and caring for a child in a safe home. You’re likely eligible if you can pass the home study, complete the training, and meet any other requirements.

Adoptions And Same-Sex Couples 

Tennessee is one of a handful of states that have passed laws claiming that adoption agencies aren’t legally required to serve same-sex couples. This makes it harder for LGBTQ+ families and individuals to adopt, but it’s not impossible.

Shepherd & Long is happy to help LGBTQ+ individuals and families during the adoption process. Our team doesn’t discriminate based on sexual orientation, gender or religion. Call for a consultation today!

Cost For Adoption In Knoxville

The cost to adopt a child varies significantly based on what type you choose. However, here’s a breakdown of the potential expenses:

  • Counseling services
  • Professional fees or adoption agency
  • Medical costs for the child and birth mother
  • Legal services
  • Rent/living expenses for the birth mother before/after the birth
  • Necessary travel expenses

What’s The Adoption Process Like In Knoxville?

DCS requires all potential adoptive parents to complete these steps to ensure that adoption is suitable for the parents and children:

  • Home study (must be conducted by a licensed agency for child placement)
  • Submission of the adoption/foster application to DCS in Tennessee
  • Completion of a self-assessment and education process of 30 hours
  • Submission of the written home study, which includes verification, family description, references, financial statements and medical statements

Completing the steps above won’t guarantee acceptance as the adoptive parent, but it’s a great start. However, there could be other hurdles, so hiring an adoption lawyer in Knoxville, Tennessee, is crucial.

Can Birth Parents Revoke Adoption Consent?

Tennessee allows a birth parent to revoke the adoption consent for 10 days after the child is born. They’ll appear before the judge who accepted the original surrender or a substitute if necessary. After ten days, their consent cannot be revoked unless evidence indicates that approval was only obtained through coercion or fraud.

How We Can Help

Before adopting a child, it’s crucial to understand the unique issues you’ll face. You should be prepared for the process to encounter fewer surprises. Overall, it’s wise to work with an adoption lawyer in Knoxville, Tennessee, who will prepare you for the emotional rollercoaster you’re about to embark on.

Though adoption is a happy time, it requires consideration. Since it can be complicated, consider hiring an experienced adoption lawyer in Knoxville, Tennessee, and Shepherd & Long is here to help. Please schedule your consultation by filling out the contact form or calling us at 865-383-3118.