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      Adoption Lawyers in Sumner County

      Helping Parents Build Strong Families Through Adoption

      One of the most significant acts anyone can do is adopt a child. For many individuals and couples, adoption helps them to achieve their dreams of starting or adding to their families. However, the adoption process has a well-earned reputation for being overly complex and challenging to navigate.

      An adoption lawyer can help prospective parents deal with the legal system and help them successfully begin the next chapter of their lives.

      Garner Law Firm, PLLC of Sumner County, is dedicated to helping individuals who wish to adopt a child deal with their legal issues. Our skilled adoption lawyers have in-depth experience handling adoptions and would be honored to assist you.

      Contact Garner Law Firm, PLLC in Hendersonville, TN, and ask to schedule a consultation so that we may discuss your case and determine your legal needs.

      Who is Eligible to Adopt a Child?

      Tennessee law allows anyone over the age of 18 to adopt a child as long as they meet adoption law eligibility requirements. Tennessee allows individuals who are married or single, gay, or non-citizens to adopt children. A prospective parent must also have resided in Tennessee for at least 6 months before adopting a child.

      State law also allows a foster parent to adopt a child in their custody. It should be noted that a foster parent is dually approved to adopt under state law, meaning they have the first option to adopt a child they have fostered.

      A stepfather or stepmother may also adopt their stepchild. Nevertheless, stepparent adoptions can be somewhat complex as the other biological parent must have had their parental rights terminated. However, if both biological parents are deceased, the stepparent may also adopt the child.

      Even so, some specific individuals or situations exclude persons from being able to adopt, which include:

      • One spouse cannot adopt a child without the other spouse agreeing to adopt.
      • Two unmarried people, such as a foster parent and a biological relative, may not adopt a child together.
      • Individuals who are unrelated to the child without a home study being completed.
      • Deceased individuals may not adopt. For example, in some instances, an individual may wish to adopt but also want their deceased spouse’s name to be included in the adoption process, which is not permitted.

      What Types of Adoption Are Available?

      Tennessee offers several options for individuals who wish to adopt. However, it is essential to remember that having an adoption attorney assist you can save precious time and financial resources.

      Some of the options include:

      • An adoption agency: Individuals hoping to adopt can often go through a public or private adoption agency. In Tennessee, public agencies usually deal with minors who are in state care, such as when they come from abusive homes, have been abandoned by their parent(s), or have suffered the loss of both parents. Conversely, private agencies generally deal with children who have been voluntarily given up for adoption by their parents.
      • Open adoption: In an open adoption, the adoptive parents agree to allow the birth parents to maintain contact with the child. In an open adoption, adoptive parents and birth parents exchange contact information but also determine the level of contact that will be allowed between the two parties.
      • Closed adoption: In a closed adoption, both parties know little about one another. After the adoption is finalized, both parties go their separate ways. Although open adoptions are becoming more common, closed traditional adoptions are typically still the most common form of adoption in Tennessee.
      • Kinship adoptions: A kinship adoption is when a member of the child’s family agrees to adopt. Some examples include a grandparent or sibling adoption. However, the biological parent’s rights must be terminated before a kinship adoption can be finalized. Some of the most common reasons that family members adopt are due to death, imprisonment, drug or alcohol abuse, or mental health issues.

      Why Should I Hire an Adoption Lawyer to Help Me Adopt a Child?

      Because adoption involves many complicated legal issues, it is always in your best interests to hire an experienced lawyer to help you.

      One of the most essential reasons to hire an adoption lawyer is they understand the various laws surrounding adoption. An experienced lawyer can review the adoption to ensure there are no potential complications, identify issues, and take proactive measures to solve the problem.

      A lawyer will also offer advice on completing and reviewing the massive amount of legal paperwork that must be filled out in adoption cases. Your legal representative can also work to obtain any missing documentation that you may need and act as your advocate in court proceedings.

      Finally, having a lawyer represent you can give you peace of mind that all aspects of the adoption process are carried out correctly and will not result in legal issues in the future.

      What Makes Your Law Firm the Best Choice to Help Me With an Adoption Case?

      Garner Law Firm, PLLC of Henderson, TN, in Sumner County, is dedicated to assisting individuals with their adoption legal needs. Regardless of what type of adoptive parent you may be or whether you wish to have an open or traditional adoption, our legal team has the knowledge and experience it takes to obtain favorable results.

      When you come to us for help, we take time to listen to your concerns and address any questions you may have about adoption in Tennessee. If you still need more information about who may adopt a child, contact our law offices, and ask to schedule a meeting with a qualified legal team member who can gladly answer your questions.

      If you would like additional information about the adoption process or are ready to adopt and need legal representation, contact Garner Law Firm, PLLC, at 615-502-4336 and ask to schedule a consultation so that we may determine how we can help.