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May 2017 Archives

The differences between open and closed adoptions

People in Tennessee may be interested in adoption for a number of reasons. While most adoptions today that are not international tend to be open, in the past, adoptions were usually closed. Open or closed adoption refers to how much information is exchanged between birth and adoptive parents.

Lawsuit meant to head off attack on LGBTQ rights

The executive director of the Tennessee Equality Project has expressed his support for a lawsuit that challenges a bill signed by the state's republican governor. Four lesbian couples filed the lawsuit against Gov. Bill Haslam, the state health commissioner and the Department of Health. They allege that the new law represents an attempt to stop judges from applying laws that cite husbands, wives, mothers or fathers in a gender neutral manner in cases that involve a spouse or parent. The bill instructed judges to interpret words in laws according to their "natural and ordinary" meanings.

Tennessee bill could affect same-sex adoptions

Tennessee same-sex couples might struggle to adopt a child if Gov. Bill Haslam signs a bill that would require the interpretation of laws to be done with the "natural and ordinary meaning" of words that do not have a specific legal definition. One result of this could be a mother unable to list her wife on a birth or adoption certificate that specifies that the two names on it should be a husband and wife or mother and father.

Adopted children and divorce

For Tennessee parents who are getting a divorce and who have an adopted child, as long as both parents are legally adoptive parents, the process of negotiating custody and visitation is no different from if the child is a biological one. As with a biological child, a court will focus on the best interests of the child. The process is just as difficult as it is for parents of a biological child. This means that adoptive parents may need to keep a few tips in mind since the coparenting relationship could continue to be contentious after the divorce.

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Law Office of Lisa Collins Werner 9724 Kingston Pike, Suite 1101 Knoxville, TN 37922 Phone: 865-973-9286 Fax: 865-691-0025 Knoxville Law Office Map

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