For Tennessee parents considering adoption or giving up a child through adoption, it is important to note that there are several different options available. Each type of adoption grants both the adoptive and birth parents certain rights.

Agency adoptions, for example, are regulated by the state. The two main types of agencies are private and public, both of which have advantages and disadvantages. Independent adoptions are when the birth parents make an arrangement directly with the adoptive parents. A church or doctor usually acts as a go-between for the two parties. These are also often extensively regulated. Open adoptions, which are a type of independent adoption, allow the birth parents to maintain some form of contact with the child. Closed adoptions, on the other hand, means that birth parents may not have contact; although, there are procedures that can open a closed adoption later on.

Parents can also adopt children internationally. This type of adoption can be extremely complicated, especially when the laws are stringent. Tennessee does allow same-sex couples to adopt; however, same-sex couples may face some unique challenges when going this route. Finally, stepparents may also be able to adopt their spouse’s child, but there must be consent by all parties.

Because the adoption process can be a major life event, especially for the children involved, it is recommended that adoptive parents do their research to make the process as easy as possible. An adoption attorney may assist with the legal side. For example, if a couple is looking to adopt a child through an international adoption, the attorney may help the parents understand the laws associated with the country the child is being adopted from.