Regardless of how a Tennessee resident chooses to pursue an adoption, it must be approved by an adoption court. The process begins by filing a petition with the court after which a hearing is scheduled. Prior to the hearing taking place, all interested parties will be notified. Interested parties generally include the child’s biological parents, an adoption agency if one is used and the child being adopted depending on the child’s age.
The petition must include a prospective parent’s name, age and address. It must also include a reason as to why the adoption is taking place and why the adoption is in the best interest of the child. At the hearing, a judge will need to determine that the adoption does in fact preserve the best interests of the child. If it is, an order will be made establishing a legal relationship between the adoptive parent and the child. The child’s name may be changed if the parent asks for it.
Having an attorney is advisable during the adoption process. Prospective parents may hire their own counsel or use an attorney provided by an adoption agency. If a child is being adopted from another country, it may be necessary to go to court in both the United States and the country where the child currently lives.
As adopting a child may be a complicated process, it may be best for an adoptive parent to do so with the help of an attorney. This may be especially beneficial if a child is being adopted from another country. Attorneys may be able to help a parent properly explain why the adoption is in the child’s best interest. Adoptive parents may establish this by pointing to a stable job or ties to their community.