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What to know about the adoption process

When Tennessee residents want to adopt a child, it must be approved by an adoption court. This is true whether the adoption itself was handled by an agency or by private means. A hearing will be held, and parties such as the child's biological parents will need to be notified. If the child is old enough, he or she may take part in the hearing.

Those who wish to adopt a child will need to petition the court for the right to do so. The petition needs to contain information such as the relationship between the adopting party and the child. It will also need to explain why parental rights to the child were terminated and why the adoption is in the best interests of the child. The best interest of the child standard is the one most courts will use when deciding to accept the petition.

If a child is being adopted from another country, an individual wishing to adopt must meet both American standards and those imposed by the child's home country. This can mean going to court in two different countries as part of the adoption process. As a general rule, those who want to adopt should do so with the assistance of an attorney. Anyone who uses an adoption agency may have an attorney provided to them by that agency.

When dealing with child custody matters, the best interests of the child take must generally be preserved. This means that a person who wants to adopt a child needs to show that he or she can provide for him or her. Providing evidence that a person has a stable job, ties to the community and other resources to help the child could increase the odds of having a request approved.

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