The adoption process allows children who were born into unfavorable situations to live in families with people who love and support them. However, because there are a lot of people involved, including the birth mother, birth father, child and adoptive parents, adopting a child may be complex and time-consuming. Several things could go wrong before a Tennessee adoption gets finalized, so the pre-adoption paperwork aims to prevent uprooting a child from a loving home.

The most common complication is the birth mother changing her mind. Although birth mothers may choose adoption soon after they learn they’re pregnant, they cannot officially consent to giving up their child until the baby is born. Biological fathers, on the other hand, may have more time to dispute an adoption. Fathers who are unaware of a pregnancy may have rights. In order to stop an adoption, the father may have to prove he has earned those rights and that placing the child with him instead of with the adoptive family is in the best interests of the child.

Ethnicity could also complicate an adoption. Some groups oppose adoption of children whose adoptive parents would be a different race or color. Those against mixed-race adoption assert that the practice might result in the children not being exposed to their ethnic heritage. However, because there are more minority children available for adoption than there are minority parents willing to adopt them, the 1994 Multi-Ethnic Protection Act prevents federally funded adoption agencies from using race or ethnicity as criteria for adoption.

Individuals and couples who have never adopted a child might be overwhelmed by the amount of work necessary to bring a child into their family. An attorney who focuses on helping parents adopt may be able to walk them through the process, answering questions and guiding them as they prepare to parent a child placed with them through a public or private adoption agency.