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Understanding how foster care and adoption work

Children in Tennessee and elsewhere may be taken away from their biological parents or guardians for a variety of reasons. As a result, they may be placed in foster care or placed for adoption. However, there are significant differences between these two types of placement. For example, a foster parent is expected to provide care until a permanent home can be found for the child. When a child is adopted, he or she becomes a part of the new family.

When a child is adopted, the biological parents lose some or all of their rights to that minor. The adoptive parents are now considered to be the people who make decisions on the child's behalf. In a foster care setting, the biological parents may retain the right to make decisions for a child. In some cases, the state will have some say into how the child is cared for.

In the event that the child would be harmed by returning home, the state will take over for the parents. Foster parents generally don't have the ability to make important decisions for those who are in their homes. However, it is possible that a child's foster parents will eventually become adoptive parents. At that point, they would have the same authority that any other parent does.

The best interests of the child are the top priority regardless of who is given the right to be his or her parents. A court will typically look at a variety of factors when determining who is best suited to raise a child. An attorney may help biological or prospective adoptive parents take steps to show that they can take care of a minor. These steps may include overcoming a drug problem or moving to a nicer home.

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