There are three main types of adoptions that Tennessee residents could be a part of. Open adoptions allow for the birth parents and adoptive parents to freely interact with each other. In a confidential adoption, the birth and adoptive families will not interact with or be able to identify each other. Mediated adoptions take a middle road and allow contact through a third-party. However, the parties will still not be able to identify each other.
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.
Prospective parents in Tennessee and around the country who hope to adopt a baby from a foreign country will be pleased to hear that the House of Representatives voted unanimously on May 20 to pass the Intercountry Adoption Information Act of 2019. The bill amends the Intercountry Adoption Information Act of 2000 and requires the Secretary of State to stay abreast of international adoption laws and notify Congress about any changes that could make the process more difficult for American families.
Individuals looking to adopt in Tennessee may wonder if underlying health issues like diabetes could prevent them from successfully completing an adoption. There are no standard "rules" that automatically prevent someone with a health issue from adopting. Each adoption agency or country has its own set of guidelines when considering prospective adoptive parents.
Single men and women are allowed to adopt children in Tennessee and other states. However, it may not be possible for single individuals to adopt children from other countries. Furthermore, not all agencies will allow domestic adoptions by those who are not married. Those who hope to be a single parent will need to show that they are capable of providing for the child emotionally and financially without the help of spouse or partner.
The sponsor of a Senate bill that would have let faith-based adoption agencies deny adoption applications from LGBTQ people has asked that it be removed from the legislative agenda. This action delays consideration of the bill until at least next year. No explanation accompanied the removal of the bill, but pressure from national groups that oppose discrimination against LGBTQ people appears to have suppressed this proposed legislation.
In recent years, there has been a rise of single women who have chosen to become mothers after achieving educational and career success. One reason why they choose to become mothers is that they want to experience the joy of raising a child. In some cases, those individuals do not plan on being a single parent indefinitely. For those who cannot have children naturally, adoption is an alternative that may be available.
Same-sex families seeking to adopt in Tennessee may be heartened by developments in Michigan. One large foster care and adoption agency has acknowledged its responsibilities under a state legal settlement, affirming that it will now place children in LGBT families' homes. The agency, Bethany Christian Services, is a non-profit organization that contracts with the state government to handle around 8 percent of its foster care and adoption cases. There are around 13,000 cases involving children from troubled households with state involvement.
Same-sex couples can generally adopt children in Tennessee and all other states. However, it may still be illegal for those in same-sex relationships to adopt children from some foreign countries. Regardless of where the adoption is taking place, the couple may need to be in a relationship that has legal recognition in the child's birth country.
For Tennessee residents who are thinking about adoption, the rise of genetic testing available in direct-to-consumer kits has changed older ideas about confidentiality and secrecy. In the past, birth parents could place a child for adoption anonymously, in a closed process. In this type of adoption, the child or adoptive family would know little about how to contact the biological parents. While there were abuses associated with the closed adoption system and many parents had moved toward more open adoptions, that process has been changed through the use of at-home DNA kits.