When you are preparing to bring a new child into your life, the legal aspects of adoption may be daunting. The Knoxville adoption attorneys at Menefee & Brown, P.C. can handle the legal details for you while you concentrate on preparing to receive a new member into your family.
Adoption is a legal proceeding and the state of Tennessee takes a great interest in regulating how it occurs. Adoptive parents must resolve a number of issues prior to even filing an adoption petition. Most adoptive parents must undergo a home study under the supervision of a licensed child placement agency, a clinical social worker, or the Department of Children’s Services to determine their suitability as parents. This home study may require providing references as well as financial and medical records. The natural parents must also execute a surrender of parental rights or consent to the adoption. These must conform to legal requirements and usually take place before a judge. It is a complex process designed to avoid fraud and abuse. But with the help of an adoptions attorney in Knoxville, it can go smoothly.
Not all adoptions take place with the consent of the natural parent or parents. In cases where a relative or other caregiver seeks to wrest parental authority from an allegedly unfit parent, the process can be contentious and complicated. A lawyer pursuing such an adoption must usually file a court petition seeking to terminate parental or guardianship rights. They may do this separately or as part of an adoption petition. Such a petition must allege, subject to verification, grounds for the termination of parental rights, including abandonment, noncompliance with a permanency plan, severe abuse or neglect, incarceration of the parents, or mental incompetence.
At Menefee & Brown, P.C. we put our clients first. We understand that adoptions, both contested and uncontested, can be emotionally sensitive. For this reason our Knoxville adoption lawyers strive to be sympathetic to our clients' needs and to keep them informed as their cases develop. Contact us today at 865-357-9800 or online to schedule a free initial consultation at our Knoxville, TN office.