There are many ways for families to come together, including through adoption. Often, adoption legally formalizes a relationship between a child and someone who is already acting as the child’s parent. That may be a family member who has stepped in to raise a child when their parent is unable to, a stepparent, or a foster parent. In the case of same-sex couples in which only one parent has a biological relationship to the child, second-parent adoption can ensure that both parents enjoy the same legal rights and relationship to their child.
At Welty Law Office, helping families navigate the adoption process is one of the highlights of our practice. As a child advocacy-centered law firm, we value the opportunity to help Tennessee children grow and thrive in a loving family through adoption.
Adoption is a process that severs the legal relationship between a child and one or both biological parents, and creates a new legal relationship between the child and their adoptive parent or parents. In any situation where important rights are being granted or terminated, the legal requirements in place to protect all parties must be observed. Welty Law Office guides our clients through every step of the adoption process.
The legal requirements for a Tennessee adoption vary with the type of adoption. For example, the process is more straightforward for stepparent and relative adoptions. In those cases, the court may choose to waive some of the typical adoption requirements, such as a home study or the six-month waiting period required for other types of adoptions. However, no adoption can be completed until the rights of the biological or legal parent who is not parenting the child have been terminated. In addition, children aged 14 and older must consent to being adopted.
A biological or legal parent can voluntarily relinquish their parental rights. If they are unwilling to do so, the prospective adoptive parent may petition to have the parent’s rights terminated due to abuse, neglect, incarceration, substance abuse, abandonment, or other good reason. At Welty Law Office we have extensive experience in filing termination of parental rights cases and litigating contentious cases with success so the children involved can be adopted by the Petitioners.
Obviously, it’s easier on everyone when an adoption is uncontested, but any adoption can be a stressful and emotional process. At Welty Law Office, we keep you informed, prepare you for what lies ahead, and remain focused on the best interests of the child at the heart of your adoption.
Adoption is a joyful experience, but it’s not always an easy one. You need to work with an attorney who is experienced with this specialized type of law and can guide you through the legal process. Here at Welty Law Office we feel it is also important for us to support you through the emotional journey of adoption. As both professionals and parents, we understand the importance of your adoption to both you and your child.
We invite you to contact Welty Law Office to schedule a consultation to discuss your Tennessee adoption matter.