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Dedicated Family Law Advocates

We Can Answer Your Questions Regarding Adoption And Termination

Adoption and termination are complex legal processes that can be fraught with emotion. No doubt, you have numerous questions about these procedures. These are some of the questions that our clients frequently ask us.

Q. What Are Parental Rights?

Parental rights refer to a parent’s legal right to make decisions about their child’s upbringing. These rights can also include custody and visitation. A child’s biological mother automatically has parental rights. The child’s biological father may also have parental rights, if he or the child’s mother has established his paternity.

Q. I Feel That My Child Or Grandchild’s Parent Is Not Fit To Be Their Guardian. Can I Have Their Parental Rights Terminated?

You can petition the court to terminate the parental rights of a child’s biological mother or father. However, this process is not easy. It is not enough to personally dislike the biological parent or disagree with their parenting style. To terminate a mother or father’s parental rights, the court must have substantial evidence that the parent is abusive, neglectful or incapacitated, and that terminating their rights is in the child’s best interests.

Q. How Do I Adopt A Relative Who Is A Minor?

If both of their parents have had their parental rights voluntarily or involuntarily terminated, then yes, you may be able to adopt the child. Typically, the state gives preference to relatives over nonrelatives in adoptions.

Q. What Is The Process For Adopting A Relative In Tennessee?

The first step is to file for adoption with the court. You must agree to submit to a home study conducted by a licensed social worker. This involves a visit to your home, a background check, health examinations and other steps; sometimes, the court will waive the home study requirement for relatives who are adopting. In addition, you must attend several court hearings before a judge decides whether to finalize the adoption.

Q. Should I Hire An Attorney To Assist With Termination And Adoption?

The adoption process is very complex, even for relatives who already have an established relationship with the minor. It is easy to make a small mistake that ends up costing precious time and money. A lawyer who understands adoption law can help you complete the adoption process as smoothly and quickly as possible.

You can receive legal assistance and discuss adoption and termination in greater depth by calling our Knoxville office at or contacting us online.

The Barnett Firm

The Barnett Firm