Filing your Tennessee stepparent adoption doesn’t have to be difficult.
We understand that filing for a stepparent adoption is an extremely important time in your life. It can be stressful and the process can seem overwhelming. We guarantee that your Tennessee stepparent adoption documents will be accurate and that the court clerks will accept them for filing as meeting or exceeding their standards, or you get your money back – 100%. We can make this guarantee because we make it our mission to make sure our documents are complete and up-to-date with the newest court regulations. If we don’t make it right, we’ll refund your money – 100%.
Tennessee Adoption – Information you should know.
We know how important is it for you to do the research on filing your Tennessee adoption online. Our highly experienced staff will help you through the process. Please review the information below to educate yourself on filing a stepparent adoption in Tennessee, and then our staff will help you with any questions.
In Tennessee, the person filing for the stepparent adoption is referred to as the "Petitioner" and the absent parent is referred to as the "Defendant". The petitioning stepparent will file the legal adoption documents that we prepare for you with the court. This will start the adoption process. An uncontested adoption means that the other parent is not going to file additional documents with the court objecting to the adoption.
Most of the stepparent adoptions we do for customers have one of the following circumstances:
Please note that if the other parent has regular contact with the child and pays child support, you will not be able to complete a stepparent adoption in Tennessee unless the other parent is willing to sign a consent to the adoption.
Where will you file your stepparent adoption documents?
The adoption documents are filed in the Chancery Court in the county where you reside. When the stepparent adoption is finalized by the Court, your adopted child will receive a new birth certificate, showing the new parent listed on the birth certificate, and also showing the child’s new name.
Prior to filing your Petition for Adoption with the Chancery Court in your county, you must have been a bona fide resident of the state of Tennessee for six months prior to the filing of the petition, which residency must be stated in the petition and proved at the final hearing (Drivers License, etc.). If both parties currently reside in the state, then there is no time period required.
Grounds for the termination of parental rights.
The grounds which typically justify the termination of parental rights in a stepparent adoption involve abandonment, failure to support the child, imprisonment, certain abuse, and other grounds. The grounds for the termination of parental rights are different for each state, but all states accept the grounds of abandonment and lack of support, and some states include other grounds.
It is important to make every attempt possible to get the consent of the other parent in your Tennessee stepparent adoption, but there are times when you are unable to get that person’s consent. This is usually because the whereabouts of the other parent are unknown.
In Tennessee, if the other parent is willing to sign a consent to the stepparent adoption, then the documents are a little different. You will actually be filing a joint petition for adoption and the other parent will indicate their consent by signing their name to the petition for adoption that is filed with the court.
If you are unable to get the consent of the other parent, you can still complete the adoption,as long as the grounds outlined in Tennessee law have been met, which in Tennessee are as follows:
It is not required to terminate parental rights of a parent who is deceased.
Visitation by grandparents or the absent parent.
Most states do not have any provisions for the visitation rights of the parent losing parental rights, or the grandparents associated with that parent. The State of Tennessee will recognize agreements for visitation by the parent losing their parental rights, but this is typically up to the discretion of the adopting parents.
Tennessee Chancery Court: Address of some Tennessee courts.
Our documents are for the entire State of Tennessee. If your county court is not listed below, then we will provided the court information when we send your documents to you.
You must file the adoption documents in the Circuit Court in the county in which you are filing. Some court addresses for larger counties are as follows:
Davidson County Chancery Court:
1 Public Square, Suite 302, Nashville, TN 37201 P.O. Box 196303, Nashville, TN 37219 Phone: 615-862-5181 Fax: 615-862-5191 Filing Fax: 615-296-4501
Knox County Chancery Court:
M-30 C/C Building, 3323 Division Street, Knoxville, TN 37902 Phone: 865-215-2400
Hamilton County Chancery Court: 2
201 Seventh Street, Room 500, Chattanooga TN 37402 Phone: 423-209-6700
Shelby County Chancery Court:
140 Adams Avenue, Room 324, Memphis, TN 38103 Phone: (901) 545-4710
Madison County Chancery Court:
Courthouse, Room 200, 100 East Main Street, Jackson, TN 38301 Phone: 731-423-6032
Montgomery County Chancery Court:
Two Millennium Plaza, Suite 101, Clarksville, TN 37041 Phone: (931) 648-5703 Fax (931) 648-5759
Washington County Chancery Court:
Downtown Centre, Johnson City, TN Phone (423) 461-1415
Washington County Chancery Court:
Downtown Centre, Johnson City, TN Phone: (423) 461-1450
Rutherford County Chancery Court:
Judicial Building, Room 201, Murfreesboro TN Phone: Civil Division:(615) 898-7820 Fax: (615) 217-7119
Rutherford County Chancery Court:
Judicial Building, Suite 302, Public Square North, Murfreesboro TN 37130 Phone: (615) 898-7860 Fax: (615) 849-9553
Court filing fees.
The court filing fees for an adoption in Tennessee are approximately $170.
Serving the absent parent.
In many stepparent adoptions, the absent parent may be willing to sign a consent form, which consents to the termination of their parental rights, and consents to the adoption. If the absent parent is willing to sign a consent this will make the process a little easier because the court will know from the beginning that all parties agree to the stepparent adoption. Many of our adoption customers don’t know the whereabouts of the other parent, or the other parent has such a disinterest that he/she just won’t sign any documents. In this situation, you will file the adoption documents and then serve the absent parent by one of the following options:
1. Whereabouts of the other parent are UNKNOWN: If you are unable to locate the absent parent after a diligent search, then you can serve the parent by publication. This means that a notice is published in a local legal publication. Typically publication is once a week for 4 weeks. The publication fee for the newspaper averages around $85, but varies depending on where you live. Upon the filing of the Affidavit, the clerk shall direct that service of notice be made by publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the county in which the complaint is filed. We provide all the required documents for service by publication.
2. The parent just won’t sign, but grounds exist for the adoption: If you know the whereabouts of the other parent, but that parent won’t sign due to disinterest, you can have that parent served by the Sheriff’s department or a private process server. This can be done even if the other parent is incarcerated in jail or a federal prison.
Start your Tennessee Stepparent Adoption Today!
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Every customer is backed by a 100% money back guarantee. Please read our guarantee page for more information on this great policy. We start working on your documents the moment you submit your order. Our adoption department will work with you personally. We take the guess work out of completing your stepparent adoption.
Simple Process - 1 day service
Submit your order today, file tomorrow. We make our process simple and we guarantee your documents to be to you in less than 24 hours, ready to sign and file with the court. Then we stay with you until your adoption is final - that's service.
Name change for your child: INCLUDED FOR FREE
New Birth certificate: INCLUDED FOR FREE
Consent documents: INCLUDED FOR FREE
Publication documents: INCLUDED FOR FREE
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