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Amy Broom Pollina Attorney at Law
Rutherford County's New Face In Family Law

What you need to know before you adopt your grandchild

As heartbreaking as it can be when you find out that your child can no longer be a parent, you know that something must be done for the sake of your grandchildren. Tennessee has plenty of laws in place to help you prepare for adopting your grandchildren, so it is crucial that you are aware of these obstacles as soon as possible.

 

Your child must be deemed unfit to be a parent

Before the court can decide if you are able to take full custody of your grandchildren, they determine if their current parents are unfit to fulfill their roles as guardians.

It can be a tough process given the different circumstances that could cause this. This is often due to one or both parents’ deaths, incarcerations, neglect, abusive behaviors, or financial instabilities. Some of these instances will force you to prove to the court that your child and/or their spouse cannot function properly as parents and that your grandchildren would be safer under your protection.

In certain scenarios, the parents of your grandchildren will acknowledge that you are the better caretaker and are willing to transfer the custody rights to you without a fight.

You must be deemed fit to be a parent

Even if your child loses custody of their kids, you do not get to adopt your grandchildren right away. Your child may have asked for different people to be the new guardians of the grandchildren such as close friends, younger relatives or family members of the child’s other parent.

In this scenario, you will need to hire a lawyer to help you make your case on why the child deserves your protection. The court takes different factors into considerations for you and other potential adoptive parents such as:

  • Your relationship to your grandchildren
  • Your age and physical condition
  • Your career and financial status
  • Your home and location
  • Your support system

Anticipating legal difficulty

As you are looking to adopt your grandchildren, your age and physical condition will play an important part towards the court’s verdict. While the rules of adoption in Tennessee’s Department of Children’s Services do not have a maximum age to adopt a child, the court can still use your older age and any physical limitations against you when determining the ideal guardians of the grandchildren.

Custody disputes can be contentious and emotionally draining. In a disputed case, an experienced attorney can provide insight and additional resources to help grandparents manage an already challenging situation.

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