Tennessee Adoptive Parent Information

Ms. Coppock represents prospective adoptive parents in a number of different situations.  This page is intended to offer an introduction to the adoption process.  There is a lot to learn for prospective adoptive parents who have not yet identified a child to adopt.

For prospective adoptive parents with a current case, such as adoptions by a step parent or grandparent, readoption, etc. you may find further information at Types of Adoption.

Orientation Meeting on “Beginning the Adoption Process”

For families just beginning the adoption process, Dawn offers a 1 ½ to 2 hour individual orientation meeting.

Dawn helps approximately 30 families adopt independently per year, including interstate adoptions.  Most of Dawn’s clients find their own “leads” after a little direction at the orientation meeting.

Dawn’s goal for an orientation meeting is to help you understand options regarding the different types of adoption, the types of children available, costs, expected waiting time and the risks and benefits of each choice.  When you have selected the best type of adoption for you, Dawn will help you get started.

If you are interested in private adoption, Dawn will help you understand who birth parents are, what they look for and good ways to locate them.  She will also review and comment on your birth mother letter, if you desire.

The following topics are usually covered at an orientation meeting:

    • The four types of adoption:
      • Independent (Private) Adoption
      • International
      • Private Agency
      • State Agency
    • Home studies
    • Independent Adoption in Detail (if you are considering Independent adoption)
  • Who are the birth parents?
  • Background & Medical Information
  • Expenses
  • Birth Father Contact & Assessment
  • Finding birth parents
  • Medical Treatment & Insurance
  • Confidentiality & Openness
  • Legal & Counseling Assistance for Birth Parents
  • Birth
    • At the hospital
    • Discharge or change in custody
  • Legal Process
    • Voluntary termination of parental rights
    • Involuntary termination of parental rights
    • Adoption Petition
    • Guardianship
    • Supervision & Final Report
    • Finalization

The orientation meeting is billed hourly at a rate of $300.00 per hour.  An informational package is sent to clients when the orientation appointment is made.

If you are already working on a particular adoption please call Dawn’s office for a price quote for the legal services involved in your case.

Selecting the “Right” Type of Adoption

There is no one type of adoption that is appropriate for everyone.  However each type of adoption is appropriate for someone.  To determine the appropriate type of adoption for your family carefully consider the following factors:

  • the type of child desired
  • tolerance of financial risk
  • approach to birth parent contact
  • importance of social and medical history about the child and the birth family
  • how much time you have to dedicate to pursuing adoption
  • tolerance of emotional risk
  • the patience level of the family
  • budget
  • how much control and responsibility you want over the adoption plan
  • and whether your age, religion, family size or other similar factors limit your choices

Some families pursue two or more types of adoption simultaneously in order to shorten the length of time they wait for a child.  If they are in no way misleading or deceptive in doing this, it is an acceptable practice.

Additional information for prospective adoptive parents can be found at Adoption Links.

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