Dawn’s Blog

“First In Adoption” Bill Big Tennessee News!

Adoption, Attorneys & Courts

The “First In Adoption” bill is moving in the TN Legislature.

HB 1856 Rep. Mike Carter/ SB 1851 Sen. Ferrell Haile

What it does:

  • Creates one short and simple surrender form and relieves a number of related bureaucratic requirements;
  • Refines elements to prove rounds for involuntary termination of parental rights for four key grounds;
  • Establishes the absence of willfulness as a defense to abandonment to be asserted by the parent;
  • Constricts notice requirements for certain inactive birth fathers;
  • Adds a requirement to check the PFR in other states in some cases to discover and protect active birth fathers;
  • Expands the jurisdiction, venue and the relative provisions;
  • and includes a number of housekeeping measures.

The text bill on the General Assembly website is an earlier version and not the amended version that is moving in committee. A copy of the amended bill can be found here.

The bill, as amended, passed the house Civil Justice Subcommittee on March 21 and is expect to be presented to the full Civil Justice Committee and the Senate Judiciary Committee very shortly.

I think this is a very good bill. If you agree, call your Tennessee State Senator and Representative and tell them to be on the look out for this opportunity to help Tennessee’s most vulnerable children.

To stay up to date on the progress of this bill, follow my blog at the link below.

About Dawn Coppock

Tennessee Adoption Attorney and Author

For over 30 years, Dawn has been an adoption and child-welfare advocate nationally and in Tennessee. She knows where the system is working and the many places that it is not. When she provides her frank assessment to policy makers, they listen. She has drafted and passed many child-welfare bills in the Tennessee Legislature, founded, encouraged and supported advocacy organizations, educated lawyers and judges on good practice, and pointed out places that we can do better for our children, openly and behind the scenes at every opportunity.

Dawn Coppock, Adoption Attorney

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