Dawn’s Blog

Of course, you can adopt an adult in Tennessee!

Adoption, Attorneys & Courts, News Events

This is not a debated or murky point of Tennessee law. You just can. I do 2 or 3 adult adoptions a year and I have for decades. 

See Tennessee Code Annotated § 36-1-117(j). 
(1) When the person sought to be adopted is eighteen (18) years of age or older, only the sworn, written consent of the person sought to be adopted shall be required and no order of reference or any home studies need be issued.

Chapter 17 of Coppock on Tennessee Adoption Law, 7th Ed. is called, guess what? “Adult Adoptions.”

The law creates a legal relationship because the people have an existing emotional parent-child relationship and think their love is just that important.  

At the hearing, the clients usually cry. Sometimes I cry. Sometimes even the judge and the bailiff cry. 

It is a “real” adoption and the legal part is easy peasy, not just in Tennessee, but pretty much all over the U.S. 

I don’t know anything at all about the case in the news. I just want to be sure that you know that if you want to adopt an adult, like a nephew, niece, stepchild, or former foster child, and they want to be adopted, have at it.

If you and your de facto parent or child want to make it legal, call your local adoption lawyer. 

Dawn Coppock, Attorney
Strawberry Plains, TN

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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