Tennessee Birth Mother Bill of Rights

Dec 10, 2020 | Birth Mothers


 As an expectant mother Hope Center is here to support you by giving you all of the information you need to make an educated, life-giving choice for you and your child’s future.

As you consider the option of adoption for your child, Hope Center is able to inform you of all that the adoption process may entail both emotionally and legally.  We want you to know your legal rights before, during, and after the adoption is finalized.  We are here to help you every step of the way.

The State of Tennessee gives the following legal rights to any woman in the considering placing her child for adoption.

You have a right to place your child for adoption through an adoption agency or through a private adoption with an attorney.

You have a right to choose the parents who will adopt your child, know their names, religion and other similar information and meet them, if desired.

You have a right to review the adoptive parents’ home study.

You have a right to make a written open adoption agreement to permit you pictures, letters or personal contact with the child after placement. The agreement is a moral agreement and will not be legally enforced by the Tennessee Courts.

You have a right to name your child on his or her first birth certificate. The adoptive parents have a right to name the child on the second birth certificate which will be issued after the adoption is final.

You have the right to your own attorney at the expense of the adoptive parents. In most cases, you also have the right to decline counsel.

You have the right to receive counseling from the counselor of your choice for a total of 12 months, at the expense of the adoptive parents. You also have the right to decline counseling.

You have the right to have the adoptive parents pay for your birth related medical expenses.

If you are placing a newborn child for adoption, you have the right to financial assistance with your reasonable and actual housing, utilities, maternity clothes, food and transportation during the last 90 days of your pregnancy and for 45 days after the surrender of a newborn. You may also decline financial assistance.

You have the right to see or not see your child before you place him or her for adoption.

You have the right to change your mind about the adoption at any time before you sign a surrender form in front of a judge and for 3 days after you sign the surrender form. The three day period does not include weekends and holidays, but if the third day is a weekend or holiday the last day to revoke is the next business day following the third day. There is no right to revoke beyond the 3 day period. You cannot sign a surrender before the child is four days old unless the judge says there is good reason to make an exception to this rule.

You have a right to receive a copy of the surrender form and any other forms you sign.

Your child is allowed to have his or her adoption records, including papers that disclose your identity, when he or she is 21 years old. You have the right to consent to, or prevent, contact from your adult child.

If you have questions about these rights, or if you would like to know more about the adoption process, one of our Caseworkers would love to speak to you.  We can help you identify your goals and dreams for your future and the future of your child.  We can help support you in those hopes and dreams.  For more information, click the “Contact Us” button or call our offices.  Our services are FREE and CONFIDENTIAL


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