Adoption Assistance for Drug-Exposed Infants
Dawn Coppock
by Angi Newsome
2w ago
Adoption assistance is a program to assist adoptive families of special needs children. The program is state-administered with the majority of funding from the federal government and a state contribution as well. The benefits are usually a monthly stipend and health insurance, which may be secondary where private insurance is available.  There are some technical requirements for adoption assistance concerning the exact needs of the child and the financial situation of the birth parent at removal. However, there is no “means test” for the adoptive parents, which means the adoptive parents ..read more
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Finalization – Six Months or Three Months?
Dawn Coppock
by Angi Newsome
3w ago
Question: I understand that the waiting period for adoption, the time the child must live with the prospective adoptive family before the adoption can be finalized, has been reduced from 6 months to 3 months, correct? Answer: Not exactly. The waiting period is still 6 months but the judge in the case CAN, but does not have to, reduce the wait to 3 months. Judges are expected to be most open to reducing the waiting period in newborn adoptions. When older children are new in a home at least 6 months for the child and family to adjust to one another and for problems to arise and be resolved is u ..read more
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Save the date! 2024 Adoption Law School is April 10-12 in Sevier County TN!
Dawn Coppock
by Angi Cameron
6M ago
..read more
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Of course, you can adopt an adult in Tennessee!
Dawn Coppock
by Angi Cameron
9M ago
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 p ..read more
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A Voice in Court for Foster Parents
Dawn Coppock
by Angi Cameron
10M ago
Effective July 1, 2023 Big addition to foster parent’s right to participate in hearings. T.C.A. §  37-2-415 (a)(17) – (Public Chapter 263) For some time, the court has been required to promptly notify foster parents of all court hearings regarding their foster child. They are permitted to attend “at the discretion of the court” which means unless the judge doesn’t want them to. The new provision says, “A foster parent who has served as the physical placement of the child for a period of nine (9) months or more shall be permitted to appear and actively participate in any permanency hearing ..read more
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Public outcry is needed for Tennessee to fix the Department of Children’s Services
Dawn Coppock
by Angi Cameron
1y ago
Public outcry is needed for Tennessee to fix the Department of Children’s Services – Opinion – By Dawn Coppock – Published by The Tennessean, The Knoxville News Sentinel & The Commerical Appeal – January 4, 2023 ..read more
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Registration Open – Adoption Law School Summer Camp At the Beach – April 12-15, 2023
Dawn Coppock
by Angi Cameron
1y ago
Adoption Law School Summer Camp At The Beach April 12-15, 2023 Registration is Open! Become a better adoption lawyer, Strengthen your relationships with colleagues, and Spend your afternoons on the beach. I’ve kept what you love, The beautiful Gulf Coast, Comprehensive, up to the minute legal curriculum, 100% of your annual CLE, Dawn’s practical, efficient, and irreverent presentation style, Short days, and plenty of free time, Yoga on the beach, and The best CLE snacks anywhere. And enhanced it. Materials will include a complete set of updated adoption forms, and checklists! You will ..read more
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Dawn’s Deep Dive into Tennessee’s Best Interest Statute – The Cover Story in July / August TBA Journal
Dawn Coppock
by Angi Cameron
3y ago
Read it here: Happier Childhoods and Better Best Interest Factors – TBA Journal – July / August 2021 ..read more
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Tennessee’s best interest factors are now BETTER
Dawn Coppock
by Angi Cameron
3y ago
On April 22, 2021, the Governor signed HB200/SB205, new factors for judges to consider to determine the best interest of a child in a termination of a parental rights case. My detailed analysis is HERE ..read more
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Legislative Advocacy Video Plus Sample Letter
Dawn Coppock
by Angi Cameron
3y ago
Click above to play the legislative advocacy video. Sample legislator letter below: Dear Senator (or Representative) Schmo: I live in XXXX (If you live in the lawmaker’s district). I am an attorney/adoptive parent/ environmental engineer/teacher/go to church with your brother (or anything that is topically relevant or establishes why you are interested or how they might know you.) I am concerned about/or strongly support HB 000 SB 000, because…… (Be specific. Use examples of how this bill would help or hurt the applicable situation and what you want or worry will happen.) Thank you for your s ..read more
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