Part 1 General Provisions
Part 2 Interstate Compact on Adoption and Medical Assistance
Part 3 Adoption Contact Veto Registry

Terms Used In Tennessee Code > Title 36 > Chapter 1

  • abandonment: means that:

    (i) For a period of four (4) consecutive months immediately preceding the filing of a proceeding or pleading to terminate the parental rights of the parent(s) or guardian(s) of the child who is the subject of the petition for termination of parental rights or adoption, that the parent(s) or guardian(s) either have willfully failed to visit or have willfully failed to support or have willfully failed to make reasonable payments toward the support of the child. See

  • Adopted person: means :

    (A) Any person who is or has been adopted under this part or under the laws of any state, territory, or foreign country. See

  • Adoption: means the social and legal process of establishing by court order, other than by paternity or legitimation proceedings or by voluntary acknowledgment of paternity, the legal relationship of parent and child. See
  • Adoption assistance: means the federal or state programs that exist to provide financial assistance to adoptive parents to enable them to provide a permanent home to a special needs child as defined by the department. See
  • Adoption record: means :

    (A) (i) The records, reports, or other documents maintained in any medium by the judge or clerk of the court, or by any other person pursuant to this part who is authorized to witness the execution of surrenders or revocations of surrenders, which records, reports, or documents relate to an adoption petition, a surrender or parental consent, a revocation of a surrender or parental consent, or which reasonably relate to other information concerning the adoption of a person, and which information in such records, reports, or documents exists during the pendency of an adoption or a termination of parental rights proceeding, or which records, reports, or documents exist subsequent to the conclusion of those proceedings, even if no order of adoption or order of dismissal is entered, but which records, reports or documents exist prior to those records, reports, or documents becoming a part of a sealed record or a sealed adoption record pursuant to §. See

  • Adult: means any person who is eighteen (18) years of age or older. See
  • advance notice period: means the fifteen-day period from the date of mailing a notice regarding the impending release of adoption records, sealed records, sealed adoption records, post-adoption records, or any other records or papers to a person who has requested that the department provide advance notice prior to releasing the information. See
  • Biological parents: means the woman and man who physically or genetically conceived the child who is the subject of the adoption or termination proceedings or who conceived the child who has made a request for information pursuant to this part. See
  • Chartered child-placing agency: means an agency that had received a charter from the state of Tennessee through legislative action or by incorporation for the operation of an entity or a program of any type that engaged in the placement of children for foster care or residential care as part of a plan or program for which those children were or could have been made available for adoptive placement and that may have, at sometime during its existence, become subject to any licensing requirements by the department or its predecessors. See
  • Child caring agency: means any agency authorized by law to care for children outside their own homes for twenty-four (24) hours per day. See
  • children: means any person or persons under eighteen (18) years of age. See
  • co-guardianship: means , for purposes of subdivision (24), a person or entity having the status of being a guardian or co-guardian who or which is responsible for the provision of supervision, protection, and assistance to the person of a child under this part or under other provisions of the law of this or any other jurisdiction. See
  • Code: includes the Tennessee Code and all amendments and revisions to the code and all additions and supplements to the code. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105
  • Consent: means :

    (A) The written authorization to relinquish a child for adoption, which is given by an agency such as the department or a public child care agency of another state or country or licensed child-placing agency of this or another state, which agency has the authority, by court order or by surrender or by operation of law or by any combination of these, to place a child for adoption and to give permission for the adoption of that child by other persons. See

  • court: includes the juvenile court for purposes of the authority to accept the surrender or revocation of surrenders of a child and to issue any orders of reference, orders of guardianship, or other orders resulting from a surrender or revocation that it accepts and for purposes of authorizing the termination of parental rights pursuant to §. See
  • Court report: means the report to the adoption or surrender court in response to an order of reference that describes to the court the status of the child and the prospective adoptive parents or the persons to whom the child is surrendered. See
  • Department: means the department of children's services or any of its divisions or units. See
  • Eligible person: means , for purposes of §. See
  • Executor: includes an assets of the estate, pay debts, and distribute residue to those entitled to it. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105
  • Final court report: means a written document completed by the department or a licensed child-placing agency or licensed clinical social worker after submission of any prior court reports in response to the court's order of reference. See
  • Financially able: means that the petitioners for adoption of a child are able, by use of any and all income and economic resources of the petitioners, including, but not limited to, assistance from public or private sources, to ensure that any physical, emotional, or special needs of the child are met. See
  • Foster care: has the meaning given to that term in §. See
  • Home study: means the product of a preparation process in which individuals or families are assessed by themselves and the department or licensed child-placing agency, or a licensed clinical social worker as to their suitability for adoption and their desires with regard to the child they wish to adopt. See
  • Legal parent: means :

    (A) The biological mother of a child. See

  • Legal relative: means the person who is included in the class of persons set forth in the definition of "biological relative" or "legal parent" and who, at the time a request for search services or information is made pursuant to §. See
  • Legal representative: means :

    (i) The conservator, guardian, legal custodian, or other person or entity with legal authority to make decisions for an individual with a disability or an attorney-in-fact, an attorney at law representing a person for purposes of obtaining information pursuant to this part, or the legally appointed assets of the estate, pay debts, and distribute residue to those entitled to it. See

  • Licensed child-placing agency: means any agency operating under a license to place children for adoption issued by the department, or operating under a license from any governmental authority from any other state or territory or the District of Columbia, or any agency that operates under the authority of another country with the right to make placement of children for adoption and that has, in the department's sole determination, been authorized to place children for adoption in this state. See
  • Licensed clinical social worker: means an individual who holds a license as an independent practitioner from the board of social worker certification and licensure pursuant to title
  • Lineal ancestor: means any degree of grandparent or great-grandparent, either by birth or adoption. See
  • Lineal descendant: means a person who descended directly from another person who is the biological or adoptive ancestor of such person, such as the daughter of the daughter's mother or granddaughter of the granddaughter's grandmother. See
  • Minor: means any person who has not attained eighteen (18) years of age. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105
  • Month: means a calendar month. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105
  • Oath: includes affirmation. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105
  • Order of reference: means the order from the court where the surrender is executed or filed or where the adoption petition is filed that directs the department or a licensed child-placing agency or licensed clinical social worker to conduct a home study or preliminary home study or to complete a report of the status of the child who is or may be the subject of an adoption proceeding, and that seeks information as to the suitability of the prospective adoptive parents to adopt a child. See
  • Parental consent: means the consent described in subdivision (15)(C). See
  • Parental rights: means the legally recognized rights and responsibilities to act as a parent, to care for, to name, and to claim custodial rights with respect to a child. See
  • Person: includes a corporation, firm, company or association. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105
  • Personal property: includes money, goods, chattels, things in action, and evidences of debt. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105
  • Post-adoption record: means :

    (A) The record maintained in any medium by the department, separately from the sealed record or sealed adoption record and subsequent to the sealing of an adoption record or that is maintained about any sealed record or sealed adoption record. See

  • Preliminary home study: means an initial home study conducted prior to or, in limited situations, immediately after, the placement of a child with prospective adoptive parents who have not previously been subject to a home study that was conducted or updated not less than six (6) months prior to the date a surrender is sought to be executed to the prospective adoptive parents or prior to the date of the filing of the adoption petition. See
  • Property: includes both personal and real property. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105
  • Prospective adoptive parents: means a non-agency person or persons who are seeking to adopt a child and who have made application with a licensed child-placing agency or licensed clinical social worker or the department for approval, or who have been previously approved, to receive a child for adoption, or who have received or who expect to receive a surrender of a child, or who have filed a petition for termination or for adoption. See
  • real property: include lands, tenements and hereditaments, and all rights thereto and interests therein, equitable as well as legal. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105
  • Record: means information that is inscribed on a tangible medium or that is stored in an electronic or other medium and is retrievable in a perceivable form. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105
  • Related: means grandparents or any degree of great-grandparents, aunts or uncles, or any degree of great-aunts or great-uncles, or stepparent, or cousins of the first degree or any siblings of the whole or half-degree. See
  • Representative: when applied to those who represent a decedent, includes executors and administrators, unless the context implies heirs and distributees. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105
  • Sealed adoption record: means :

    (i) The adoption record as it exists subsequent to its transmittal to the department, or subsequent to its sealing by the court, pursuant to the requirements of §. See

  • Sealed record: means :

    (i) Any records, reports, or documents that are maintained at any time by a court, a court clerk, a licensed or chartered child-placing agency, licensed clinical social worker, the department, the department of health, or any other information source concerning the foster care or agency care placement, or placement for adoption, of a person by any branch of the Tennessee children's home society authorized by Public Chapter 113 (1919). See

  • Sibling: means anyone having a sibling relationship. See
  • signed: includes a mark, the name being written near the mark and witnessed, or any other symbol or methodology executed or adopted by a party with intention to authenticate a writing or record, regardless of being witnessed. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105
  • State: when applied to the different parts of the United States, includes the District of Columbia and the several territories of the United States. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105
  • Surrender: means a document executed under the provisions of §. See
  • token visitation: means that the visitation, under the circumstances of the individual case, constitutes nothing more than perfunctory visitation or visitation of such an infrequent nature or of such short duration as to merely establish minimal or insubstantial contact with the child. See
  • United States: includes the District of Columbia and the several territories of the United States. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105
  • written: includes printing, typewriting, engraving, lithography, and any other mode of representing words and letters. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105
  • Year: means a calendar year, unless otherwise expressed. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105