Same-Sex Parents Still Face Legal Complications

This article by Elizabeth Harris in The New York Times will be of interest. Same-sex parents in Tennessee can relate. Same-Sex Parents Still Face Legal Complications At gay pride marches around the country this month, there will be celebrations of marriage, a national right that, at just two years old, feels freshly exuberant to many […]

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Court Divided over Substantial Noncompliance with Permanency Plan in Bradley County, TN Termination of Parental Rights: In re Damien G. M.

Facts: Mother and Father are the parents of Child. They never married. Child lived with Mother. The Tennessee Department of Children’s Services (DCS) received a referral alleging that Child had been exposed to drugs. When Mother appeared in court, she notified the court that she was homeless and without income. After Mother tested positive for […]

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Grounds of Wanton Disregard Reversed in Morristown, TN Termination of Parental Rights Case: In re Jeremimah N.

Facts: Mother gave birth to Child in 2002. In 2007, Maternal Grandmother obtained custody of Child. In 2015, Maternal Grandmother petitioned to terminate Father’s parental rights on grounds of wanton disregard and because Father was sentenced to serve over 10 years in prison. Maternal Grandmother sought to adopt Child. Mother consented to the termination of […]

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Things I Like: Coppock on Tennessee Adoption Law

Dawn Coppock, Esq., is widely recognized as the preeminent authority on Tennessee adoption law. She also happens to be a wonderful person. When I was a “baby lawyer” 20 years ago, one of the partners in the firm where I worked told me to handle a pro bono stepparent adoption for one of the firm’s clients. […]

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Failure to Terminate Father’s Parental Rights Reversed in Crossville, TN: In re A.B.

Facts: Child 1 was born in February 2009. Shortly thereafter, Father was placed on probation after pleading guilty to a drug charge. In July 2009, he was found guilty of violating his probation. In March 2010, Father was arrested for driving on a suspended license. A subsequent drug investigation resulted in Father’s arrest for violating […]

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K.O. Herston a “Top Attorney” for Divorce, Family Law, Child Support, and Adoption in Knoxville, TN

Once again, I am honored to have been selected by my colleagues in the Knoxville Bar as being among the best divorce, family law, child support, and adoption lawyers in Knoxville. CityView magazine explains: Each year, Cityview calls upon the members of the Knoxville Bar Association to determine which attorneys in East Tennessee are the best in […]

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Termination of Parental Rights Not in Children’s Best Interest in Blountville, TN: In re Aiden R.

Most termination of parental rights cases focus on grounds for termination. If grounds are proven, it often seems as if the second prong of the legal analysis — whether termination is in the child’s best interest — is an afterthought. This case is noteworthy because although grounds were proven, it was not proven that termination was in […]

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Termination of Parental Rights Case Dismissed for Lack of Standing in Fayetteville, TN: In re Ava B.

Facts: Mother and Father adopted Child. Three years later, Mother and Father divorced. Father was designated the primary residential parent for Child while Mother received 80 days of parenting time. Much post-divorce litigation ensued. Seven months after the divorce, Father petitioned to terminate Mother’s parental rights on the grounds that Mother willfully failed to pay […]

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Court Divided Over Statutory Interpretation in Greeneville, TN Termination of Parental Rights Case: In re K.J.G.

Facts: Mother and Stepfather filed a petition to terminate Father’s parental rights and adopt the child. After a trial, the trial court found clear and convincing evidence of grounds to terminate Father’s parental rights and that termination was in the child’s best interest. The trial court entered an order stating its conclusions and attached a […]

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Tennessee Supreme Court Creates Exceptions to Void Judgment in Adoption Dispute

Facts: The facts of this sad case are set forth in my blog post on the Court of Appeals’ opinion. Click HERE to see that post. I suggest you read that post before proceeding. On Appeal: The Tennessee Supreme Court reversed the courts below. Holding #1: The judgment terminating Mother’s parental rights is void. The record of the […]

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K.O. Herston a “Top Attorney” for Divorce, Family Law, Child Support, and Adoption in Knoxville, TN

Once again, I am honored to be selected by other lawyers as being among the best Divorce, Family Law, Child Support, and Adoption lawyers in Knoxville. CityView magazine explains: Each year, Cityview calls upon the members of the Knoxville Bar Association to determine which attorneys in East Tennessee are the best in their respective fields. The one criterion we most want the […]

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Legal Maternity at Issue in Jackson, TN Surrogacy Case: In re Amadi A.

Facts: Mr. and Mrs. A. entered into a surrogacy contract with Surrogate and her husband, whereby Surrogate would serve as the gestational carrier of a child for Mr. and Mrs. A. donated eggs were fertilized with Mr. A’s sperm, and the resulting embryos were implanted into Surrogate’s womb. The procedure was successful, and Surrogate gave […]

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Grandparents Fail to Undo Adoption in Jonesborough, TN: In re R.S.M.

Facts: Mother was the unmarried parent of Child. Following the birth, Mother and Child lived with Grandparents in their home for over two years. Grandparents loved the child and they shared a close relationship. One day Mother told Grandparents she was going shopping. When she left, she took Child with her. It was the last time […]

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Termination of Parental Rights Reversed in Murfreesboro, TN: In re Alysia S.

Facts: in 2010, Mother sought assistance in caring for Child after Mother lost her job. She signed a power of attorney and authorization of temporary guardianship stating Child would reside with another couple for approximately six months. During that period, the couple filed a petition alleging Child was dependent and neglected and seeking temporary custody […]

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