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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Termination of Parental Rights Reversed in Carthage, TN Because Abandonment Not Willful: In re Lyric J.

Facts: Mother gave birth to Child and died two days later. Father lived in California and was not present for Child’s birth. Mother and Father were not married. Because Father had not yet been declared Child’s legal father, the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services gave temporary custody of Child to Maternal Grandmother. Father was advised […]

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TN Supreme Court Addresses Surrogacy Agreement: In re Baby

Facts: A man and woman who were unable to have children together (“Intended Parents”) entered into a contract with a woman who consented to act as a surrogate (“Surrogate”). Surrogate’s husband was also a party to the contract. The parties contracted for a “traditional surrogacy,” which involves the artificial insemination of the surrogate, who, after giving […]

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Court Divided on Incarceration as Grounds to Terminate Parent’s Rights in Winchester, TN: In re Chandler M.

Facts: Mother and Father had a one-night stand that produced Child. Mother did not list Father’s name on the birth certificate and openly asserted that another man was Child’s father. Later, Child was adjudicated as dependent and neglected in Mother’s care. Father was incarcerated on a one-year prison sentence followed by 11 years of probation […]

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Surrogate Mother with No Legal Rights Listed as “Mother” on Child’s Tennessee Birth Certificate: In re Adoption of Male Child A.F.C.

Facts: A married couple, Intended Mother and Father, entered into a surrogacy agreement with Surrogate Mother. Per the surrogacy agreement, Intended Mother and Father obtained an egg from an anonymous, surrogate egg donor; the egg was fertilized in vitro with Father’s sperm; and the fertilized egg was implanted in Surrogate Mother’s uterus. The process was […]

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Failure to Follow Tennessee Law Voids Nine-Year-Old Adoption: Turner v. Turner

Facts: Mother and Father married, had two children, and divorced. Mother could not be located at the time of divorce though Father was granted custody of the children by default. Father subsequently remarried. Father’s new wife desired to adopt the children. Father filed a petition to terminate Mother’s parental rights. A civil summons was issued […]

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Statute for Attorney’s Fees in Child Custody Disputes Inapplicable to Termination of Parental Rights Cases: In re Nathaniel C.T.

Facts: In June 2008, the Children entered into the temporary custody of their aunt by agreed order. In December 2008, Petitioners filed a petition to terminate the parental rights of Parents to the Children. Ultimately, the parties entered mediation and reached an agreement in 2011. In the end, the Children remained with Parents. Relying on Tennessee Code […]

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Termination of Parental Rights Vacated in Knoxville Adoption: In re Karma S.C.

Facts: Mother and Father lost custody of Child, who eventually ended up in the custody of an unrelated couple who wished to adopt Child (“Adoptive Parents”). Adoptive Parents petitioned to terminate the parental rights of Father in Mother and to adopt Child. As grounds for the termination of parental rights, Adoptive Parents alleged that Mother […]

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