A Legacy of Justice. A History of Success. Proud to Serve as Clarksville's Attorneys Since 1929

Are your rights affected if your grandchildren are adopted?

Your relationship with your grandchildren in Clarksville is likely one that you treasure, and one that you would want to continue no matter what may happen between the children and their parents. You may also view this desire as your right given your relationship, yet are you aware exactly how this assumed right may be affected if something did indeed happen that impacted your grandchildren’s parental situation? What if your grandchildren were removed from one (or both) of their parents’ custody and placed into foster care (and subsequently, adopted)?

If the children had a stepparent that the court deemed fit to continue caring for them, he or she may be asked to adopt them (if such action has not already happened). If that is not possible, and your circumstances would not allow you to assume guardianship of them, another relative may be asked to take them in and later adopt them. According to the Annotated Code of Tennessee, were this to happen, your rights to visitation would not be affected in any way. The same is not true, however, if someone other than a stepparent or relative adopts your grandchildren.

Tennessee law is very clear on the point that once a child is adopted, the court places no obligation on the adoptive parents to continue to allow for visitation from members of his or her biological family. In this case, your grandchildren’s adoptive parents do not have to allow you to continue your relationship. You may, however, reach out to the adoptive parents and inquire as to their willingness to establish an “open adoption.” If they consent, then you (as well as other members of your family, including the children’s parents) may continue to meet with and contact the kids.