Adopting your grandchild can put you in control of his or her future. Securing guardianship rights through adoption is generally the best way to take legal responsibility of your grandchild’s wellbeing.

If you wish to adopt a grandchild in the state of Tennessee, take the following steps to initiate the process.

  1. Learn the adoption requirements

First, find out the general requirements for securing an adoption in Tennessee. You typically have to be a resident of the state for at least six consecutive months, along with other requirements such as financial stability and a commitment to the adoption. As a grandparent, however, you may qualify for certain relative adoption exceptions. This could make it easier to adopt your grandchild.

  1. Join the Relative Caregiver Program

You may be eligible for entry into the Relative Caregiver Program in Tennessee if your grandchild’s parents abandoned the child, went to jail or died. If your grandchild faced neglect or abuse at home, you could also qualify for the program. You may be able to receive financial assistance with this status in Tennessee.

  1. Know your rights as a grandparent

As a grandparent, you generally do not have many rights in terms of visitation and guardianship over your grandchild. You can secure these rights, however, with legal adoption. When looking to adopt your own grandchild, you generally do not have to pass a home study or waiting period like other couples trying to adopt would. You can bypass these requirements and go straight to the adoptive process.

  1. File the correct paperwork with the courts

Once you understand what it will take to adopt your grandchild in Tennessee, begin the actual process with help from an attorney. A family law attorney can make the process as simple and straightforward for your family as possible. Your lawyer can fill out complex paperwork and file it with the correct county courts. Maximize your chances of a judge accepting your relative adoption request by working with a lawyer.