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Tennessee Foster Parents of the Year 2013 announced

There are many children of various ages in Montgomery and other places in Tennessee who are involved in a child custody dispute among two parents. In one way, these children are lucky because they at least have both parents who love and care for them. There are however many children who are abandoned by their parents or are put up for adoption for various reasons. Many of these children find a home due to the care and affection displayed by foster parents across the state.

Recently, a couple from Kingsport, Tennessee, was selected as the winner of the award for the 2013 Foster Parents of the Year. Although they do not have full-fledged child custody of the two siblings, a brother and a sister, living with them, they have gone to all possible lengths to prove that they are able to be legal guardians of the children.

At the time of awarding guardianship to the couple, the couple, as well as the Department of Child Services agreed it would not be in anyone's best interests to completely severe ties with the mother and therefore the couple agreed to a guardianship relationship with some parental rights, while the mother retained her parental rights.

In order to be a foster parent in Tennessee, a person has to prove that he or she is adequately qualified to act as the guardian of the child. After submitting some basic information to the DCS, the agency runs a background check on the person, talks to him or her and conducts an inspection of the home among various other formalities. Once this process is completed, the prospective parents are required to undergo at least 21 hours of training that guides them about parenting.

Although the process looks quite simple on paper, legal custody or guardianship is a complicated area of family law and the chances on making a misinformed decision are high. Therefore, a couple who wishes to obtain child custody or guardianship rights may choose to contact an experienced family attorney who can guide them through the entire process.

Source: TimesNews.net, "Open hearts, open home make Kingsport couple Tenn. Foster Parents of the Year," Nick Shepherd, Mar. 15, 2014

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