A number of parents in Tennessee have opened their doors, and their hearts, to children whose parents are unable to look after them, and as a result were placed in the custody of the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services. Such foster parents understand how a strong emotional bond is created when a child stays with their family for a number of years. They also understand how it feels if that child is taken away from the family and placed in someone else’s custody.
One such instance, of which Clarksville residents may be aware, is that of a 9-year-old girl living with a foster family in Dickson County, Tennessee. In 2008, a court in the state terminated the parental rights of the child’s biological father and permitted the foster parents to adopt her, thereby gaining child custody of the then 3-year-old girl. Interestingly, at the same time, the DCS was trying to place the girl with her relatives in Nebraska.
Subsequently, the Tennessee Court of Appeals overturned the adoption order and the child was sent to live with her biological father in January 2014. However, the DCS retained legal custody of the child. In the first week of June 2014, the foster parents filed a petition in court to terminate the parental rights of the biological father and to let them officially adopt the 9-year-old girl.
When an adoption or child custody dispute becomes complicated, as in this case, the children and the adults involved in the dispute usually have to experience significant emotional distress. If a situation such as this is not handled in a sensitive and compassionate manner, the dispute may leave a deep emotional impact on everyone involved, especially the children. To address the issue in the right fashion, a lawyer’s advice may be helpful in resolving the child custody dispute.
Source: Clarksville Now, “Foster parents in custody dispute seek adoption,” Travis Loller, June 18, 2014