Browse Previous Page | Table of Contents | Browse Next Page

TENNESSEE COMPILATION OF SELECTED LAWS ON CHILDREN, YOUTH AND FAMILIES, 2011 EDITION

TENNESSEE CODE ANNOTATED

Title 36 Domestic Relations

Chapter 1 Adoption

Part 1 General Provisions

36-1-121. Effect of adoption on relationship.

(a) The signing of a final order of adoption terminates any existing guardianship orders and establishes from that date the relationship of parent and child between the adoptive parent(s) and the adopted child as if the adopted child had been born to the adoptive parent(s) and the adopted child shall be deemed the lawful child of such parent(s), the same as if the child had been born to the parent(s), for all legal consequences and incidents of the biological relation of parents and children.

(b) The adopted child and the child's descendants shall be capable of inheriting and otherwise receiving title to real and personal property from the adoptive parents and their descendants, and of succeeding to the rights of either such parent or such parent's descendants in such property, whether created by will, by other instrument or by law, including, but not limited to, taking as a beneficiary of a remainder interest following a life interest or estate in either such parent or such parent's ancestor or descendant. The adopted child shall have the same such rights as to lineal and collateral kindred of either adoptive parent and the ancestors or descendants of such kindred, as the adoptive child has as to such parent, and the lineal and collateral kindred of either adoptive parent and the descendants of such kindred shall have the same such rights as to the adopted child and the child's descendants, but only as to property of the adopted child acquired after the child's adoption.

(c) In the construction of any instrument, whether will, deed, or otherwise, whether executed before or after August 24, 1995, and whether the testator or other party creating an interest by such instrument died before or after August 24, 1995, or before or after an adoption, a child so adopted and the descendants of such child are deemed included within the class created by any limitation contained in such instrument restricting a devise, bequest or conveyance to the lawful heirs, issue, children, descendants, or the like, as the case may be, of the adoptive parent, or of an ancestor or descendant of one (1) of them, and such adopted child shall be treated as a member of such class unless a contrary intention clearly shall appear by the terms of such instrument or unless the particular estate so limited shall have vested in interest and in possession in and as to the person or persons entitled thereto on August 24, 1995; provided, that this sentence shall not apply in the construction of any instrument as to any child who is over twenty-one (21) years of age at the time of such child's adoption.

(d) “Contrary intention clearly shall appear,” as set forth in this section, shall not be found by any court to exist by use in such instrument of such terms as “issue,” “children” or similar legal terms, unless the instrument specifically states that adopted children are to be excluded from such class.

(e) An adopted child shall not inherit real or personal property from a biological parent or relative thereof when the relationship between them has been terminated by final order of adoption, nor shall such biological parent or relative thereof inherit from the adopted child. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a), if a parent of a child dies without the relationship of parent and child having been previously terminated and any other person thereafter adopts the child, the child's right of inheritance from or through the deceased biological parent or any relative thereof shall be unaffected by the adoption.

(f) The adoptive parents of a child shall not be required by any order of the adoption court to permit visitation by any other person, nor shall the order of the adoption court place any conditions on the adoption of the child by the adoptive parents. Any provision in an order of the court or in any written agreement or contract between the parent or guardian of the child and the adoptive parents requiring visitation or otherwise placing any conditions on the adoption shall be void and of no effect whatsoever; provided, that nothing under this part shall be construed to prohibit “open adoptions” where the adoptive parents permit, in their sole discretion, the parent or guardian of the child who surrendered the child or whose rights to the child were otherwise terminated, or the siblings or other persons related to the adopted child, to visit or otherwise continue or maintain a relationship with the adopted child; and provided further, that the permission or agreement to permit visitation or contact shall not, in any manner whatsoever, establish any enforceable rights in the parent or guardian, the siblings or other related persons.

(g) The adoption of a child shall have no effect upon arrearages owed by an obligor of child support for that child that existed prior to the termination of parental rights or to that child's adoption and that are owed by an obligor to any person or any governmental agency, nor shall it affect any other financial obligations of a person that may be related to the care of the adopted child prior to a surrender, termination of parental rights, or adoption involving that child.

Acts 1951, ch. 202, § 23 (Williams, § 9572.37); Acts 1955, ch. 302, §§ 1, 2; 1957, ch. 345, § 1; 1968, ch. 406, § 1; 1976, ch. 751, § 1; 1983, ch. 432, §§ 1-4; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 36-126; Acts 1992, ch. 994, § 4; 1995, ch. 532, § 1.

Compiler's Notes. Former § 36-1-121 (Acts 1951, ch. 202, § 19 (Williams, § 9572.33); T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 36-121; Acts 1988, ch. 560, § 12; 1991, ch. 158, § 2), concerning supervision of children in adoptive homes, was repealed by Acts 1995, ch. 532, § 1, effective January 1, 1996.

Browse Previous Page | Table of Contents | Browse Next Page