Department of Human Services

Families First Online Policy Manual





Table of Contents


        Adoption of children


Legal adoption of a child or a childís parent establishes a legal relationship to a new set of relatives, both immediate and extended.The adoptive relatives within the specified degree of relationship qualify to receive Families First for an adopted child as do the blood relatives of the adopted child.


        Child Born of Annulled/Bigamous Marriage


Children born of an annulled or bigamous marriage are considered the legal children of that marriage.


        Child Born During Marriage


By law in Tennessee, any child born during a marriage or within ten months of the termination of that marriage by death or divorce is presumed to be the child of the motherís husband.This presumption can be overcome only by strong and convincing evidence that it would have been impossible for cohabitation between the mother and her husband to have occurred at the time of the childís conception. Therefore, when a child is born in these circumstances, the motherís husband will be considered to be the childís father.This is true, even if it is alleged that someone other than the husband is the childís father, until paternity is established in a court of competent jurisdiction.


        Legitimated Children


Children who have been legitimated are entitled to all rights and privileges of a child born in wedlock.Therefore, relatives of the legitimating parent are considered as relatives eligible to receive Families First for the child.


        Termination of Parental Rights


Termination of parental rights by a court of competent jurisdiction terminates all of the rights and responsibilities of a childís parents.However, such termination does not affect a childís relationship to his/her natural extended family.When blood relationship to these relatives can be factually established, they may receive Families First for the child.



Table of Contents