2010 Tennessee Code
Title 36 - Domestic Relations
Chapter 1 - Adoption
Part 1 - General Provisions
36-1-109 - Illegal payments in connection with placement of child Penalty.

36-1-109. Illegal payments in connection with placement of child Penalty.

(a)  It is unlawful for any person, corporation, agency, or other entity other than the department or a licensed child-placing agency or licensed clinical social worker, as defined in § 36-1-102, that is subject to regulation by the department to:

     (1)  (A)  Charge or receive from or on behalf of any person or persons legally adopting or accepting a child for adoption any remuneration, fee, contribution, or thing of value whatsoever for rendering any service described in § 36-1-108 in connection with the placement of such child for adoption or in connection with the placement of such child for foster care or adoption with one other than the child's parent(s) other than that now or hereafter allowed by law;

          (B)  (i)  This section shall not be construed to prohibit the payment by any interested person of reasonable charges or fees for hospital or medical services for the birth of the child, or for medical care and other reasonable birth-related expenses for the mother and/or child incident thereto, for reasonable counseling fees for the parents or prospective adoptive parents and/or child, for reasonable legal services or the reasonable costs of legal proceedings related to the adoption of any child or for reasonable, actual expenses for housing, food, maternity clothing, child's clothing, utilities or transportation for a reasonable period not to exceed ninety (90) days prior to or forty-five (45) days after the birth or surrender or parental consent to the adoption of the child, unless a court with jurisdiction for the surrender or adoption of a child, based upon detailed affidavits of a birth mother and the prospective adoptive parents and such other evidence as the court may require, specifically approves in a written order, based upon a motion filed by the prospective adoptive parents for that purpose, any expenses specifically allowed in this subdivision (a)(1)(B) for a period prior to or after the periods noted above.

                (ii)  Such expenses must be incurred directly in connection with the maternity, birth, and/or placement of the child for adoption, or for legal services or for costs of legal proceedings directly related to the adoption of the child, or for counseling for a period of up to one (1) year for the parent who surrenders the child or consents to the adoption of the child;

                (iii)  The payment for such expenses may only be for expenses or costs actually incurred during the periods permitted in subdivisions (a)(1)(B)(i) and (ii). This shall not be construed to prohibit the actual payment or receipt of payment for such expenses or costs after those periods that were actually incurred during those periods.

     (2)  Sell or surrender a child to another person for money or anything of value; and it is unlawful for any person to receive such minor child for such payment of money or thing of value; provided, that nothing herein shall be construed as prohibiting any person who is contemplating adopting a child not yet born or surrendered or for whom a parental consent may be given from payment of the expenses set forth in subdivision (a)(1)(B);

     (3)  Having the rights and duties of a parent or guardian with respect to the care and custody of a minor child, assign or transfer such parental or guardianship rights for the purpose of, incidental to, or otherwise connected with, selling or offering to sell such rights and duties for money or anything of value; or

     (4)  Assist in the commission of any acts prohibited in subdivision (a)(1), (2), or (3).

(b)  A violation of this section is a Class C felony.

(c)  Any adoption completed before March 27, 1978, shall not be affected by this section.

[Acts 1978, ch. 704, § 2; T.C.A., § 36-136; Acts 1992, ch. 1019, § 1; T.C.A., § 36-1-135; Acts 1995, ch. 532, § 1; 1996, ch. 1054, § 19; 2003, ch. 231, § 6.]  

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