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The Adoption Project looks to make a change in Tennessee


A new organization is working to make the adoption process smoother for families in Tennessee.
Published: May. 11, 2022 at 7:49 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - A new organization working to make the adoption process smoother is hoping to make Tennessee the most adoption-friendly state.

“Our hope is that we are able to develop a system that works in the best interest of everybody,” Jeremy Harrell, President and CEO of The Adoption Project, said.

Harrell is a father of three. A few years back, his family decided to adopt and was connected to their daughter Ruby’s birth mom.

“She went through her surrender process and the time where she could change her mind. They day that happened we met her at the agency and she literally handed my wife our daughter, Harrell said.

Through that connection, his family was able to adopt Ruby’s younger sister Rosie.

But the road to adoption wasn’t easy.

“I would have these moments where I would complain about the process, and I was complaining to a friend of mine one day while we were waiting and had this very clear moment,” Harrell said.

Using his personal experience and professional background working under former Gov. Bill Haslam’s administration, he launched The Adoption Project with Jennifer Donnals.

“The past few months we have been meeting with a lot of different stake holders, a lot of different organizations, attorneys, non-profits, adoptive parents, foster parents, just to learn and gain an understanding, maybe what are the barriers they are facing to adoption and trying to work through those and help bring some positive public policy changes,” Donnals said.

As an adoptive parent, Donnals said their primary goal is breaking those barriers and eliminating the challenges families face.

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