Both the Tennessee House and Senate passed a bill giving the Department of Children’s Services (DCS) additional oversight to keep tabs on adopted children whose families receive payments through the Adoption Assistance Program. It now awaits Governor Bill Lee’s signature to become law.
State Bill 270 also allows DCS officials to visit the adoptive parents if they do not give the required documents and officials suspect foul play. Parents or guardians in the program will be also be required to provide the Department of Children’s Services with medical or school enrollment records to ensure the child’s wellbeing.
Senator Ken Yager introduced the bill shortly after Michael and Shirley Gray of Roane County were both arrested after one of their adopted children died and was reportedly buried on their property. Other minors they adopted were being held in what officers say was horrible conditions. A second child was later found buried at a home in Knox County the Grays lived in. The Grays continued to receive adoption financial benefits from the state in the amount of $36,000 a year well after the children died because DCS reportedly did not check on the minors.
The Grays are currently in the court system on several charges each.