I am assuming her and dad were not married. Where is dad and how long ago did mom leave her child with him?
It sounds like mom needs to hire an attorney where dad is and file a petition for custody/visitation with the child in the juvenile court of the county where dad and child are.
The answering of this question does NOT establish an attorney\client relationship. If you wish to hire me call me and we will talk about it, but as of now, I am NOT your attorney.
If the child is here in Tennessee, she needs to have some consultations with family lawyers that are in the county where the child is. From what you say, she left the child when she was depressed. That's going to need some explaining, and a local attorney would know best how to do that. It sounds like this father is not going to agree, so a court order is what she needs. She can find several attorneys that give free consultations, and she can pick the one that she feels the most comfortable with.
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