A brief FAQ for prospective adoptive parents in Tennessee

Those who wish to adopt in Tennessee would do well to understand how the process works, as well as how they will be evaluated by the State.

Those in Tennessee who are interested in adopting a child may be wondering if they are ready, or if they even meet the criteria required to be able to adopt someone into their family. The State Department of Child Services runs an adoption program that includes a way of browsing through a list of children who are hoping for new families. In addition to understanding the adoption process, it is also important for prospective parents to be aware of the state's requirements that are the same for any family who is looking to adopt.

What are the adoption criteria in Tennessee?

The State of Tennessee does not require someone to be married to go through the process of adoption, and even a single or divorced prospective parent has the option. However, it is mandatory that someone be of the age of 21 years or older in order to be considered as an adoptive parent. The State will also look at current familial relationships and assess if anyone seeking adoption is able to take themselves and their families. It is also required that the potential adopter has their current residence in the State of Tennessee.

Prospective adoptive parents must also be able to work full time. It does not matter if the living space is rented or owned, but it is important for a prospective parent to have a stable place to live and raise a child. It is also not required that the potential adopter have no other children, as even parents who already have children are allowed to go through the adoption process.

What is the process of adoption like in Tennessee?

Parents will first go through a process to become registered and approved as foster parents. Once they have been confirmed as foster parents, they are able to provide care for children who are taken into the custody of the Department of Child Services. If one of these children gets put up for adoption, the foster family currently caring for the child in question will always get first priority in the choice of whether to adopt. It is also possible for registered parents to go online to the Department of Child Services website, where there is a list of kids who are currently looking for families. Prospective parents can even do a search for children that fit a certain profile, such as age and gender.

If people living in Tennessee want to adopt a child, they may need help with filling out paperwork and understanding the legal process, including knowledge of what they can expect to hear back from the courts. An attorney in the local area who practices family law may be able to help in these instances.