Adopting a child can be as legally complicated as it is emotionally. Adoption laws vary depending on which state you live in, and navigating the legal requirements for adoption in Tennessee is an important step toward welcoming a new member into your family.
What is required?
Tennessee law requires that you fulfill several basic requirements in order to adopt a child. These include:
- You must be at least 21 years old
- You must be a legal resident of Tennessee
- You must show that you can emotionally and financially support the child you adopt
You will also be required to go through Parents as Tender Healers (PATH) training to help you communicate with your child. If you are not a current foster parent, the Department of Children’s Services will also require a home study to be done in order to show that you have what you need to fulfill the needs of your adopted child.
What isn’t required?
Many people have misconceptions about who is eligible to adopt a child. The truth is that loving and supportive parents come from many backgrounds.
You do not have to be any specific marital status—married, divorced or single, Tennessee law allows you to be a parent an adopted child. Likewise, you do not need to have any children already in order to adopt a new member into your family.
You are not required to own a house to adopt. Renting a house or an apartment also allow you to offer a child the comfortable home they need.
Supporting a child also does not necessarily mean staying at home with them. Just as parents of biological children do, you can work full time to support your family.
Family comes in many forms, and meeting the legal requirements for adoption puts you one step closer to welcoming a new child into your family.