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What are the adoption requirements in Tennessee?

On Behalf of | Aug 22, 2023 | Adoption

Adopting a child is a significant and rewarding journey. The Tennessee Department of Children’s Services reported in the 2021 to 2022 fiscal year, almost 15,000 children were in the foster system, and of those, 775 had the goal of finding adoptive homes.

Anyone considering adoption in Tennessee must understand the criteria and steps to follow to ensure a smooth and successful adoption process.

Age and residency requirements

Individuals wishing to adopt must be at least 18 years old. There is no maximum age limit, but prospective adoptive parents should be of an age that allows them to provide proper care for the child. Additionally, there are no strict residency requirements, meaning that both residents and non-residents of the state can adopt.

Background checks and home study

All potential adoptive parents must undergo thorough background checks, including reports on criminal history and child abuse registry entries. Such measures help to ensure the safety and well-being of the children. Additionally, individuals must submit to a home study by a licensed social worker to assess the home and family environment.

Parenting classes and training

Prospective adoptive parents will attend pre-adoption training and parenting classes. These educational sessions provide valuable insights into adoption, parenting techniques and the unique challenges that adoptive families may face. Completion of these classes demonstrates a commitment to providing the best possible care for the child.

Financial stability

While there is no specific income requirement, individuals should demonstrate financial stability and the ability to provide for the child’s needs. Solid finances ensure that the child will have a secure and supportive home environment.

Consent and termination of parental rights

For adoption to proceed, the states must terminate the parental rights of the biological parents.  Consent may occur voluntarily or through court proceedings.

Adopting a child in Tennessee involves a series of requirements designed to ensure the well-being and safety of the child. By understanding and fulfilling these steps, prospective adoptive parents can embark on their journey to provide a loving and supportive home for a child in need.


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