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3 steps to adopt a foster child

On Behalf of | Apr 25, 2024 | Adoption

As a foster parent, you might wonder how you go about adopting a child you are fostering. Adoption makes your foster child a legal member of your family and removes them from the foster care system.

In Tennessee, the process of adopting a foster child involves several key steps to ensure the best outcome for both the child and the adoptive family.

Step 1: attend an informational meeting

The first step in the adoption process is to attend an informational meeting held by the Department of Children’s Services or a licensed adoption agency. During this meeting, you will learn about the requirements, procedures and challenges of adopting a foster child in Tennessee. This is an excellent opportunity to ask questions and gain a better understanding of what to expect.

Step 2: complete the home study

Once you decide to proceed with the adoption, a home study is the next step. It assesses your ability to provide a safe, stable and nurturing environment for a child. A social worker will visit your home, interview you and your family members, and then gather information about your background, lifestyle and parenting skills.

Step 3: attend training and preparation classes

Before you can adopt a foster child, you need to complete communication training and parenting preparation classes. These classes help you understand the unique needs of foster children, develop parenting skills and prepare for the challenges of adoption. The training also covers topics such as attachment, trauma and the impact of abuse and neglect on child development.

After these steps, you can typically finalize the adoption in court. The judge will review all of the information and issue the final adoption order. With nearly 114,000 children in foster care waiting for adoption as of 2021, this is an important process to understand.


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