15 Jan 4 things to know about who can adopt in Tennessee
Understanding the basics of Tennessee adoption law
Tennessee has very welcoming laws on adoption. The laws are focused more on the child’s well-being. Essentially, if a person is stable and can provide for a child’s financially and emotionally, that person be a candidate to become an adoptive parent. The purpose of the requirements is to ensure adopted children are placed in permanent, loving and stable homes. If you are interested in becoming an adoptive parent, contact your local Children’s Services Office for more information and read up on how to adopt.
How old do I have to be?
The only legal requirements are over 21 years of age and have been a resident of the state for six consecutive months (but the residency requirement can be waived).
Do I have to be married?
Prospective parents can be single or divorced. You can also have other children.
You don’t even have to own your own home. Renters are welcome to adopt. Families just need a room in their home and their hearts for a child.
They must also participate in a home visit from a licensed agency, like Adopt US Kids or Heart Gallery of Tennessee. The agency may have additional requirements, including personal references and proof that you are in good health and can work full time.
What is a home study?
Home studies are required to make sure the prospective parent can provide for the financial and emotional needs of a child. During the home visit, the family’s strengths and weaknesses are discussed and other observations are made. In general, a home study is a combination of education and an inspection of the adoptive family.
After the home study, prospective parents must complete PATH training. It is an education and self-assessment process that explores different communications styles. The training helps families understand the feelings of grief and the loss that children can experience and it helps identify family strengths.
Other things to consider
Heart Gallery of Tennessee suggests you consider a few things before you commit to a child in need.
First, are you secure in your life and family?
Do you have a solid support system?
Can you cope with the special needs some adoptive children may have, like emotional issues?
Are you comfortable with discussing their biological parents and family?
For questions regarding family law or Tennessee adoption laws, contact the Law Office of Michael Craig and we’ll be glad to assist you.