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"Foster-First" Adoption in Tennessee

So, you’ve decided you’re ready to become a parent and are considering adoption. Congratulations! Choosing to adopt is an exciting decision, and you are likely feeling happy, eager, — and probably at least a little overwhelmed. There are extensive legal processes involved in the decision to adopt, and it can be very confusing.

Contact Casey, Simmons & Bryant, PLLC if you are pursuing adoption. Our Jackson adoption lawyers are available for a free consultation!

In Tennessee, it is the method of the Department of Children’s Services to place preference for adoption-eligible families on those who have been foster parents. The Tennessee DCS website specifies, “the Department of Children’s Services does not recruit adopt-only homes and about 80% of the children who are adopted from foster care are adopted by the families who already are, and have been, their foster parents.” A child’s foster family will always be considered first when finding parents for newly-adoptable kids.

Other Requirements for Becoming an Adoptive Parent in Tennessee

In addition to starting as a foster parent, there are a few other qualifications to become an adoptive parent in the state of Tennessee. Minimally, you must be a resident of the state and at least 21 years of age. There are no specifications regarding marital status, work obligations, home ownership, or if you have other children (there is, however, a 5-child limit on foster homes).

The main condition evaluated by the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services is the prospective adoptive parent’s ability to financially and emotionally support the child. The DCS wants to ensure that every child is placed in a loving home that is able to cater to the specific needs of an adopted child.

If you’re planning on adopting, please contact our Jackson adoption attorneys at Casey, Simmons & Bryant, PLLC. We are available online or at (731) 256-0023 to answer your questions and guide you through the exciting adoption process!