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Here's what to know about adopting in Tennessee

Adoption is a wonderful way to add a new person to your family. Whether that's an infant or teen, you want to do what's best for the child.

As a family that is potentially considering adoption, it's important to know how adoption could affect you. With over 300 children waiting for adoption in Tennessee, you will have lots of decisions to make in the coming months.

How can you find waiting children in Tennessee?

You can find Tennessee's waiting children on the Department of Children's Service's website. There, you can browse the children who are up for adoption and even add search preferences to find a child who may better fit in your home environment.

If you find a child or children whom you are interested in adopting, then you should write down their name and identifying information before visiting the adoption section of the Department of Children's Services website.

What does it take to become an adoptive parent?

To become a parent to an adopted child, you can have any number of backgrounds. You could be married or unmarried, divorced, working full time or as young as 21. You can adopt if you rent a home or if you own. You're allowed to work full time, too.

Tennessee does require that you are a resident of the state and are able to prove that you can meet the financial and emotional needs of an adopted child and your own family. Overall, the Department of Children's Services wants to make sure you are financially and emotionally prepared to take on raising a child.

What happens once you're approved to adopt?

When you move forward with an adoption, you'll have a formal home study conducted by a placement agency. Then, that home study will be submitted to the agency that cares for a specific child.

If you are identified as a potential adoptive parent, then you'll go through PATH training. If you and the team then decide that you are the right parent or parents for the adoptive child, information about the child will be shared with you. At that point, you will make the final decision on whether you're able to parent this particular child.

Every adoption is a little different, and they can be complex. Your attorney can help walk you through the process, so you can bring home your child as soon as possible.

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