Adoption can be a complicated process. Tennessee residents who are considering adoption should fully understand the state's adoption requirements so that they know if they are legally qualified to adopt a child. The requirements to adopt a child exist so that children can be housed in safe and stable homes that are ready to accept a child.
In order to be eligible to adopt, individuals have to be at least 18 years and a resident of the state for a minimum of six consecutive months. In cases in which there are certain relative adoptions or residents of Tennessee who are stationed outside of the state with the military, exceptions may be allowed.
While it is not a legal requirement for adoption, individuals seeking to adopt should also be ready to obtain approval from an adoption home study. They should also be able to fulfill the requirements of their selected adoption professional.
For people who are considering being foster parents, they have to be at least 21 years old and a resident of Tennessee. They also have to undergo the Parents as Tender Healers training. Individuals seeking to be foster-adoptive parents will also have to complete the home study process to obtain adoption approval.
Foster parents are provided the first opportunity to adopt their foster children. Almost 80 percent of the children adopted in the state's foster care system are adopted by the families that foster them. Individuals considering adoption may first want to consider first being licensed foster parents.
A family law attorney may assist clients through the processes for stepparent adoption, international adoption and adoption by foster parents. The attorney may advise clients about what steps should be taken to present the best adoption case to the family court. Assistance might be provided for filing the necessary adoption legal paperwork.