You and your spouse have always wanted children, but over time, you’ve found that it’s nearly impossible. You both struggle with fertility issues, and the likelihood of having a child of your own is low.

Now, you have the opportunity to adopt a child who needs a loving family and home to call their own. You want to make sure you can grow your family and fill that void you feel without a child, but you also need more information to make sure you’re prepared.

Did you know that Tennessee has a goal of adopting out children who are free for adoption within a year?

If you’re looking to adopt quickly, Tennessee is a great state. The Department of Children’s Services encourages fast adoptions to help children find families and integrate with them sooner.

In around 80% of cases, children who are adopted are adopted through the foster-care system. They first live with their foster families, then, when they’re ready to be adopted, they can be officially adopted by that family later on. If you’d like to adopt sooner rather than later, keep in mind that the state department doesn’t recruit adopt-only homes and generally works with foster families who are willing to adopt.

Why does being a foster family first make sense?

It makes sense, because the family who has been caring for the child builds a relationship over time. This is beneficial for the child, who may be comfortable in this family’s lifestyle, and for parents, who have the opportunity to see if a child is a good fit in their home.

What does it take to become an adoptive parent?

To become an adoptive parent you:

  • May be single, divorced or married
  • Can already have children in your home or have no children at all
  • Must be able to work full time
  • Need to be a resident in the State of Tennessee
  • Have to meet the emotional and financial needs of your family
  • Have to be at least 21 years old
  • May own or rent your home

The goal is to prove that you are stable and able to provide a child with the support and love they need. If you meet these requirements, then you can apply to become an adoptive parent in Tennessee and begin getting ready for the process that comes with fostering and adopting a child who is currently in the state’s care.