Looking for Forever Families
Across Tennessee there are close to 400 children who are in the full guardianship of the State who need families like yours to say “Yes” to adoption.
Most of the children who need forever families are older tweens and teens, may be part of a sibling group and may have higher needs. They are funny and interesting and artistic and smart – and everything in between.
What are the requirements to becoming an adoptive parent?
· Married, single or divorced.
· May or may not have other children.
· Can own your own home or rent.
· Can work full time.
· Must be at least 21.
· Must be a resident of the State of Tennessee.
· Must be able to meet the financial and emotional needs of your own family.
If you’re seriously thinking about becoming an adoptive parent to a child who already is in full guardianship, and are not currently a foster parent there are steps you’ll need to take to begin the process.
· Get a formal “home study” by a licensed child placing agency.
· Submit the home study for a specific child.
If you are interested in learning more about adoption, here are some important things to note:
· About 80 percent of the children who are adopted from foster care in Tennessee are adopted by the families who already are, and have been, their foster parents.
· The Department of Children’s Services works with individuals who sign up to become foster parents. Then, if a child in State custody becomes available for adoption, the family caring for that child is the first option for adoption. Doing this helps ensure the child already has a relationship with their adoptive parents who have helped them navigate change, trauma and uncertainty and has already offered comfort, safety and love.
· The state of Tennessee offers free post-adoption services for families who adopt from foster care.
The Heart Gallery of Tennessee and AdoptUSkids.org
The Heart Gallery of Tennessee is an art exhibit and community education/outreach initiative featuring Tennessee foster children who are available for adoption. The Heart Gallery works together with DCS and volunteer photographers to capture pictures of the kids. It then creates an online gallery and traveling exhibit to share with the community. The goal is to find a forever family for every child.
AdoptUSKids provides helpful tools and resources for families and child care professionals. The website offers the only federally funded national photo listing of children and youth in foster care in the United States who are available for adoption. All of its services are provided to families and professionals free of charge.
If you’ve decided that you want to become an adoptive parent, contact your local DCS regional office for more information. You can find the location closest to you by clicking here.