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ADOPTION IN
Tennessee
Tennessee

Domestic Infant Adoptions can be completed through an adoption agency or adoption attorney. Click here for a directory of adoption service providers in Tennessee.

International Adoptions must be completed through an adoption agency or adoption attorney. Find an international adoption service provider here.

Foster Care Adoptions in Tennessee can be completed through the Department of Children’s Services (615-741-9701). Gallery of children waiting to be adopted.

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The information contained on this website is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional legal advice. Always seek the advice of a licensed and qualified professional. While the content of this website is frequently updated, information changes rapidly and therefore, some information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies, omissions or typographical errors.


 

Can I Adopt in Tennessee?

Parents must be at least 21 years old to become a foster/adoptive parent. You can be single, married, or divorced. You can own or rent a home. You must be a legal resident of Tennessee. Applicants must complete a 23 hour PATH program to become certified. You must complete a home study.

 

What Adoption Regulations Exist in Tennessee?

Advertising: Only licensed adoption agencies, lawyers, social workers, and parents with approved home studies may advertise for placement of children. Only licensed adoption agencies, social workers, and the department may engage in the actual placement of a child for adoption. § 36-1-108(a)(2)

 

Relinquishment: Parents must wait until 3 days after the child’s birth before giving consent.  Consenting parties may revoke consent within 10 calendar days after giving consent for any reason. After the 10 day period parents can revoke their consent up to 30 days after giving consent on the grounds that consent came under fraud or duress. The court can set aside consent up to the final adoption decree. § 36-1-112

 

Birth parent expenses: Payment for the following expenses is permitted: medical, hospital, counseling, legal, and living expenses. Living expenses cannot exceed 90 days before birth and 45 days after birth or surrender for adoption. § 36-1-109(a)(1)(B)

 

Post-adoption contact agreements: Contact agreements in Tennessee are not legally enforceable.

 

Birth father rights: Unmarried fathers wishing to receive notice of adoption proceedings may file their information with the Department of Children’s Services putative father registry. § 36-2-318

Finalization: The average time between TPR and adoption finalization in 2014 was 6 months.

Review Tennessee adoption laws in detail

 

Is Adoption Assistance Available in Tennessee?

Many of the children waiting to be adopted in Tennessee have special needs. Federal (Title IV-E) and state (non-IV-E) programs exist to help adoptive parents meet their child’s needs. In Tennessee, the maximum daily amount ranges between $24-27. For more information on adoption assistance please visit NACAC.org.

 

Can I adopt a Child from another country?

It is always possible to adopt a child from another country, even if you live in the United States. Children under 18 adopted from a Hague Convention country entering the U.S. with an IH-3 visa may automatically receive U.S. citizenship.

 

Children adopted from a non convention country must qualify as orphans before receiving U.S. citizenship. When U.S. citizens finalize an adoption abroad, they must apply to the USCIS for an IR-3 visa for the child. An IR-3 visa classifies the child as an immigrant and may provide the child with citizenship upon arrival in the States.

Readoption after a foreign adoption is an option in TN, but not a requirement. Parents wishing to receive a State birth certificate for their child must submit documentation of either readoption or validation of a foreign adoption decree.

 

State Contacts

 

Gallery of children waiting to be adopted: https://adoption.com/photolisting?page=1&search_type=region&range=UnitedStates

 

State subsidy contact person:

Vicki L. Davis

Department of Children's Services-Adoption Services

Cordell Hull Building, 8th Floor

436 Sixth Avenue North

Nashville, TN 37243-1290

Phone: 615-532-5634

Fax: 615-532-6495

Email: Vicki.Davis@state.tn.us

 

 

Summary

Adoptions in TN can be completed through the Department of Children’s Services.

 

Parents must be at least 21 years old to become a foster/adoptive parent. You can be single, married, or divorced. You can own or rent a home. You must be a legal resident of Tennessee. Applicants must complete a 23 hour PATH program to become certified. You must complete a home study.

 

Only licensed adoption agencies, lawyers, social workers, and parents with approved home studies may advertise for placement of children. Parents must wait until 3 days after the child’s birth to give consent. Parents can revoke consent in the court where consent was given up to 10 days after giving consent.

 

Payment for the following expenses is permitted: medical, hospital, counseling, legal, and living expenses. A putative father registry does exist, and contact agreements are not legally enforceable. The average time until finalization is 6 months.

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