Adoption is one of the best decisions a family can make. A child without a loving home, meets a loving home without that child: it’s perfect in every way. Sure, there may be some challenges along the way, but in the end, everyone should end up happy and safe.
But what if your family is just, well, you? That’s okay, too: Tennessee law allows for single-parent adoptions. As long as you’re over the age of 18, you can petition the court to adopt a child. You must also:
- Have a place to live, whether it’s a rental or you own your own home
- Have lived in Tennessee for at least 6 consecutive months before you file the petition
- Prove that you are stable enough – emotionally, financially and physically – to care for the child
If you fit these parameters, you can submit a Foster/Adoption Application for Parenting to the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services. Then, you can be scheduled for a home study.
You should also know that single-parent adoption is fairly common here in Tennessee, too. The Children’s Bureau in the US Department of Health and Human Services reports that of the 1,121 children who were adopted in Tennessee in 2014 (the most recent data available), almost 20 percent of them were adopted by single women (16.4%) and single men (3.2%). So, if you feel like you will be denied a family simply because you are unmarried or living alone, don’t worry: the numbers are on your side.
Are they challenges to single parent adoptions?
Of course; every adoption presents challenges, whether it’s one potential parent or two. Some professionals might hesitate a bit to approve a single person, but since that is technically illegal, you would have a good case if it happened to you. But there are some things that could make it harder for you to adopt, such as:
- Making a mistake in the application process
- Not having reliable access to health care for the child
- Be less than truthful about your current financial situation
- Skipping out on the mandatory 30 hours of education
- Not being prepared for your home study
In other words, all the same things which make it more difficult for a two-parent household to adopt a child will also affect a single man or woman who wishes to adopt a child.
Adoption is an extraordinary process, but we know that it could be a little scary, too. That’s why Shepherd and Associates, P.C. is here for you when you need us. Our talented team of Maryville adoption attorneys understands how exciting this process is, and wants to help you grow your family as efficiently and safely as possible. To learn more about us, or to work with a member of our team, please call 865.225.9655, or fill out our contact form.