Tennessee is a beautiful state with booming cities and beautiful natural lands. From the plains in the west to the Smokey Mountains in the east, this southern haven is full of amazing places for all kinds of people. It’s also a state packed with resources for anyone considering adoption.
There are an unusually large number of nonprofit organizations in Tennessee. Nashville alone sees more than $20 billion injected into the local economy through the work of nonprofits, which account for approximately 15% percent of the city’s employment. Many of these organizations, like adoption agencies, provide services that are helpful to people considering adoption.
If you are a pregnant woman thinking about adoption for your baby or hopeful parents considering adoption, you’re in a good place. Not only are there resources and support available from charitable organizations across the state, there are also a large number of adoption agencies in Tennessee.
Adoption agencies in Tennessee are your best friend during the adoption process. They provide vital support and perform necessary tasks. Without an agency, adoption can seem overwhelming and impossible. But with the help of an excellent Tennessee adoption agency, you can do it.
This guide to adoption agencies in Tennessee will give you everything you need to know to get started with your adoption journey.
What Are Tennessee Adoption Agencies?
If adoption is a car, adoption agencies are the engine. The work these agencies do moves the process forward. Adoption agencies in Tennessee are licensed, regulated professionals that provide services to prospective birth mothers and hopeful adoptive parents.
As you research adoption, you may come across information about “independent adoption,” or adoption without the assistance of an agency. While this is possible, it is generally not recommended for several reasons.
Adoptions without the assistance of a Tennessee adoption agency have a much higher chance of failure. Without professional expertise, the requirements and legal paperwork, not to mention the emotional complexity of an adoption, can become overwhelming. Additionally, adoption agencies in Tennessee help ensure that everything is done in the best interest of the child from start to finish.
Tennessee adoption agencies do this by providing services like:
- Creating an adoption plan with prospective birth mothers
- Offering guidance about the adoption home study for adoptive parents
- Fulfilling legal requirements
- A nuanced understanding on the adoption process
- Finding adoption opportunities
- Facilitating open adoption communication
- And more
Types of Adoption Agencies in Tennessee
There are several types of adoption agencies in Tennessee, which is especially important for hopeful adoptive parents. As a hopeful parent, you’ll need to decide which type of adoption will be best for your family. Then, you will find a corresponding agency that specializes in that specific type of adoption.
Here are the three types of Tennessee adoption agencies you should know about:
Private Domestic Adoption Agencies in Tennessee
Domestic infant adoption, also referred to as private adoption, involves a pregnant woman creating an adoption plan for her baby, working with a private domestic adoption agency, and choosing the adoptive family she believes will be best for her baby. On the other side of this equation, hopeful parents also work with a private agency to create an adoptive family profile, complete the home study and become an active family, which means their profile is being shown to potential birth mothers.
There’s a lot more detail we could go into about the process, but here’s what you need to know: if you are hopeful parents who want to adopt a newborn from the U.S., then you should work with a private domestic adoption agency in Tennessee. If you are an expectant mother considering adoption for your baby, this is the type of Tennessee adoption agency you will need to contact.
Tennessee Adoption and Foster Care Agencies
Another way for families to adopt from the U.S. is through foster care adoption. This process has significant differences from domestic infant adoption. Instead of working with a private agency, you work with the state to become foster parents. Rather than being selected by a birth mother who has chosen adoption, a child will be placed in your home by the state.
Children are placed in foster care when living with their biological family is deemed to no longer be in their best interests. In most cases, the goal of foster care is to reunite children with their families. However, some situations demand that the biological parents’ rights be terminated. When this happens, the child needs to find a loving family through adoption.
Adopting from foster care can be a great way to start your family, and foster families are desperately needed to meet the needs of waiting children. If this is something you think will be good for your family, you will need to work with a Tennessee adoption and foster care agency.
International Adoption Agencies in Tennessee
International adoption is a third option for families. With help from one of the international adoption agencies in Tennessee, you can begin the process of adopting a child from another country. This type of adoption usually takes longer and can be more complicated. However, it’s still the right choice for many families.
Adoption Agencies in Tennessee for Adoptive Parents
Now that you have a brief understanding of what adoption agencies in Tennessee do and what type of agencies exist, here are several agencies for you to consider:
Private Adoption Agencies in Tennessee
Foster Care Agencies in Tennessee
International Adoption Agencies in Tennessee
Tennessee Adoption Agencies for Birth Mothers
An expectant mother considering adoption for her baby is making one of the most difficult choices of her life. Anyone choosing adoption deserves the best support possible. We’d like to say that you can find this type of support at any adoption agency. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case.
Not all adoption agencies in Tennessee are created equal. Some provide better, more holistic services than others. The agency you choose is important, because it will make or break your experience with adoption. When you are trying to pick a Tennessee adoption agency, here are several things to look for:
- 24/7 availability: You’re going to need help outside of normal office hours. If an agency is only available from 9–5, they won’t be able to meet your needs quickly.
- Licensed counseling: The emotions of an adoption can be difficult to navigate, and it’s important to find someone who is professionally trained to help.
- A large number of adoptive families: The more adoptive families an agency is working with, the greater the opportunity you’ll see a profile for the perfect adoptive family for your baby.
- History and experience: How long has the agency been operating, and how many placements are they involved in each year? The more experience, the better.
Keeping these things in mind, here are a few adoption agencies in Tennessee that you could contact about your adoption:
Next Steps for Your Adoption
If you know that adoption is right for you, the next thing to do is begin contacting adoption agencies. Spend time talking with each agency and get a personal feel for how they might work with you. Come with a list of prepared questions and expect clear answers.
Once you have picked a Tennessee adoption agency, you are well on your way to a successful adoption.