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Should you decide to apply to become an adoptive parent through the Department of Children's Services, you will need to complete a parent preparation process called "PATH" -- Parents as Tender Healers.
PATH is a 30-hour education and self-assessment process. It explores communications styles. It helps families understand the feelings of grief and the loss that children can experience. It helps identify family strengths. The process also helps adults identify the child they feel that they can most successfully parent.
If you’re going to adopt, it is also necessary to have a home study from a licensed child placing agency. The exact process will be outlined by the agency you choose.
In general, the home study process is a combination of education for you about the realities of adoption and information about yourself and your family which you will share with your adoption counselor. The final written home study will include a description of your family, verifications, medical and financial statements, and references. You will also be asked to identify and describe the type of child you feel that you can most successfully parent.
Final decisions about placement of a child are made by the child's social worker after sharing extensive information with you and your social worker. Children are placed with the family best able to meet their needs. If you want to be considered for a particular child, you may ask your social worker to submit your home study for consideration. Or you may call child's worker for more information.
If you are interested in becoming an adoptive parent, contact your local Children's Services Office for more information.
For questions about adopting Tennessee children,
please contact DCS at 1-877-DCSKids (327-5437).