AdoptUSKids For Families

Tennessee Foster Care
and Adoption Guidelines


Thank you so much for considering adoption or fostering as an option for your family! We are available at 877-DCS-KIDS (877-327-5437) if you would like to learn more about becoming a foster parent. We are available at 615-741-9858 to learn more about adopting an older child or sibling group from foster care. 


Things You Should Know


Foster and Adoption Licensing Requirements


Tennessee's foster parents are dually approved to adopt.

To be approved as a foster-adoptive parent in Tennessee you:

  • Can be married, single or divorced
  • May or may not have other children
  • Can own or rent where you live
  • May be employed or not employed, but must be able to meet your own financial needs (potential foster-adoptive parents should be able to financially support themselves and their family without the need for a board payment)
  • Must be at least 21 years of age
  • Must be a resident of the state of Tennessee

Should you decide to become a foster-adoptive parent through the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services, you will need to complete a parent preparation process called PATH (Parents as Tender Healers). PATH is a 23-hour education and self-assessment process. It explores communication styles. It helps families to understand the feelings of grief and the loss that children can experience. It helps identify family strengths and in what situations you can most successfully parent.

It is necessary to have a home study from a licensed child-placing agency if you are going to foster or adopt. The exact process will be outlined by the agency you choose. In general, the homestudy process is a combination of education for you about the realities of foster and adoption and information about yourself and your family, which you will share. 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 successfully parent.

To learn more about adopting children from foster care, please read FAQs and answers on the DCS website.

State of Tennessee’s toll free number for more information about foster care:
877-DCS-Kids (1-877-327-5437).

Visit the resource parent training information page to view an introduction to training, the PATH training calendars, training requirements and more.


Costs to Foster and Adopt


It is free to foster.

The legal fees at the very end of the process are the only fees that you will pay if you work with your local department office to complete the adoption process and if the child is waiting in the state.

If you work with your local department office to complete the adoption process and the child is waiting in foster care in another state, it may be possible for the child’s state to purchase the services of your department office. Or, there may be fees. If you work with a nonprofit or private agency instead of the department, the nonprofit or private agency may charge additional fees.

However, when families adopt children who are in foster care and are eligible for subsidy, the families may be eligible for reimbursement of limited nonrecurring adoption-related costs, such as attorney’s fees and court fees, through the child’s state or federal options. Adopting does not have to be expensive. In fact, many families choose low-cost options every year. Please call us if you have questions (865-594-0864).


Parent Support Groups

  • The Resource Parent Support Group in Chattanooga meets every fourth Tuesday of the month. The address is 503 N. Market Street, Chattanooga, TN 37405. Call (423) 267-4992.

Agency Contact and Orientation Information


You can work with the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services:

Please talk to individual agencies and offices to learn when their next orientation is and whether they charge any fees.


  • Adoption Place, Inc.
    Phone: (615) 365-7020

    Contact: Judy Rister, director of Social Services
    Address: 4555 Trousdale Drive, Nashville, TN 37204
    Phone: 615-781-3000

  • Agape Child & Family Services
    Contact: David Jordan, executive director
    Address: 111 Racine St., Memphis, TN 38111
    Phone: 901-323-3600, Ext. 123

  • America World Adoption Association
    Address: 2124 ieper Dr., Spring Hill, TN 37174
    Phone: 800-429-3369 x 161
    Fax: 888-466-8922

  • Appalachian Family Outreach, Inc.
    Street Address: 2600 State Line Road
    Mailing Address: P.O. Box 285, Elizabethton, TN 37644-0285
    Phone: 423-542-4245
    Fax: (423) 542-4369

  • Associated Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Memphis
    St. Peter Maternity and Adoption Services
    Address: 1325 Jefferson St., Memphis, TN 38127-7799
    Phone: 901-722-4711
    Fax: 901-722-4791

  • Bethany Christian Services of East Tennessee
    Contact: Lauren Wilson, Director
    Address: 318 Erin Drive, Suite 10, Knoxville, TN 37919
    Phone: 865-588-5283
    Fax: 865-588-3647

  • Bethany Christian Services of Greater Chattanooga
    Contact: Amy Scott, Director
    Address: 930 McCallie Ave., Chattanooga, TN 37403
    Phone: 423-622-7360
    Fax: 423-622-9085

  • Bethany Christian Services of Middle Tennessee
    Contact: Luke Delavergne, Director
    Address: 230 Great Circle Rd. #229, Nashville, TN 37228
    Phone: 615-242-0909
    Fax: 615-242-9440

  • Bethany Christian Services of West Tennessee, Inc.
    Contact: Teri Seaton, Director
    Address: 1255 Lynnfield Rd. #236, Memphis, TN 38119
    Phone: 901-818-9996
    Fax: 901-761-9350

  • Camelot

    Camelot of Southeast TN-Cleveland
    Phone: 423-476-3799

    Camelot of Southeast TN-Jasper
    Phone: 423-942-1146

    Camelot of Southeast TN-Athens
    Phone: 423-746-2922

    Camelot of Southeast TN-Chattanooga
    Phone: 423-476-3799

    Camelot of West TN-Memphis
    Phone: 901-346-1270

    Camelot of West TN-Covington
    Phone: 901-475-0080

    Camelot of West TN-Bolivar
    Phone: 731-433-7906

    Camelot of Mid-South TN
    Phone: 615-462-6673

    Camelot of Mid-North TN-Goodlettsville
    Phone: 615-448-6799

    Camelot of Mid-North TN-Lebanon
    Phone: 615-547-4994

    Camelot of Mid-North TN-Cookeville
    Phone: 615-448-6799

    Camelot of Northeast TN
    Phone: 423-392-2975

    Camelot of East TN-Oak Ridge
    Phone: 865-481-3972

    Camelot of East TN-Lafollette
    Phone: 423-566-2451

  • Catholic Charities of East Tennessee
    Address: 119 Dameron Ave., Knoxville, TN 37917
    Phone: 865-524-9896
    Fax: 865-971-3575

  • Catholic Charities of Middle Tennessee, Inc.
    Address: 30 White Bridge Road, Nashville, TN 37205
    Phone: 615-352-3087
    Fax: 615-352-8591

  • Center for Family Development
    Address: 100 East Side Square, Shelbyville, TN 37160
    Phone: 931-684-4676
    Toll-Free Phone: 888-462-2999
    Fax: 931-684-5140

  • Centerstone Foster Care and Adoption
    Phone: 615-604-9163

  • Chambliss Center for Children
    Address: 315 Gillespie Road, Chattanooga, TN 37411
    Phone: 423-693-2580

  • Chattanooga Resource Center
    Address: 7155 Lee Hwy., Suite 300, Chattanooga, TN 37421
    Phone: 423-499-6206
    Fax: 423-894-7838

  • Children’s Hope International
    Address: 229 Ward Circle, Suite C-22, Brentwood, TN 37027
    Phone: 615-309-8109
    Fax: 615-309-8483

  • The Florence Crittenton Agency, Inc.
    Lynsey Stubbs, Foster Care Recruiter
    Phone: 865-602-2974
    Foster Care FAQs

  • Free Will Baptist Family Ministries, Inc.
    Address: 90 Stanley Lane, Greeneville, TN 37641
    Phone: 423-639-9449
    Fax: 423-639-5073

  • Frontier Health/Traces
    Address: 2001 Stonebrook Place, Kingsport, TN 37660
    Phone: 423-224-1067
    Fax: 423-224-1095

  • Greater Chattanooga Christian Services
    Mailing Address: P.O. Box 16396, Chattanooga, TN 37416
    Street Address: 6816 Ty-Hi Drive, Chattanooga, TN 37421
    Phone: 423-756-0281
    Fax: 423-265-7326

  • Harmony Family Center
    118 Mabry Hood Road, Ste. 400, Knoxville, TN 37922
    Phone: 865-982-5225
    Fax: 865-982-5950

  • Heaven Sent Children
    Address: 307 N. Walnut St., Murfreesboro, TN 37130
    Phone: 615-898-0803
    Fax: 615-898-1990

  • Helen Ross McNabb Center
    Address: 901 East Summit Hill Drive, Knoxville, TN 37915
    Phone: 865-524-7483

  • Holston Home
    Mailing Address: P.O. Box 188
    Street Address: 404 Holston Drive, Greeneville, TN 37744
    Phone: 423-638-4171
    Fax: 423-638-7171

  • Jewish Family Services
    6560 Poplar Ave., Memphis, TN 38138
    Contact: Carla Proctor, Adoption Supervisor
    Phone: 901-767-8511
    Fax: 901-763-2348

  • Jewish Family Services of Nashville and Middle Tennessee, Inc.
    Address: 801 Percy Warner Boulevard, Suite 103, Nashville, TN 37205
    Phone: 615-356-4234
    Fax: 615-353-2652

  • Life Choices, Inc.
    Address: 5575 Raleigh LaGrange, Memphis, TN 38134
    Contact: Sue Parker, executive director
    Phone: 901-388-1172
    Fax: 901-388-1225

  • Mercy Ministries of America
    Street Address: 15328 Old Hickory Blvd.
    Mailing Address: P.O. Box 111060, Nashville, TN 37222-1060
    Phone: 615-831-6987
    Fax: 615-315-9749

  • Miriam’s Promise
    Address: 522 Russell St., Nashville, TN 37206-4114
    Phone: 615-292-3500
    Fax: 615-292-0368

  • Monroe Harding
    Address: 1120 Glendale Lane, Nashville, TN 37204
    Phone: 615-298-5573
    Fax: 615-298-1281

  • Nashville Resource Center
    Address: 301 S Perimeter Park Drive, Suite 202, Nashville, TN 37211
    Phone: 615-324-7980
    Fax: 615-324-7989

  • Omni-Visions, Inc.
    Address: 301 South Perimeter Park Dr., Ste. 210, Nashville, TN 37211
    Phone: 615-726-3603

  • The Partnership for Families Children and Adults Chattanooga, Inc.
    Address: 1800 McCallie Ave., Chattanooga, TN 37403
    Phone: 423-697-7130
    Fax: 423-687-3812

  • Therapeutic Interventions, Inc.
    700 Inverness Hill, Suite 208
    Nashville, TN 37204
    Contact: Sarah Singleton
    Phone: 615-457-2334

  • Porter-Leath Children’s Center
    Address: 868 N. Manassas St., Memphis, TN 38107-2516
    Phone: 901-577-2500
    Fax: 901-577-2506

  • Small World Adoption Programs
    Address: 13345 Lebanon Road, Mt. Juliet, Tennessee 37122
    Phone: 615-754-6540
    Fax: 615-754-6546

  • Smoky Mountain Children’s Home
    Mailing Address: P.O. Box 4391
    Street Address: 449 McCarn Circle, Sevierville, TN 37864
    Phone: 865-453-4644-
    Fax: 865453-8812

  • Tennessee Baptist Children’s Home
    Mailing Address: P.O. Box 2206, Brentwood, TN 37024
    Phone: 615-376-3140
    Toll-Free Phone: 800-624-8591
    Fax: 615-377-8521

  • Tennessee Children’s Home - East
    Street Address: 3834 Copper Ridge Road
    Mailing Address: P.O. Box 7347, Knoxville, TN 37931
    Phone: 865-584-0841
    Fax: 865-588-6560

  • Youth Villages
    Address: 3320 Brother Blvd., Barlett, TN 38134
    Phone: 901-251-5000


Information on Children


Children enter foster care because their birth families cannot care for them safely.

There are 8,146 children in custody (foster care) and 320 children in full guardianship (available for adoption) in Tennessee who need an adoptive home.

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