Choosing an Adoption Agency

A Note From the Department of Children's Services Regarding Adoptions

There are many children currently in need of a loving, permanent family and the process of opening one’s home to a child can be one of the most beautiful and significant events in the life of a child as well as the adoptive family.

Tennessee has many agencies which offer quality options for adoption-related services. However, as with any fee-based business transaction, it is still important to take the time to become familiar with the process and to compare the cost, quality and scope of services among each of the agencies providing these services. 

We encourage each prospective adoptive family to research an agency’s itemized fees through our fee schedule for adoption-related services, published annually and included in this section.

We also encourage adoptive families to review an agency’s accreditation, if applicable; licensing status and history; provisions for liability insurance; etc.

Please remember that not every agency that advertises in the yellow pages, through the internet and through other public sources may be licensed to operate in Tennessee.  If the agency is not licensed by our office, but is advertising within the State of Tennessee, that agency might be advertising illegally and your experience with that agency may not be protected under Tennessee state laws and regulations.  Please ask any prospective adoption agency up front if they are licensed to operate in Tennessee. You may wish to refer to our list of licensed adoption agencies, also included in this section, to confirm an agency’s licensing status. 

We also encourage each prospective adoptive family to please read every adoption contract carefully. Tennessee’s laws and regulations are in place to help protect both the child and the family (as consumers) but once a legal and binding contract has been signed, our offices have very few avenues for corrective action or in assisting a disappointed client in seeking redress.  We want this to be a beautiful and rewarding experience for all involved and a little homework goes a long way in ensuring that outcome. 

We wish each of you the best of luck in your endeavors.  Please feel free to contact the DCS Office of Child Welfare Licensing if our offices can ever be of any assistance to you.