NASHVILLE – In Tennessee, there are approximately 350 children and youth in the state’s care who are looking for a home to call their own through adoption. The majority are older teenagers in foster care who face futures without stable and caring families to guide them into adulthood.
Throughout November, the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services (DCS) has joined
child welfare agencies around the country in celebrating National Adoption Month to bring at
tention to the continued need for more foster and adoptive families –especially for teens
and sibling groups.
“It’s been encouraging and inspiring to see Tennesseans come together this month to celebrate
adoptive families,”Commissioner Jennifer Nichols said. “During National Adoption Month, we
are also taking the opportunity to share with our communities how essential it is for of children
of all ages to have the love and support that comes with a family.”
Several DCS regions across the state have held National Adoption Month events. The Shelby
County office gathered more than 60 people last week for an annual “A Taste of Adoption”
event focusing on the joys, challenges and procedures of fostering with a highlight on adopt
ing. This week, Knox County held a celebration where seven different families finalized the
adoptions for 11 children. Several events are planned for this coming weekend and next week
in the DCS Southwest and Smoky Mountain Regions.
The federal Children’s Bureau designated this year’s National Adoption Month theme, “Youth Voices: Why Family Matters.” By sharing the perspectives of youth who have experience with foster care and adoption, National Adoption Month aims to empower communities to involve teenagers in planning for their own future to help them consider all of their options, whether it is the decision to pursue adoption or alternative permanency options such as guardianship.
It is not too late to help DCS spread these important messages. To arrange a media interview
with an adoptive family in your area, or for more information about the remaining planned