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How to Complete the Adoption Home Study in Tennessee [A 3 Point Checklist]

If you are an adoptive family preparing for the adoption home study in Tennessee, you likely are experiencing a lot of excitement. After all, once you finish this critical step, your family is cleared to adopt!

This checklist can help you while you prepare for the adoption home study in Tennessee:

  • Checklist point 1: Select the home study that’s right for your family
  • Checklist point 2: Get to know the Tennessee adoption home study basics
  • Checklist point 3: Prepare for the Tennessee home study

The following checklist will detail everything you need to know to complete the different adoption home studies in Tennessee. But if you’re already prepared and ready for the home study, you can reach out to a home study specialist today for free. 

The Adoption Home Study Checklist in Tennessee

1. Select the Home Study That’s Right for Your Family

First, you should know that it is normal for adoptive parents to have many questions about the home study. After all, the home study helps determine if a family is eligible for adoption. Once the home study is complete, you will start the wait to become a parent.

Since the adoption home study in Tennessee is so important, it’s no surprise that it’s detailed. There also are different home study services dedicated to foster care adoption, domestic infant adoption, and international adoption.

The adoption agency you choose to work with will provide you with an adoption specialist who can help you determine the type of adoption that’s right for your family. From there, your adoption professional can help you prepare for the home study.

Domestic Infant Home Study

Domestic infant adoption is one of the most common types of adoption in the U.S. The basis of all home studies is to ensure that an adoptive family is 100% ready for adoption. This home review, which a social worker completes, includes:

  • A document review
  • Interview with everyone who lives in the home
  • A home inspection 
  • Other possible requirements detailed by your adoption agency

An adoption specialist (who works with your adoption agency) will provide guidance and support as you prepare for the home study, and answer any of your Tennessee adoption home study questions.

International Home Study

International and domestic home studies are similar. However, two aspects of the international home study are unique.

  • The home study report: Each country has a unique mandate on the type and depth of information that’s required. Your adoption specialist will help you work through the country of your choice’s adoption regulations.
  • Hague Adoption Convention country vs. Non- Hague Adoption Convention country: If you adopt from a Hague Adoption Convention country, you must provide a “child neglect and abuse clearance” from each state you’ve lived in since you were 18 years of age.

If you’re interested in completing a domestic and international home study, you can choose to work with a home study social worker who can complete both home studies. Please note that there are detailed requirements your social worker must possess, so ask them many questions before starting the process.

Foster Care Home Study Services

After completing your foster training classes and foster application, you can start the foster care home study process. Tennessee is a state that allows parents to be dually approved to foster and adopt, meaning the foster home study process in Tennessee is similar to the state’s domestic infant home study process.

The rest of this checklist will focus on the details of the domestic infant Tennessee adoption home study process.

2. Get to Know Tennessee Adoption Home Study Basics

According to American Adoptions, an adoption agency that provides domestic adoptions in the United States, the home study process for adoption in Tennessee includes:

  • At least one home visit
  • Reference letters that detail why you would make a great adoptive parent
  • Health exams
  • A verification of you and your spouse’s marital status (if you’re married)

During the home study, your family will need to detail:

  • Why you want to adopt
  • Your ability to provide for a child
  • An explanation of your character, ethical standards, and values
  • Details of your mental and physical health
  • A check of the fire safety and health conditions of your home
  • And more depending on the adoption agency you choose to work with

3. Prepare for the Home Study for Adoption in Tennessee

We recommend you start the home study process as soon as you’re able. Getting your information and documentation in order can take some time. You can make the experience easier by working with your adoption specialist. Your adoption professional will have all the details you need to start and complete the home study.

Collect and Submit Required Home Study Documentation

To be eligible for adoption, your family needs to gather and submit a lot of documentation. These are the pieces of documentation that you can start to gather:

  • Your and your spouse’s birth certificates
  • Your marriage license (if you’re married)
  • Physicians’ statements about your and your spouse’s health status
  • Your and your spouse’s financial information
  • Friends and family members’ letters of reference that recommend you for adoption
  • And possibly more

All these documents will help prove that you and your spouse are financially, legally, physically, and mentally prepared to add a child to your family.

Prepare for and Complete the In-Home Visit with Your Social Worker

Every family must go through at least one in-home visit with a social worker. This in-home visit, which also is referred to as an “in-home inspection” or “home tour,” is meant to confirm that your home is a comfortable, stable place for a child to grow up in.

The social worker also will check off specific home safety measures. Your home doesn’t have to be perfect or spotless, but it should be a safe, clean place for a child.

Prepare for the Interview with Your Social Worker

Your social worker also will interview everyone who lives in your home during the home visit. The interview will help a social worker better understand your attitudes toward adoption and adoption-related issues, as well as your family’s values and parenting views.

Next Steps for Your Adoption Home Study in Tennessee

Once you complete the home study, your family is one step closer to adding an adoptive baby to your home! Reach out to your adoption specialist to ask them questions during this exciting time. These adoption professionals ensure you have everything you need to start and complete the adoption home study in Tennessee successfully.