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checklist-home-study.jpgWelcome to the third piece of Lifetime’s newest blog series, “Your Adoption Checklist!” Our goal in this series is to share practical, easy-to-follow checklists for you to use during your adoption journey. We’ve shared ways you can effectively learn more about domestic adoption, and we also provided this checklist of questions to ask potential adoption professionals in the series.

Many hopeful adoptive parents find the home study process to be overwhelming. So today, Lifetime’s sharing an adoption home study checklist to help you get ready!

We want to note that regulations differ depending on what state you live in. So, we’ve made this home study checklist general enough to cover the variety of documents and clearances most will need. If your home has any safety concerns, the home study professional will usually let you know of the issue so that you have time to correct them before finishing the home study.

Safety & Home Preparations 

Depending on the state you’re in, you could be asked to comply with or have training on the following items based on the age appropriateness of your adoption preferences: 

 First aid kit
 Carbon monoxide detector
 Smoke detectors on each level, and near or in your future child’s room
 Cleaning products, medications, and other toxic substances moved out of a child’s reach
 Screen covering your fireplace or wood stove
 Fire extinguisher in your kitchen
 Covered kitchen trash
 Covered electrical outlets
 Gates to place at stairways
 Locks and secure screens on all windows 
 Fence around pool 
 Locked top on hot tub
 Evacuation floor plans
 Phone numbers in case of emergency
 Firearms in a locked container, ammunition in a separate locked container

Documents to Gather

 Your autobiographical statement
 Statement of your parenting plan
 Both of your driver’s licenses
 Marriage certificate
 Divorce decree(s) if applicable
 Military discharge paperwork, if applicable
 Death certificates, if applicable
 Vet vaccination records for all pets

 Birth certificates (of everyone living in your home)
 School records on all children in the home
 Your financial information
 Most recent tax return
 Proof of home, life, health, and car insurance
 Proof of employment (such as a letter from your employer or your most recent pay stub)
 Statement from your doctor about your health status
 Reference statements from relatives and non-relatives

Clearances

 FBI clearance
 Criminal background check
 Child abuse clearances for every place you’ve lived in for the past 5 years
 Sex offender clearance

Resources

We hope that you find this home study checklist to be useful as you prepare for your adoption! Since home study requirements vary state by state, we encourage you to seek guidance from your home study professional as well. 

Mardie Caldwell, C.O.A.P.
Written by Mardie Caldwell, C.O.A.P.

Founder of Lifetime Adoption, adoptive mom, adoption expert, and Certified Open Adoption Practitioner (C.O.A.P).

Since 1986, adoption expert Mardie Caldwell has been dedicated to bringing couples and birth parents together in order to fulfill their dreams.

“Many years ago, I was also searching for a child to adopt. We didn’t know where or how to get started. Through research, determination, and a prayer, our dream of a family became reality. I started with a plan, a notebook, assistance from a caring adoption consultant and a lot of hard work; this was my family I was building. We had a few heartaches along the way, but the pain of not having children was worse!

Within weeks we had three different birth mothers choose us. We were overwhelmed and delighted. Many unsettling events would take place before our adoption would be finalized, many months later. Little did I know that God was training and aligning me for the adoption work I now do today. It is my goal to share with our families the methods and plans which succeed and do not succeed. I believe adoption should be affordable and can be a wonderful “pregnancy” for the adoptive couple.

I have also been on both sides of infertility with the loss of seven pregnancies and then conceiving by new technology, giving birth to a healthy daughter. I have experienced first-hand the emotional pain of infertility and believe my experience allows me to serve your needs better.

It is my hope that for you, the prospective parents, your desire for a child will be fulfilled soon.”

Read More About Mardie Caldwell