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family boarding homes or foster homes (1 -6 children) must be licensed annually. (TCA sec. 71-3-501 through 71-3-531) Foster homes operated by state, or licensed child-placing agencies are not licensed but are approved biennially.  These Foster homes must meet appropriate standards and are subject to inspection by TN DCS. Adoptive homes are not licensed but are approved biennially by TN DCS or annually by the applicable licensed child-placing agency. (TCA sec 71-3-501 through 71-3-531)  The license of a child-placing agency includes any family boarding home or group care homes operated by the agency. (TCA sec. 71-3-504) (Reference: TCA 37-5-501 et seq.)  

TN Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (DIDD): authority to establish rules for licensure of  services and facilities operated for the provision of mental health, developmental disability and personal support services (TCA sec. 33-2- 401 et seq.) ; rules include provisions for denial, suspension or revocation of license and sanctions/civil penalty for non-compliance; licensee defined as a proprietorship, a partnership, an association, a governmental agency or corporation that operates a facility or a service; facility defined as a developmental center, treatment resource, group residence, boarding home, sheltered workshop, activity center, rehabilitation center, hospital , community mental health center, counseling center, clinic, halfway house or any other entity that provides a mental health or developmental disabilities service;  service defined as any activity to prevent, treat or ameliorate mental illness, serious emotional disturbance or developmental disabilities and includes diagnosis, evaluation, residential assistance, training, habilitation, rehabilitation, counseling, case coordination or supervision of persons with mental illness, serious emotional disturbance or developmental disabilities.  License is valid for up to one year from date of issuance on services identified; annual renewal. (TCA sec 33-2-406)

Independent Adoptive Placements: Unlicensed individuals and un-chartered or non-licensed child caring institutions, child placing agencies or maternity homes may not engage in activities placing children for temporary care or for adoption.( TCA sec. 36-1-108 (a); TCA sec. 37-5-507)  Only licensed child-placing agency, clinical social worker,  prospective adoptive parents or an attorney subject to TN  Supreme Court Rules are authorized to advertise  for the placement of children for adoption.  (TCA sec. 36-1-108)  Placement of a child or children for adoption means that a person, corporation, agency or other entity is employed, contracted or engaged in any manner for any remuneration, fee, contribution or thing of value, of any type by or on behalf of any person in the selection of prospective adoptive parent for a child through preparation of home studies, preliminary home studies, court reports or provision of supervision or advertising for such services, accepting clients for a fee or providing any placing services for a fee (TCA 36-1-108)  A service fee, other than medical or legal expenses or reasonable living expenses, is prohibited. (TCA sec. 36-1-109)  Subsequent surrenders executed in Tennessee generate a requirement that the court obtain the child’s social and medical history and refer the natural parent(s) for counseling if desired. (TCA sec. 36-1-111).  Investigation by TN DCS or a licensed child-placing agency is mandatory unless the child is related by blood to the petitioner as a grandchild, niece, nephew, or is the petitioner’s stepchild, then the Tennessee Court may waive the investigation. (TCA sec.36-1-111)

Adoption Petition: Petitioner must have lived in Tennessee or in Federal enclave within Tennessee for 6 months prior to filing of petition.  Requirement is not applicable to petitioner in military service, stationed out of state but who resided in Tennessee for at least one year prior to entering military service.  Residence requirements waived if child is a relative or stepchild of petitioner. (TCA sec. 36-1-115).  Final decree granted no later than 2 years and no sooner than 6 months after filing of petition. Probationary period waived for relatives. (TCA sec.36-1-119)  Final decree may be granted as early as 6 months after filing of petition if child has resided with petitioner for at least 1 year. (TCA sec. 36-1-115) Petition may be filed at time of placement or thereafter.  

The Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children Procedures Manual

Revised: January, 2012                                                                                                                           Page 10

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