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What is an adoption home study?

 

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All adoptive parents must have a home study completed before they are legally eligible for placement (able to bring home a baby). So, what is a home study? Some media(movies, TV, newspapers, etc.) give people the wrong idea.

They tells stories about how a social worker comes to your house, drills you with questions that make you sweat, then they go through your house with white gloves to make sure there isn’t an ounce of dust found. IF you can make it through this, then the social worker lets you know they will contact you to let you know if you are approved to be parents.

Thank goodness this perception is far from the truth.

What is an adoption home study?

The actual home study process is really about preparing and educating you as well as gathering information about who you are.

It is meant to ensure that children are matched with families who can meet their needs in secure, loving, healthy, and caring homes. Requirements to complete a home study can be different from state to state, but your adoption agency will help you through the process. The costs can range from $500 to $3000.

Here are the main parts of the home study:

  • Informational meeting – this is an introductory meeting with you and the agency. They will explain their process to you and give you opportunity to ask questions.
  • Training – many agencies require or offer training for adoptive parents before or during the home study. This training will help you understand adoption issues and agency requirements. This can also help you decide what preferences you select (see step #2).
  • Interviews – this is where you meet face to face with a social worker in the agency office. They will ask you a lot of questions that are very personal but meant to find out who you are as a couple, as individuals, and as potential parents.
  • Home visits – these visits are to make sure your home is safe for a child. This isn’t a “white glove” inspection as you may have heard. They are not inspecting how perfectly tidy you are, but a certain level of order is necessary.
  • Background checks – states require criminal and child abuse record checks. You may also need to get fingerprints taken, provide health reports by your family doctor, and give details regarding your financial resources.[ois skin=”5″]

Home studies are generally only good for one year, then you will have to get an update, which means you’ll have to go through some of the process again and pay another (usually smaller) fee. The home study process is lengthy and involved but it is here to help prepare your family for adoption.

At some point you may feel as we did that the process is a little over the top. In other words, do we really have to go through all of this to “prove” that we are worthy to be parents? The short answer is yes. If you begin to feel this way, just try and remember why you are doing it – that someday soon you will be bringing home the baby you’ve been dreaming about.

Take a look at a sample home study.

Contact your local adoption agency that is licensed in your state to provide home studies or contact 1-800-HomeStudy and they’ll help find one for you.

Check out my 5 tips for getting through your homestudy.

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