The home study is one of the most important documents generated during the adoption process. It is required for every adoption, both domestic and international. A home study is basically a detailed overview of the prospective adoptive family including upbringing, marriage, home, personal relationships, finances, background checks, family life, and health. It is essentially the approval of a parent or individual to be adoptive parent(s). There are many goals that the home study is geared to meet which include the following:
- Determine the suitability of the applicants to be adoptive parents
- Ensure the safety of the home in which the child will live
- Prepare the family for adoption process and adoptive parenting
- Explore the family’s motivation to adopt and their adoption plan to ensure the child will be the right fit for the family
For some, the home study process can be stressful because of the paperwork required, the questions, the home visits, etc. The process can also be a positive way to learn more about adoptive parenting, and to better prepare yourself for the placement of the child in your home. It is also an opportunity to establish a trusting, working relationship with your agency and social worker. The home study process is exactly this: a process. It does not begin and end with the home visit, but rather it is the beginning of a journey and relationship with your social worker and agency that results in the placement of your child!
Here are a few tips to remember to make this journey as easy and beneficial to you as possible:
Prepare a parenting plan
Think about what type of child you would like to adopt
Your home does not have to be perfect
Discuss your finances
Research Community Resources for your Child
If there is something that is not clear about adoptive parenting, or if you have concerns about anything related to the process, your social worker is there to help. For example, you may have completed your parent education requirement, and want more information on how to talk to your child about adoption. Your social worker can suggest additional readings, and give you more information on this topic to address your specific concerns.
Remember, the home study process is not just about the agency getting information about you, it’s also about us giving you more information about adoption. We are here to help!