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What to Expect During Your Home Study Process

How To Adopt Adoption Process

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  Written by Sonja Brown on 22 Jan 2015

Whether adoptive parents are seeking to adopt a child internationally or domestically, families must complete a home study. The home study process can seem daunting but, in fact, it is nothing to fear. A home study is needed in adoption, whether you are adopting internationally or domestically and is a snapshot of you, your spouse or partner, of your home and your past and present life. Remember – many entities during your adoption process will use this as the cornerstone document to establish that you are eligible to adopt, and that you meet the sending country’s requirements, U.S. federal requirements as well as your state of residence requirements. Please note that states vary in their requirements and your home study will substantiate you meet these requirements. The home study process begins by you compiling documents requested by your home study agency. Documents needed are determined by the country you are adopting from and your state of residence’s requirements. Documents can include but are not limited to:

  • Criminal History Checks
  • Birth Certificates of the adoptive parents
  • Marriage Certificate (if applicable)
  • Financial documents to prove your financial status
  • Medicals of the family
  • Proof that pets have been immunized appropriately
  • Proof of employment
  • Tax returns

What things can you expect during your home study visits? A tour of your home to check for things such as:

  • A home that allows the appropriate square footage as designated by the state you reside in to accommodate a child, there should be a room which will be designated for your adopted child
  • Overall safety of your home, checking for fire arms, pools etc. and to ensure appropriate safety precautions are in place
  • Looking to ensure you have working smoke detectors, fire extinguishers and carbon monoxide detectors
  • That pets are friendly and up to date on immunizations
  • Ensuring medications and alcohol are properly stored and stored safely out of reach of curious hands
  • An in-depth interview of you and your spouse/partner

What types of things will you be asked? Types of questions to expect, include, but are not limited to:

  • You will be asked about your past and how you grew up, including family, parents and siblings
  • You will be asked about your level of education and your job or career
  • You will be asked (if married or living with someone) about your marital or couple relationship
  • You will be asked about your abilities as a parent and how you will discipline an adopted child
  • You will be asked if you have a criminal history (including anything you did as a teen, so always be honest!) Issues with past criminal history does not necessarily disqualify you from adopting
  • You will be asked why you have chosen to adopt

Each agency and state will have their own requirements and you should direct specific questions regarding your home study process to your home study provider. Remember, the home study is used to show that you are qualified to adopt , it is not meant to discourage you from adopting. If there are any issues, your agency will make recommendations on what you need to do or change. Agencies are in place because they want you to adopt. After all, there are many children in need of forever families worldwide that need loving parents.

Photo Credit: moppet65535



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