If you are looking to adopt a child from a local orphanage, foster care, or any international institution, then you must do a home study to be approved for adoption.
The home study is a written record of your life, which includes your history, personal and family background, details related to finances, and parenting plan. Then, a social worker will visit your house to interview you to decide whether to approve your child adoption application or not.
While most people don’t mind sharing information about their personal lives with a stranger, some do. Social workers ask for personal details because they want to ensure that children are adopted by loving and law-abiding families.
Preparing for an adoption home study involves various steps, so let’s discuss in detail what this entire process is all about.
1. Find a home study provider in your region
In the US, home studies are regulated by each state individually. For example, in the state of Washington, the home study provider goes to the applicant’s house and carries out all the necessary background checks of individuals aged 16 and above. He/she will also conduct interviews with every member of the family to get a better understanding of the family.
You can find placement agencies that provide home study services, but if you don’t, then you can look for independent social workers who do the same.
If you are planning to adopt a child internationally, then make sure to choose a home study provider who has Hague accreditation. This means that the home study provider agency must adhere to the rules laid out by the US government for adopting internationally.
2. Be ready with all the necessary paperwork and documents
After selecting a home study provider, you will have to fill out the home study paperwork. You will receive a copy of the forms via mail from your provider, so fill them up and submit it through the same mode.
Besides providing personal statements and general background information, you will have to provide copies of several other documents such as your tax returns, driver’s license, and birth certificate, etc.
3. Define your parenting plan and your motivation for child adoption
Take home study as a way to learn about the adoption process because you will be asked several questions related to your motivation to adopt and parenting style, so dive into the ocean of thoughts and find the best answers, which should be realistic and honest as well.
4. Make your home child-friendly
That means you should take all the measures to ensure a safe and healthy environment for the child you are about to adopt.
The social worker who visits your house will check your house diligently to find out any safety hazards.
Make all the necessary changes beforehand to get positive feedback from the social worker. Get in place all the safety items such as fire extinguishers, fire alarms, and covered electrical outlets. If you have a pool in the house, then make sure to have a fence around it with a lock so that children can’t get inside it without your permission.
5. Schedule a home visit
Once you are done filling out all the forms, you can schedule a home visit of the social worker. While the social worker will ask you different types of questions, keep in mind that the same person is also a great resource for asking questions related to child adoption. So, don’t miss the chance to clear your doubts.
Once you complete the home study, the social worker will make the final home study report, which will be a part of your application that will be presented to a judge at the time of the final hearing of the child adoption case.