A home study is an incredibly important part of the adoption process. It can also be incredibly stressful for the prospective adoptive family involved, says Julia K. Porter, Family Handyman. A social worker will visit the family’s home, interview family members and their references, as well as review the family’s financial history, to assess their suitability for adoption. The social worker will also give the prospective adoptive family an education about adoption.
The findings from the home study and all the documents submitted by the family are compiled into a final home study report.
“If you’re worried about the home study, there are a few things you can do to prepare,” says Porter.
Preparing Yourself for a Home Study
The Home Study is to “screen in” a family – rather than “screen out.” Still, this process can be scary and stressful for a family longing to bring a child into their home. So, here are a few tips to help prepare for a home study.
- Gather Documents: Part of the home study process involves paperwork, which means making sure you have the right documents on hand. You may have some of these documents already, others you may need to request. So, if you can get this started, it will make your home study process easier.
- Prepare Your Home: When a social worker visits a home, they are looking to make sure the environment is suited to raising a child – plenty of room, no safety hazards, etc. “Having your home ready for children show the social worker you are serious and responsible,” says Porter.
- Fire Safety: “Have fire extinguishers on each floor and make sure that you have working smoke detectors on each floor and while you’re at it, install carbon monoxide detectors, if you haven’t already,” says Porter. It is also a good idea to have a fire escape plan.
- Fences: “A fenced yard is preferred for any home with children,” says Porter. “If you have a pool, make sure the fence around it is in good repair. Safety around water is taken very seriously.”
- Pets: If you have pets, the social worker will check to see how they interact with strangers. “If they aren’t going to get along with a guest, they probably aren’t going to be a fan of a new addition to your family,” says Porter.
- Be Prepared for Standard Questions: The home study isn’t designed to trip families up, but it can still be a stressful process. Preparing for some standard questions can help ease your mind and allow you to respond in a much more relaxed manner.
- Are you looking for an open, semi-open, or closed adoption?
- What do you envision as your parenting style?
- Do you have a gender preference?
- Would you be willing to adopt a child with special needs?
- Are you open to transracial adoption?
- If you have any current children, how have you or will you prepare them as you bring a new child into your home.
- Why do you want to adopt?
- Ask Questions: This is also the adoptive family’s opportunity to ask questions and educate themselves. So, what questions do you want to ask your adoption professional?
- Choose a Qualified and Caring Adoption Agency: Not only do you need to find an adoption professional accredited in all the areas you need, but you also want to find an adoption professional that truly cares about you and your growing family.
Adoption Makes Family
Adoption Makes Family is here to help. We are a non-profit (501-C3) licensed adoption agency that aims to foster a genuine connection with you so you feel like you are part of our family. We are here to help you every step of the way. Our adoption counselors are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for your convenience. If you would like our advice or just need to talk, please give us a call at any time.
24-Hour Hotline 410-683-2100
If you have any questions, you can contact us by phone at 410-683-2100, by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or use our online contact form.
- “10 Things To Help You Prepare For The Home Study.” Adoption.org, https://adoption.org/10-things-need-know-youre-preparing-home-study.
- “How to Prepare for a Home Study.” Binti, https://binti.com/home-study/how-to-prepare-for-a-home-study/.
- Porter, Julia K. “How to Get Your House Ready for an Adoption Home Study.” The Family Handyman, The Family Handyman, 20 Mar. 2019, https://www.familyhandyman.com/smart-homeowner/how-to-get-your-house-ready-for-an-adoption-home-study/.