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How to Prepare for an Adoption Home Study

Couple sits on a couch looking at one another, while a third person is partially visible holding a clipboard performing an adoption home study.As you probably already know, which is why you’re reading this article, an adoption home study is one of the first steps any hopeful family takes in the adoption process. 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. It can be a stressful experience for first-time adoptive parents, but it is important to remember that the home study is designed to “screen in” a family – rather than “screen out.” Still, if you’re worried about the home study, “there are a few things you can do to prepare,” says Julia K. Porter, Family Handyman.

Preparing for an Adoption Home Study

“Even though it feels that they are looking for something you did wrong or it feels kind of invasive, the social workers are on your team,” says one adoptive mother. “They want you to succeed, and they want to find happy, healthy homes for babies who need to be adopted.” 

Still, this process can be scary and stressful for a family longing to bring a child into their home. So, it always helps to be prepared. Here are a few tips to help prepare for a home study.

  • The home study process involves paperwork, so it helps to prepare necessary documents ahead of time. You may have some of these already on file at home, others you may need to request.
  • When the social worker physically visits your home, they are checking to make sure the environment is safe for raising a child. “Having your home ready for children shows the social worker you are serious and responsible,” says Porter. So, start childproofing the home now and ensure there is plenty of room for your future child.
    • “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.
    • “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.”
  • Preparing for standard questions can help ease your mind and help relax you during the home study.
    • Why do you want to adopt?
    • Do you have a gender preference?
    • Are you willing to adopt a special needs child?
    • Are you open to transracial adoption?
    • What level of openness are you looking for in your adoption?
    • How do you envision your parenting style?
    • If you have any current children, how have you or will you prepare them as you bring a new child into your home?
  • The home study is also your chance to ask questions. Just like a job interview, it can be helpful to have a few questions prepared.
  • Be sure to choose a qualified and caring adoption agency, like Adoption Makes Family. We are a non-profit (501-C3) licensed adoption agency based in Maryland, and our licensed home study professionals have over 18 years of experience conducting home studies. We provide home studies for both domestic and international adoptions. We “Screen in” rather than “screen out” families and strive for efficiency and organization, all the while maintaining a feeling of warmth and compassion that must come with growing families.

To start the Home Study process, call 410-683-2100 for more information. Or you can also download the application here and send it to the agency with the $400 application fee.

If you have any questions, you can contact us by phone at 410-683-2100, by e-mail at dr.kirschner@adoptionmakesfamily.org or use our online contact form

Sources

  1. “10 Things To Help You Prepare For The Home Study.” Adoption.org, https://adoption.org/10-things-need-know-youre-preparing-home-study.
  2. “How to Prepare for a Home Study.” Binti, https://binti.com/home-study/how-to-prepare-for-a-home-study/.
  3. 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/.
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