One of the first stages of the adoption process is the home study in which a social worker does a quick walkthrough of your home to decide if they think it will be suitable for a child to live and grow in. The home study is one of the most difficult stages for many prospective adoptive parents because if you fail a home study, you must address the issues and pass before moving forward with the next stages of the adoption. We have noticed all of the families experience some level of home study stress. At Adoption Makes Family we perform the home study in a manner that provides as little stress as possible.
Many prospective adoptive families feel that their home’s cleanliness is the primary factor for deciding whether or not they are suited to be a parent. Although your hygiene (including your home’s cleanliness) is considered, forgetting to dust the top of the cabinets or put the dishes away does not fail you on the spot. Cleaning your home is one of the best ways to leave a good impression on the social worker because it shows that you care about your appearance, health, and, most importantly, that you truly want this to work and are willing to go above and beyond to get it.
Some families tend to over-prepare by cleaning all night long and triple-checking everything’s condition. This is generally unnecessary and if the social worker shows up and you have had little to no sleep the night before, then it will be noted. It’s important to ensure your home is clean, but it’s not critical to stay up all night cleaning.
We recommend preparing, but try to keep from over-preparing. However, if you do over-prepare keep in mind the social worker does take note of that as a positive thing because it shows dedication and commitment to this adoption. Keep your life as balanced as possible because that’s one thing many families do not pay attention to.
One of the core concerns with the home study among prospective adoptive families is the digging of your past. First and foremost, you should be focusing on being honest and true to who you are today. We look into your past to ensure that those “skeletons” have not stayed with you. For example, a DUI you received years ago because you were a partier in college may not affect you much now. But we will have to bring it up and ask you about it to ensure that that event was indeed a thing of the past.
The most important thing to keep in mind is honesty. Lying about your past is more likely to get you to “fail” your home study than anything. Remember, we are there to find out if you could be a great parent. Everything we ask and look at gives us a more personal look at you as a person that you could not get from a mere interview.
As you now know, we are focusing on the “you of today.” Part of who you are today is your health, and many adoptive families are concerned about some health issues they may have. For example, if you have a serious health condition that you’ve had for years but it has been kept under control, we would require proof that you are in fact healthy enough to raise a child. In our eyes, the child’s life will be happier and healthier if the family he/she is with is happy and healthy. Some medical conditions are merely unpreventable and come purely from genetics. We understand this but want to see that you are dealing with the condition accordingly and will be of great influence on the child’s life as the wonderful parent we know you’ll be.
From our point of view, we will be looking for:
- How you live your day-to-day life
- How you plan to care for the child
- What you will offer the child
- Whether or not a medical condition will affect your ability to raise the child
- If your criminal history is still prevalent
- How much you care about this adoption
It can be emotionally difficult to go through the home study process. If you ever want to talk with your adoption counselor about your home study or if you have any questions, please contact us. Many families have asked their counselor about events in their past and how they will affect their home study. These families often find comfort and a lower anxiety level knowing in advance how certain events may affect the home study.