Monday, September 22, 2008

Because You Asked: What is a Home Study?

Each adoptive family is required to complete an adoption home study. This process is usually a 4-6 week period in which a licensed social worker is assigned to meet with the prospective family to determine their readiness to become adoptive parents. This can be an intimidating and stressful experience. You will need to find a licensed agency or licensed social worker in your area who does home studies. Our goal is to relieve some of the anxiety by connecting clients with a social worker or home study agency that meets their needs in regards to individual situations.

The home study usually consists of the following: A meeting with the husband and wife together, a meeting with the husband and the wife individually, and a visit to the prospective adoptive parent’s home.

Be prepared to discuss:
• Reason for infertility/reason for adoption
• Childhood experiences (how you were disciplined, relationship with siblings, etc)
• Current marriage, previous marriage(s) and reason for divorce (if applicable)
• How you discipline or plan to discipline your children
• How you solve conflict in your home
• Extended family's attitude towards adoption
• Trans-racial adoption (if you are open to other ethnic groups)

Typical Paperwork:
(most social workers/home study agencies require the following)

Marriage license and divorce decrees (if applicable)
Birth certificates
Copy of Drivers License
Recent pay stubs and Employment Verification
Proof of health insurance will be required (They will most likely want a copy of the card)
Physical examinations for all individuals over the age of 18 (You will need to obtain the form from the social worker before going to the doctor)
Tax forms for the previous year
Immunization records and letter of good health from pediatrician for children residing in the home
Immunization records for any family pets
3-4 reference letters from non-family members that you have known for at least one year (The letters need to state why they think that you will be a good candidate for adoption. They should also provide their phone numbers, and will most likely be contacted for a short telephone interview)
State criminal record check for anyone over the age of 18 living in the home (You can go to the police department and tell them that you need a criminal record check for the purpose of adoption)
Fingerprint cards (State and some times Federal fingerprint checks are required)
Fire Arm Statement (if you have fire arms they are properly stored and locked for safety)
Swimming Pool Statement (if you have a pool, proper safety precautions have been taken)
Reference letters from the prospective adoptive grandparents are usually needed (The letters need to state how they feel about having an adoptive grandchild, and how they plan to treat the child)
If you have a septic tank, they will require that you have it inspected

Paperwork is the most time consuming part of the home study process. By collecting your paperwork before your first visit, you will be able to speed up the process. This will be helpful if a placement is found for you in a short time frame.

If you have a concern about the home study process, please let us know. We will be happy to advise you and put your mind at ease prior to the home study process. The main thing to remember is to be completely honest during the entire home study process. It is better to have everything out in the open, rather than for them to discover that you have not been truthful.


Anonymous said...

Thanks so much! Wow, that is a ton of stuff - but I am impressed that our "system" requires an intensive study before placing precious babes into homes.

We are not in the KS are - Ohio actually. We are praying about adopting...I have caught the adoption "fire" more so than my is the unknown and honestly the money that is such a hump/stumbling block. Faith, trust, and obediecnce...praying for that.

Thanks Again! Angela

Tracie said...

You got it, Angela!

crispy said...

Thanks for sharing this post. It helps those of us who are just at the investigation stages for adoption. Makes the home study seem less intimidating.

I do look forward to connecting with you soon on adoption. Praying that God leads us in just the right way.


JoAnna said...
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