In all states, prospective adoptive parents will be required to be involved in the home study process. There are three purposes for this process:
- To make sure that the prospective adoptive parents are prepared and educated about the adoption process.
- Information relating to the prospective parents must be gathered stop this is so that the social worker has all the information required to match a child with the right family for their them.
- It is very important that the adoptive family is evaluated as to their fitness as prospective adoptive parents.
Concerns about the home study process
The home study process can cause a tremendous amount of worries for prospective adoptive parents. There is always a concern that after the process is completed, that they will be deemed unsuitable to be adoptive parents. However, it’s always important for the prospective parents to remember, that the process is there to help them stop the agency wants to make sure that they are a suitable family for any child they are considering suitable to be adopted by them.
The agency undertaking the home study process, obviously understand that there is no such thing as the perfect family. The prospective parents can almost look upon this exercise as being the perfect match making exercise. Although primarily the concern is for the child and making sure displays correctly, it also benefits the prospective adoptive parent that the so that home study is undertaken the child is a suitable candidate to join their family.
Home study requirements
Every state and agency has different processes by which they deal with home study.
What will happen during the home study process?
There is no set procedure, and it will be different from state to state and agency to agency. However, there will be a great deal of similarity between all the formats used.
1. Income statements – to be able to adopt you must be able to show that you have adequate finances and are financially responsible. It would not be unusual for prospective parents to be asked to prove their income by providing copies of their wage slip or income tax forms.
2. References – Three or four people who know you will be required to act as referees. This will ensure that the social worker has a greater understanding of your family and network of friends.
3. Autobiographical statement – this is to allow the adoption agency to gain a greater understanding of the prospective adoptive parents.
4. Home visit – this will be required to make sure that the child has adequate and safe surroundings. For instance, they would make sure that all firearms are safely secured in the home.
5. Interviews – the social worker will want to develop a relationship with the family to gain a better understanding of them. This helps the social worker correctly place the child.
6. Training – prospective parents will receive training during the home study process. This is so that the gain an understanding of the needs of the prospective child.
7. Health statements – if the prospective parent has a health problem, this could present a problem. Adoptive parents are required to have a physical examination.
Background check – criminal checks will be required in order to make sure that the prospective parents is suitable.
The home study report
Usually, after the above steps have been completed, the social worker will report their findings. Very often, these reports are used to introduce families to other adoption agencies.
The following types of information are also found within home study report:
- Family background
- Daily life
- Readiness to adopt
- Consideration of the neighbourhood
Although you may feel apprehensive about the home study process, it is there for the benefit for both the child and the prospective adoptive parents. Undertaking the process means that the child will be placed in the correct environment which is both safe, loving, and permanent.