Usually, a home study includes the following:
- Family background
- Parenting experience
- Employment and education
- Details about your daily life, your neighborhood, and family
- Reasons for adoption
Although the home study process can take between three to six months to complete, remember that it is an important document created to help you and your adoption agency or professional to provide the best possible adoption process. This is also one of the crucial stages in an adoption process and by inspecting a home, collecting medical and financial documents, and running criminal background checks, the adoption agency or professional can make sure the family is ready for adoption.
There are reasons why prospective parents become nervous during the time of the home study process and they are mostly based on myths and wrong perception of the situation. Here are a few common misconceptions about the home study process.
- There is no need to have an equipped nursery set up prior to the visit. The social worker is only going to be interested in whether you have an appropriate space that is needed for a nursery.
- The social worker is not coming to your home to inspect it with white gloves and do the cleanliness test. He or she is just looking to ensure your home is a safe environment to raise a baby.
- If you think that the social worker is going to look in every drawer, closet, and cabinet in your home, you should know that is not true. Your social worker will not rummage through your private belongings or be that invasive. Every social worker needs to ask basic questions about your home safety, like if you store any ammunition or firearms, or if you have working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, so concentrate on questions like these.
- Social workers are not there to find something that is wrong with you and stop you from adopting a child. They are your partners working with you. All they want is to make sure adoption is the best fit for your family and the baby.
- Nobody is perfect, so don’t expect the social worker to be looking for a perfect family. The only important thing is to be 100% honest and to build a relationship of trust with your social worker.
- If you have a criminal history, that doesn’t mean you will automatically fail the home study process. Explain the situation to your social worker, do it honestly and be open. If you made a minor mistake a long time ago and it is reasonably explainable, most likely it is not going to affect your adoption process. If, however, you have a felony charge that involves children, it is unlikely that you will be found to be a good fit for adoption.
- Your age is not a limit. While many agencies and professionals have age minimums, but there is rarely an upper age restriction when it comes to adoption.
- Another common myth about the home study process is that you have to own a home to adopt. What is important is that your living situation is stable and you have a proper space for children.
- Many people think you have to be married to adopt a baby. This is also a myth when it comes to the home study process. Single parents may adopt a baby too.