The home study process almost always makes most first-time adoptive parents a little nervous. This is actually quite normal since there are so many common myths about a home study process which need to be revealed. Current and prospective adoptive parents only want what is the best for their child, and so does a social worker and an adoption professional. This is why a home study process is a crucial part of every adoption. Here are some common myths wrapped around the process itself to help put some of your fears to rest.
Myth #1: The social worker only wants to find what is wrong with your family.
This is one of the most common myths when it comes to the home study process. Actually, the truth is quite the opposite. Social workers want you to succeed in your hopes and dreams of parenthood. They are there to learn all about your family and ensure your home is a fit environment to raise a baby.
Myth #2: Your family must be a perfect family.
Just remember that no one is perfect. Your social worker is well aware of this, so don’t try so hard to present a false picture of a perfect family. That can seem artificial and actually ruin your chances for being approved. The most important thing is to be completely honest with your social worker.
Myth #3: If you have criminal background, you will automatically fail a home study.
A criminal background check is included in every home study process. If you happen to have a criminal history, it’s crucial to be honest and open about it. If you have any crime involving child abusing or illegal substances charge in your criminal record, it is possible you might fail the home study. Other minor legal issues don’t necessarily disqualify you, so don’t worry if you have made a mistake a while back. Just be honest and explain the situation to your social worker so he or she isn’t taken by surprise later on.
Myth #4: Your home must be spotless.
This myth stresses out every adoptive family, but a social worker is not going to inspect your house like a cleaning service employee. Your house should look like there are people living in it. Of course you’ll want to tidy up for your social worker’s visit, but concentrate on the safety issues, like working smoke alarms, a carbon monoxide detector, fire extinguishers, proper storage places for medications and other hazardous products, etc.
Myth #5: You need to be rich and married.
Adoption may be a costly process, but that certainly doesn’t mean you have to be wealthy to be home study approved. You just have to demonstrate evidence of financial stability and that you will be able to support a child financially. You don’t have to own your home either; as long as it’s a safe environment for a child, you can also rent a house or apartment. Single parents can also adopt a baby and get a home study approval, just like LGBT individuals and couples can.
Myth #6: You have to be highly educated to adopt.
Your level of education isn’t a big consideration, and a diploma or degree is not a requirement. What a social worker wants to know is your commitment to raising and providing for a child.
Myth #7: You will need to have the nursery set up.
For some families, the home study is done very early on in the adoption process. There is no need to have a nursery set up at the time of the home study. All the social worker will need to see is that you have a safe and adequate place intended for your child.