The part of the adoption process that may seem the most daunting for some is the home study. Many feel put off by the idea of a stranger coming into their home and assessing your ability to successfully raise a child. The home study is actually a bit different from what most people think, but it is completely normal to feel a little intimidated. Let’s go over what exactly the process entails, so you can know what to expect:
Gathering of Materials
First and foremost, a social worker is going to get in contact with you to instruct you to collect various documents. Birth certificates and marriage licenses are common items requested. The purpose of each is to ensure the potential adoptive parent or parents are who they claim to be. Your health and the financial records will also be taken and examined for authenticity.
Interview With Each Member of the Household
The social worker will individually interview every member of the house in which the child would be living. Their goal isn’t to scare you but to learn about the dynamics in your household and the dynamics of your life in general. This step can seem daunting when a total stranger is questioning members of your family, but it is simply to ensure that your household is a good fit for a potential child.
Home Visits With the Social Workers
In at least one instance, a social worker will visit you directly at your home. They will not be inspecting every inch of your house, but simply ensuring the space is what they were told to expect and ensuring it is suitable for a child. During this point, they will also conduct further interviews with the household members.
Naturally, the social worker will use the documents collected earlier in the process to verify the background of the potential adoptive parents. This part of the home study is mainly to ensure there are no prior domestic violence charges or child abuse reports.
One of the later steps of the home study process is the character reference process. Your social worker will go through your friends and family to take character references and get a better idea of who you are.
The entire home study process can take months and can, at times, feel incredibly invasive. As mentioned, it is perfectly normal to feel intimidated during this process. Just remember that the social worker is simply trying to ensure the safety of the child. Up until this point, the stages of the adoption process have been on paper, so this is the chance a social worker uses to actually get to know the potential parents on a personal level. A successful home study is a major part of the adoption process and giving the social worker everything they need can help you along in the entire process.