The Arizona Adoption Home Study

Preparing for the Home Study for Adoption in AZ

When families are going through the adoption process, they often worry about the required Arizona home study for adoption. It is one of the most important components of adoption requirements that every hopeful family must complete, whether adopting domestically, internationally, or through foster care.

The purpose of an adoption home study is not to see if you have a “perfect” home and are “perfect” parents. Arizona adoption home study professionals just want to confirm that you are physically, emotionally, and financially prepared to raise a child.

Potential adoptive families working through American Adoptions in Arizona are able to conduct their home studies directly through us, as we are a licensed home study provider in the state of Arizona. This means that you will only need to work with one adoption professional! We are here to help you through every step of the adoption process. In addition, we are able to provide Arizona adoption home study services to families working with another professional for child-placement services.

The home study for adoption in Arizona is made up of two parts — paperwork and in-home visits.

Paperwork

Generally, the home study can be the slowest part of the adoption process. It is recommended that you get started on collecting the necessary documentation for your Arizona adoption home study as soon as possible. Some of the documents you’ll be required to submit as part of your home study for adoption in AZ include:

  • Recent health records from your physician, verifying you are physically fit to care for a child

  • Recent financial statements, including income statements, tax returns or paystubs to verify that you are able to provide for a child financially

  • A background check on the state and federal level must be conducted on all adult members of the household. Each member must certify whether they are awaiting trial or have ever been convicted of a criminal offense

The adoption home study in Arizona also includes an investigation of the prospective parents to determine whether they are fit to adopt. The investigation and report will include:

  • A complete social history

  • Financial status

  • Religious background

  • Physical and mental health conditions

  • Any court action for or adjudication of child abuse, abandonment of children, dependency or termination of parent-child relationship

  • Any other facts in relation to the fitness of the prospective adoptive parents

A social study must be submitted to the court at least 10 days before the adoption petition hearing. This study will include:

  • information on the child’s adjustment to the adoptive parents’ home

  • the parents’ suitability to adopt

  • the existing and proposed arrangements regarding the custody of the child

  • criminal background checks

  • any other information relevant to the adoption proceedings

In-Home Visits

This is the part of the home study for adoption that families often worry about the most. Home study visits are not to be feared! Arizona adoption home study professionals are not expecting you or your home to be perfect. They want to make sure your home and family is a safe, stable environment for a child.

There will be pre- and post-placement visits for adoptive families in Arizona. There are two parts to the pre-adoption visit: the home inspection and interview.

The adoption home study inspection involves your social worker touring your home with you, looking to see if you’ve taken care of basic safety precautions. These features need to be in place before a child can be welcomed into your home. You will not “fail” the inspection if you did not have these features in place before the initial visit. The purpose of this visit is for your social worker to help you find safety hazards you may have overlooked.

Some basic features your social worker will be looking for are:

  • covers on electrical outlets

  • fences around pools

  • screens on windows

  • gates for stairs

  • toxic cleaners, chemicals and medications out of reach

  • emergency plans for fire, natural disasters, medical emergencies, etc.

Remember, your social worker wants to make sure you are providing a safe, stable and loving home for a child. They will help you achieve this.

The home study for adoption interview is where the social worker gets to know more about you. You will have a conversation about your interests, careers, hobbies, family dynamics, personal values and relationships. During the conversation, your Arizona home study worker will want to know more about:

  • Your knowledge about adoption, including cultural and racial diversity, what to expect raising an adopted child, issues that may be encountered as an adoptee, birth family relations and the adoption process in Arizona.

  • Your thoughts about AZ adoption, including how excited you are about adoption, your personal views on adoption, and how you want your adopted child to feel about their adoption.

  • Your individual upbringings and backgrounds, and how those may affect how you parent your own child. What experiences and traditions do you want your child to have?

  • Your relationship as a family and as a couple, including how unified you are in your feelings about adoption and your potential adopted child.

This is your social worker’s chance to really get to know your family’s personalities and ensure that you are ready to become parents. If you have children living with you, they will be included in the home study process for adoption as well.

Post-Placement Visits and Home Study Updates

Once a child is placed with your family, your Arizona adoption home study professional will visit the home within 30 days. This visit allows the child or parents to express questions or concerns about the adoption process, ensures the child’s educational needs are being met, appropriate child care arrangements have been made, and ensures the adoptive family has received all non-identifying information on the child.

Following the initial visit, the Arizona adoption home study professional will visit at least once every three months until the adoption is finalized. If the child has special needs, they will visit at least once a month. The social worker will interview all members of the family and discuss the following issues:

  • How the child has impacted relationships in the family

  • How the extended family and child view each other

  • Each family member’s role in taking care of the child

  • How the parent is dealing with the child’s needs

  • How the child challenges the placement, and how the family reacts

  • How the child is adjusting to school (if applicable)

In Arizona, the initial home study certificate is valid for 18 months. It can be extended in one-year periods until a child is placed with your family. If you have a new home, new job, or change in marital status, the certificate must be renewed.

Arizona Adoption Home Study Checklist

There are many items you’ll need during your adoption home study in Arizona. Your American Adoptions home study worker can go over the AZ adoption home study checklist and process with you. If you are ready to get started on your Arizona home study for adoption, contact us now at 1-800-ADOPTION.





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