A home study is, more or less, an overview of a hopeful adoptive family’s life to determine their suitability to pursue adoption. It’s performed by a licensed social worker, who evaluates the family’s fitness to adopt as well as educates them and gathers information to help better match the parents with an adopted child.
An Arkansas adoption home study includes three facets:
An in-home visit with all members of the prospective adoptive family
An inspection of a prospective adoptive family’s home
A collection and review of important documents
For many adoptive families, the home study can be intimidating. It may feel that someone is coming into your home and judging you, especially with something you want so badly hanging in the balance. It’s important to remember, however, that the social worker who completes your home study is only there to help. He or she is just another of the adoption professionals that will help you on the road to becoming adoptive parents!
As a national adoption agency, American Adoptions is licensed to provide an adoption home study for an adoptive family in the state of Arkansas. This way, families who work with us will be able to seamlessly work with one team to complete all steps of an adoption. We can help you start to ready the items on your adoption home study checklist as soon as you start working with us!
Once you’ve chosen an Arkansas adoption home study professional to work with, you’ll want to begin gathering everything required for the documentation phase. This is the part that will take the longest of the entire home study, so readying all the documentation your home study provider needs in a timely manner is critical. You should begin rounding up the following:
Health Statements. Make sure everyone in your family has up-to-date physical exams and gather the records. You should also expect to provide information about yourselves, such as height, weight, smoking status, etc. If mental health has ever been a struggle for either parent, you will most likely need a statement from you physician, psychologist or therapist stating that you’re healthy enough to be a parent.
Background Checks. Each member in your family must undergo Arkansas criminal background checks. Arkansas laws also requires a federal background check as well as a check of the child abuse and neglect registries in other states you may have lived in during the previous five years.
Financial Information. To prove that you are financially capable of adding a member to your family, be prepared to provide payment stubs, income statements and/or tax returns. You don’t have to be wealthy, but you will need to be able to provide your child with everything he or she needs.
Autobiographical Statements. Both you and your partner will write stories about your lives, including your childhoods, any struggles with infertility, and other important events. This will prepare the social worker for your in-home visit and help him or her get to know you better.
An adoption home study may seem stressful, but it can actually be broken down into a few simple steps:
Contact a home study provider and request a home study application.
Complete your background checks.
Meet the adoption home study social worker who will work with you to complete the process.
Gather and turn in all necessary home study documents.
Receive the social worker into your home for your in-home visit and inspection.
Receive a review of the home study and proofread to make sure all information is correct.
Confirm all information and notarize the home study document.
And that’s it! Just seven simple steps and you’re ready to continue on in your journey to adoption. Keep in mind that any significant life changes will require an update to your home study, and you will receive post-placement visits from your home study social worker after adoption.
For more information about adoption or completing an adoption home study in Arkansas, call 1-800-ADOPTION, or request free information here.
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