Georgia, like every other state in the U.S., has adoption home study requirements that a family must meet before adopting. A home study is required by law when a family has decided to become an adoptive family. There is an adoption home study checklist that must be followed, and letters of reference that must be collected as well. This article discusses what a home study is, why home studies are important, and state adoption home study requirements for Georgia.
An adoption home study is a written report by a social worker who has met with the hopeful adoptive parents and assessed their readiness to adopt. The Georgia adoption home study involves education, preparation, mutual assessment and gathering information about the prospective adoptive parents. A home study provides many benefits to choosing adoption beyond just checking to see if a family is ready to adopt.
In addition to evaluating and gathering information about hopeful adoptive parents, the adoption home study serves to educate and prepare adoptive families for parenting an adopted child. In this way, the home study is a mutual beneficial process; the agency completing the home study can not only assess the family for a proper home life for a new child, but also make sure the family is fully ready to commit to an adoption and help them feel more prepared. If a family is not ready to make this commitment, a home study, if done correctly, will reveal this and the family will not be approved for the home study and the adoption.
In Georgia, a home study of the family who is looking to adopt must be completed by a state-licensed adoption professional. The home study must include at least three visits on separate days. At least one visit will be in the home, and the applicant and all other family members must be seen and interviewed. Prospective adoptive parents shall be interviewed together as well as separately.
According to the Child Welfare Information Gateway, the study will include at least the following information concerning the prospective adoptive family:
Motivation to adopt
A physical description and social background of each family member
An evaluation of parenting practices
A summary of health history and condition of each family member
An informal assessment of the emotional and mental health of each family member
An evaluation of the understanding of and adjustment to adoptive parenting
An evaluation of the prospective adoptive parent(s)’ finances and occupations
A description of the home and community
Statements regarding the results of a criminal records check and a check of the child abuse and neglect registry
A minimum of three character references:
» At least one reference must be from an extended family member not residing with the prospective adoptive family.
» If a prospective adoptive parent(s) has worked with children in the past 5 years, a reference must be obtained from the former employer(s) for that work experience.
An adoptive reference letter is exactly what it sounds like. The social worker conducting the home study will need a few letters of recommendation for adoption. The home will need to be assessed, and adoption reference letters need to be provided to assess the character and support of the family choosing adoption. Here is a sample letter of recommendation for adoptive parents in Georgia:
“This letter is to wholeheartedly recommend my daughter, _______________, and her husband, ______________ as adoptive parents.
My daughter has dreamed of having children since she was a little girl, and even with her own siblings she took on an age-appropriate caretaker role, always looking out for her little brother and sister. She was the only one who could talk her brother down from a meltdown, or get her sister to eat her vegetables.
As for ______________, I could not ask for a better son-in-law. He is smart, sensitive and a great provider. At family events, he is always down on the ground playing with his little nieces and nephews. He has a natural gift for relating to children on their own level and never condescends to them.
They are both upbeat, optimistic people and lead active lifestyles, enjoying hiking, fishing and getting away from it all at our family cabin at a lake. Our grandchildren love it at the cabin, and we can't wait to have a new addition to this loving family.
If anyone is in a position to adopt a child, it is __________ and ___________. They truly deserve to be parents, and any child would be lucky to have them in their life.”
If you have any questions regarding obtaining letters of recommendations for adoption, or if you have questions regarding recommended content for an adoption reference letter, please call your adoption agency and make sure you get them everything they need.
Regardless of the agency that you choose to conduct your adoption home study in Georgia, make sure that you understand all the requirements. To benefit from the home study, make sure you are honest with your social worker regarding your thoughts and feeling toward becoming an adoptive family. If you have further questions regarding what a home study is, why it is important, or how it works in Georgia, please feel free to contact American Adoptions at 1-800-ADOPTION.
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