An adoption home study is one of the most important components of adoption requirements that every hopeful parent will have to complete; whether you intend to adopt domestically, internationally, or through foster care. It’s important because it provides a look into the kind of life you’d provide for a child.
That’s not to say that the purpose of an adoption home study is to judge your abilities as a potential parent—it’s simply to confirm that you’re emotionally, financially, and physically prepared to adopt and raise a child at this point in your life.
Fortunately for Kansas residents, American Adoptions is a licensed home study provider within Kansas, so you’ll only be working with one adoption professional instead of juggling multiple professionals throughout your adoption journey! We’re here to make the adoption home study process as smooth as possible.
A typical home study for adoption in Kansas breaks down into two main parts:
It’s generally a good idea to get started on collecting the necessary documentation for your KS adoption home study as soon as possible, because the home study can be the most time-intensive part of the adoption process. Some of the documents that you’ll be required to submit as part of your home study to adopt in Kansas include:
Recent records of health from your doctors, counselors, and health professionals to verify that you’re physically and mentally able to care for a child
Recent financial statements including paystubs, tax returns or income statements to verify that you’re able to financially provide for a child
3-5 close personal references (to whom you aren’t related) that your home study professional can contact and ask for a letter of recommendation for adoption, which serves as a kind of reference letter for adoption
Background checks and clearances for all adult members of the household on both a state and federal level to ensure there are no prior records of violent behavior, abuse or neglect
Individual autobiographical statements about your intent to adopt; beginning from your own childhood, spanning your relationship together, your journey to become a family and your ultimate desire to adopt, including the life that you envision for your adopted child
Again, the adoption home study process can take time while you collect all your documentation, so it’s usually helpful to start preparing the paperwork as soon as you can.
The in-home visits are typically the part of the adoption home study that hopeful adoptive parents fear the most. But home study visits aren’t something to dread!
Kansas adoption home study professionals aren’t looking to see if you’re “perfect.” They just need to ensure that your home and family is a safe and stable place for a child.
There will be both pre- and post- placement visits for adoptive families who are placed with a child. Your home study professional will come to your home both times, but will look for different things. The pre-placement home study visit will be comprised of two main parts:
A home inspection
An adoptive family interview
The adoption home study inspection will involve your social worker touring your home with you to evaluate if your home is a safe environment for a child (keeping the age range of the child you hope to adopt in mind), by looking for basic features including:
Screens on windows
Fences around pools
Covers on electrical outlets
Gates for stairs
Toxic cleaners, chemicals and medicines out of reach
Emergency plans for fire, natural disasters, medical emergencies, etc.
Remember; it’s not necessary for you to have thought of every potential danger that an adopted child could face in your home. It’s the social worker’s job to point out anything you may have missed, or that you may want to adjust before a child comes into your home. This certainly doesn’t mean you’ll be suddenly prevented from adopting! It’s just usually something you might’ve overlooked that you can correct in time for the next home visit.
The biggest priority of your adoption home study worker is to ensure that you’re able to provide a safe, healthy, stable and loving environment in which to raise a child. They’re there to help you do that!
The home study for adoption interview is where the social worker gets the opportunity to learn more about you. You’ll have a conversation with your KS home study worker about your own family dynamics, your hobbies, careers, interests, relationships and personal values. Together, you’ll also discuss your parenting styles, tactics for dealing with stress, your feelings about adoption and your personal journey to become a parent.
The purpose of the adoption home study interview allows the social worker to evaluate several things, including:
Your knowledge about adoption, including cultural or racial diversity, raising an adopted child, issues facing adoptees, the legal and emotional processes and more
Your attitudes towards adoption, including how excited you are about adoption, your personal beliefs about adoption, how you want your adopted child to feel about their own adoption and more
Your relationship as a couple and as a family, including how united you are in your motivations and feelings regarding adoption and your potential adopted child
Your personal backgrounds, including your own family relationships, experiences, traditions, childhoods and how those affect the way you’d like your own child to be raised
Some common Kansas home study for adoption interview questions might include:
“What led you to your decision to adopt?”
“What do you love most about your spouse?”
“If you were to adopt a child outside of your race, how would you encourage their identity?”
“How would you like to celebrate or incorporate your child’s adoption into his or her life?”
“How do you rely on each other during difficulties?”
“How do you think you might divvy up parental responsibilities?”
“How have your own parents affected your parenting skills, if at all?”
“Did you struggle with infertility? If so, how did you cope? How have you moved forward?”
“How do you feel about your neighborhood?”
“What are your personal parenting philosophies? What about discipline?”
“What do you value as a family?”
By getting to know more about you; both as individuals and as a couple, your adoption home study worker will have a clearer picture of the type of life you might provide for a child. If there are other members of your family in your household, they’ll be included in the adoption home study process, as well.
Again, the goal isn’t to be the “perfect” adoptive family. The goal is for your home study adoption professional to find out what kind of family you are and what’s important to you, so you can continue to journey towards an adoption with an expectant mother who’s looking for a family like yours—whatever that may be!
Once a child is placed with your family, your Kansas adoption home study professional will return for regular post-placement in-home visits beginning as soon as you return home, up until the adoption is finalized in court (about six months after initial placement occurs). This is to monitor how everyone in the family is adjusting to the change. Your home study professional may offer helpful advice about making your child’s transition into your family a smooth one, post-placement communication with birth family and more.
Adoption home studies expire annually in the state of Kansas, and must be updated at least once a year until you’re successfully placed with a child. Your existing home study must also be updated any time you experience a major life change; such as a career shift or a new home.
Here’s a basic breakdown of the items you’ll need throughout your home study for adoption in KS:
Social Security cards
Marriage certificate (if applicable)
Passports (for international adoption)
Green card (if applicable)
Pet vaccination records
Adoption reference letters
Military discharges (if applicable)
Adoption decrees (if applicable)
Screens and locks on doors/windows
Working smoke detectors
Working CO2 detectors
Toxic substances (cleaning supplies, medicines, art supplies, etc.) placed out of reach of children
Covered trash cans
Fences around pools
Easily available list of emergency phone numbers (pediatrician, Poison Control, veterinarian, etc.)
Safeguards around fireplaces and heating equipment
Home evacuation and safety plans
Covered electrical outlets
Criminal background checks
Child abuse and neglect clearance
Sex offender clearance
CPR and/or First aid certification
Foster care licensing (if applicable)
Special needs training (if applicable)
Cultural diversity class (if applicable)
Your American Adoptions adoption home study worker will be able to walk you through how to complete everything on your Kansas adoption home study checklist. If you’re ready to go ahead and get started on your Kansas home study for adoption, contact us now!
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