The Maryland adoption home study — or the home study in any state — has a tendency to stress adoptive families out. It’s understandable. The home study for adoption is essentially an assessment of your readiness to adopt, and failing to pass it will prevent you from adopting until it can be completed successfully. However, that being said, it really doesn’t have to be intimidating. Your home study provider is really there to help you grow your family, we promise!
However, because it does tend to be scary, we’ve found that being well-prepared can help adoptive families to alleviate some of the stress involved with an adoption home study. With this in mind, then, here’s what you should expect in each of the three phases of the Maryland adoption home study:
The first stage of the home study for adoption in Maryland is the documentation phase. This is the lengthiest step of the whole home study, so gathering some paperwork in advance can help speed things along. In Maryland, you should be prepared to have:
Criminal background checks at the state and federal levels
Sanitation and fire inspections of your home
Mental and physical health reports and clearances
Your latest tax return
Birth certificates for everyone living in the home
Proof of insurance
An autobiographical statement discussing your reasons for wanting to adopt
Educational and employment records for everyone living in the home
Any relevant marriage certificates or records of divorce
When you have provided your Maryland adoption home study worker with everything he or she needs to complete the documentation phase, it will be time for the home visit. On this day, each family member living in your home will sit down with the home study provider to discuss aspects of their lives, such as daily routines and personal feelings about adoption. Of course, the length of time this takes will depend on how large your family is, but the adoption home study interviews generally take between two and four hours.
After everyone has had their turn being interviewed by your adoption home study provider, he or she will do a home inspection to make sure the house is ready for another child. This part can sometimes be intimidating, but don’t worry. Just look at it as an extra set of eyes to help you check things like smoke detectors and fences around swimming pools!
When you have wrapped up all phases of the Maryland adoption home study, your provider will send you a report detailing how each phase of the process went. You will sign off that all information is correct, and that’s it! Your home study for adoption is complete. Remember, however, that if you make any major changes, such as switching jobs or moving, your home study must be updated before you can adopt a child.
If you live in Maryland, it’s likely that you’ll work with one of the following adoption home study providers:
For more information about the Maryland adoption home study, please call American Adoptions at 1-800-ADOPTION.
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