A home study for adoption is required for anyone who wants to adopt in PA, no matter the type of adoption you choose. The adoption home study checks that you’re ready to adopt, on an emotional, financial and physical level as well as a practical one.
Resources like 1-800-HomeStudy can help you find your nearest licensed provider of home studies in Pennsylvania, so you can begin your home study process now.
Gathering documents is one of the slowest steps of the home study process, so beginning sooner is better than later. Documents that you’ll need for your home study include:
Current health records from your medical professionals verifying your mental and physical ability to adopt and raise a child.
Current financial records like paystubs or tax returns verifying your financial ability to adopt and raise a child.
Written statements from personal references (preferably from non-family members) who can give your home study provider a letter of recommendation for adoption.
Cleared background checks for every household member over the age of 18.
Individual autobiographical statements from each adoptive parent about your wish to adopt, including how your reached your adoption decision and your feelings about adoption.
Your Pennsylvania home study professional comes to your home to verify that it’s a good environment in which to raise a child. That doesn’t mean you or your house needs to be perfect — you and your home just need to be prepared and come equipped with good common sense!
Pre-placement adoption home study visits have two elements:
A home tour
A family interview
The home tour is exactly what it sounds like. You’ll show your social worker around your home, and they’ll check for basic safety features that parents of a new child should put in place, including:
Chemicals, cleaning supplies and medicines stored out of reach
Electrical outlet covers
Locks on windows and doors
Working smoke and carbon dioxide detectors
Tall, heavy furniture bolted to the wall
Don’t worry if you missed a safety feature during your home tour, you will be given the opportunity to address any issues before the home study process is completed. The adoption home study process is meant to help prepare you, not intimidate you!
The goal for everyone involved in an adoption is to place a child in a safe, stable and loving home. As long as you’re working towards that goal, your adoption home study will be successful.
The family interview is where your social worker will speak with you individually, as a couple, and if you have children, as a family. Topics of discussion will range from your hobbies and careers to your values, parenting techniques and relationships.
Your Pennsylvania adoption home study professional will likely ask you about:
Your own childhoods and how your early experiences affect how you will (or won’t) parent your child in certain ways.
How you feel about adoption, including your adoption goals and how you want your adopted child to feel about their adoption.
What you’ve learned about adoption, such as issues that adoptees can face, expectations in raising an adopted child, communicating with birth family, racial and cultural diversity, and the Pennsylvania adoption process.
Your relationship as a couple and/or family, including your unity in your decision to adopt and your adoption goals.
Talking about adoption with your home study worker will give them a clearer picture of the type of parents you might be for a child you adopt. If you have children, they’ll be involved in the home study process for adoption, too.
After completing a home study for adoption in Pennsylvania, it must be updated once a year until you’re placed with a child, or if you experience any big change like a new house or job. To do this, you’ll simply get in touch with your home study provider as soon as possible and let them know that you need to update your existing home study.
You’ll need social, medical and financial documents, background checks, safety measures in your home, training classes and more in order to complete your home study for adoption in PA.
Talk to your adoption home study worker about the complete adoption home study checklist as well as the full home study for adoption process. Have questions about the Pennsylvania adoption home study processes? You can always contact us at 1-800-ADOPTION to learn more.
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