As many adoptive parents will tell you, an adoption home study can be nerve-wracking. And that’s understandable; it’s an important part of the adoption process, and you must be approved before you can adopt. We’re here to assure you, though, that a Virginia adoption home study doesn’t have to be scary. With a little preparation and the right home study provider, you’ll be on the road to adopting your child in no time.
A Virginia home study for adoption is an evaluation of your family’s readiness to adopt performed by a social worker in three parts: the documentation phase, an in-home visit, and a home inspection.
The documentation phase of the adoption home study is usually the most time-consuming. It requires that everyone in your family obtain background checks from the appropriate offices, and you may also need to take parenting classes or first aid training, depending on the adoption professional you work with. Your adoption specialist will give you an adoption home study checklist and walk you through exactly what paperwork you need, but you should begin preparing financial information, copies of birth certificates and marriage licenses, physician health statements, and more.
Before your social worker inspects your home, they will interview everyone that currently lives there. You’ll discuss daily routines, your thoughts on adoption, and other aspects of your lives. This usually takes between two and four hours.
In the final phase of the Virginia adoption home study, your social worker will ensure that your home is safe for an additional child. They’ll review safety precautions, such as checking smoke detectors and swimming pools.
After the home inspection is completed, your social worker will send you a written report of your adoption home study. If all information is correct, you’ll confirm with your social worker and your home study will be complete!
Complete background checks.
Meet with your social worker to determine what you need for the documentation phase.
Prepare all necessary items for when the social worker comes to your home.
Complete your home visit.
Confirm all information sent to you on the adoption home study document. If there are any changes, notify your home study provider.
Once your home study is complete, American Adoptions will do a home study review to ensure all the requirements have been met and that you will be approved to adopt no matter where in the United States your baby is born. Should you have any big life changes — a move, a career change, etc. — you will be required to update your home study. Otherwise, a home study is good for 36 months in Virginia before it has to be renewed.
Again, remember that throughout this entire process, your home study provider is there to help you adopt. For more information about adoption in Virginia, call 1-800-ADOPTION, or request free information here.
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