The Wisconsin adoption home study can be one of the most nerve-wracking parts of the entire adoption process. But, with a little preparation, it can also be one of the most exciting — after all, once you are finished with the home study for adoption, you will officially be ready to start searching for the child you are meant to adopt!
To help you prepare for this crucial part of the adoption process, we’ve created the following guide to the adoption home study in Wisconsin.
Sometimes, it’s helpful to think of the adoption home study as a research paper. Your adoption home study worker is the researcher, and your family is the subject. Your home study professional will conduct research by:
collecting important documents from you
conducting interviews with the members of your family
visiting your home
running background checks
They will then write a report about their findings that will be submitted to the court for approval.
The objective of this research project is to determine whether your family is ready to adopt a child and provide a safe, loving environment for him or her. Every parent hoping to adopt in Wisconsin must complete the adoption home study, whether they’re adopting an infant, a child from foster care or a child from another country. (Stepparent adoptions usually require background checks and interviews but not a full adoption home study).
While this process can seem a little overwhelming at first, remember that it is an important part of your adoption journey. Your home study worker is simply there to help you prepare to bring your child home!
Because you must complete the home study for adoption before searching for an adoption opportunity, you will likely start the home study process early in your adoption journey. When you start working with American Adoptions, your adoption specialist can provide more details about how to start the home study for adoption in Wisconsin and will refer you to a home study professional near you.
Your Wisconsin adoption home study provider will give you detailed instructions about how to complete the process. In general, you can expect to complete these steps:
Your home study provider will request a variety of documents from you, including birth certificates, marriage licenses, physicians’ statements, financial records, letters of recommendation for adoption and more. These documents help to verify that you are legally, financially, physically and mentally equipped to adopt.
Your home study worker will visit your home at least once to complete an in-home inspection (also called a home tour or home visit). This visit allows your home study professional to confirm that your home is generally clean, comfortable and stable enough for a child. Your home study provider will give you information to help you prepare for this visit, including a list of safety features that should be in place.
During your home visit, your social worker will conduct family interviews to get to know you and the other members of your household. You will discuss your family values, parenting philosophy, hobbies and interests, your motivations and attitudes toward adoption and more.
Once you have finished your home study for adoption in Wisconsin, you could be chosen for an adoption opportunity at any time.
Your home study must be completed by a Wisconsin-licensed adoption professional. If you work with American Adoptions to find an adoption opportunity, your adoption specialist will provide references to Wisconsin adoption home study professionals. You can also contact any of the following organizations to start your home study process:
For many hopeful parents, the Wisconsin adoption home study feels like an inconvenient hurdle on their road to adopt. However, with a little advance preparation, you can help ensure your home study process proceeds smoothly.
Your home study professional will provide you a more complete Wisconsin adoption home study checklist, but it never hurts to start gathering the following:
Identification for all members of the household (such as driver’s licenses)
Birth certificates, marriage licenses, any previous adoption decrees and other important family documents
Proof of insurance
Tax returns, paystubs and other financial documents
Mental and physical health statements from a doctor
Adoption reference letters
Criminal background checks, child abuse and neglect registry clearances
In addition, it’s never too early to start doing some general “baby-proofing” in your home. Your home study worker will check to make sure you have certain safety features in place, including:
Functioning locks on all doors and windows
Working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
Baby gates for stairways
Dangerous tools and substances placed out of reach of children
Emergency phone numbers and evacuation plans
To learn more about the home study for adoption in Wisconsin, request free adoption information online or call 1-800-ADOPTION now to talk to an adoption specialist.
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