How to Complete Your Adoption Home Study in Alabama
AL Adoption Home Study Checklist
One of the most important adoption requirements that every prospective adoptive family in Alabama must complete is the adoption home study. Whether adopting domestically, internationally, or through foster care, all hopeful families must complete this step. This is your opportunity to show your Alabama adoption professional what kind of life you want to provide for a child.
The purpose of an Alabama adoption home study is not to see if you have a “perfect” home and are “perfect” parents. Adoption home study professionals in Alabama just want to verify that you are physically, emotionally, and financially prepared to raise a child at this point in your life.
When you work with American Adoptions in Alabama, we can provide references to trusted local professionals to complete your home study, as your home study provider must be licensed in the state of Alabama.
There are four parts to your home study for adoption in Alabama — paperwork, in-home visits, adoption training and a diagnostic evaluation.
Generally, the home study can be the slowest part of the adoption process. We suggest that you get started as soon as possible on collecting the necessary documentation for your Alabama adoption home study. Here are some of the documents you’ll be required to submit as part of your home study for adoption in AL:
- A background check on the state and federal level must be conducted on the prospective adoptive parents and all adults over age 19 living in the home
- Recent health records from your physician, certifying you are physically and mentally fit to care for a child
- The names of two personal references that your home study provider can interview
- The adoption home study in Alabama also includes an investigation of the prospective parents to determine whether they are fit to adopt. The investigation and report will include the couple’s reasons for adopting and their family background.
- Recent financial statements to verify that you are able to financially provide for a child
Families often worry most about this part of the home study for adoption in Alabama. Home study visits are not to be feared! Adoption home study professionals from Alabama are not expecting you or your home to be perfect. They want to ensure your home and family will provide a safe and loving environment for a child.
Adoptive families in Alabama will have pre- and post-placement visits. There are two parts to the pre-adoption visit: the home inspection and interview.
The adoption home study inspection involves your social worker touring your home with you, looking to see if you’ve taken basic precautions to keep your home safe for a child. These features need to be in place before a child can be welcomed into your home. Don’t worry — you will not “fail” the inspection if you did not have these features in place before the initial visit! Your social worker will help you find safety hazards you may have overlooked.
Some basic features your social worker will be looking for are:
- screens on windows
- covers on electrical outlets
- gates for stairs
- fences around pools
- medications, toxic cleaners, and chemicals out of reach
- emergency plans for fire, natural disasters, medical emergencies, etc.
Remember, your social worker wants to make sure you are providing a safe, stable and loving home for a child. They will help you achieve this.
The home study for adoption interview is where the social worker gets to know more about you. The Alabama social worker will interview you and your spouse individually about your careers, interests, hobbies, relationships, family dynamics, and personal values. During the conversation, your Alabama home study worker will ask you questions about:
- Your thoughts on Alabama adoption, including how excited you are about adoption, your personal views on adoption, and how you want your adopted child to feel about their adoption.
- Your knowledge about adoption, what to expect raising an adopted child, issues that may be encountered as an adoptee, birth family relations and the adoption process in Alabama.
- What experiences and traditions do you want your child to have and how your individual upbringings and backgrounds will affect how you parent your own child
- Your relationship as a family and as a couple, including how united you are in your feelings about adoption and your potential adopted child.
If you have children living with you, they will be included in the home study process for adoption as well. This is your social worker’s chance to really get to know your family’s personalities and ensure that you are ready to become parents.
All prospective adoptive families must complete adoption training as outlined in Alabama regulation. Your home study worker can provide additional information about the necessary training requirements.
All potential adoptive families in Alabama will receive a diagnostic evaluation, which includes a recommendation for the type of child as well as the future plans of the applicants.
Post-Placement and Additional Home Study Updates
Once a child is placed with your family, your Alabama adoption home study professional will visit the home within 45 days. During the visit, the investigator will observe the child in the home and interview the adoptive parents, to ensure the needs of the child are being met.
Alabama adoption home studies are valid for six months. This means they must be updated every six months until you are successfully placed with a child.
Alabama Adoption Home Study Checklist
There are many items you’ll need during your adoption home study in Alabama. Your American Adoptions specialist and your adoption home study worker can go over the AL adoption home study checklist and process with you. If you are ready to get started on your Alabama home study for adoption, contact us now at 1-800-ADOPTION.
Information available through these links is the sole property of the companies and organizations listed therein. America Adoptions, Inc. provides this information as a courtesy and is in no way responsible for its content or accuracy.