While it’s ideal to own your own home if you’re thinking of becoming a parent, life doesn’t always work out that way. If you are in a situation where you live with your parents or other family members, or your extended family lives with you, you may be wondering, “Is adoption still possible for me?” Every adoption situation is unique, so the answer to this question will depend on a number of different factors. Keep reading to learn more about what your home study provider and your adoption specialist will be looking for if you are hoping to adopt a child when you don’t own your own home or when your extended family lives with you.
What Do I Need to Become a Parent?
Even if you live with your extended family or your extended family lives with you, adoption can still be possibility — but there are some things that you’ll need to consider before venturing on this life‐changing journey. The most important thing that your adoption specialist and home study social worker will be looking for is proof that you have financial and living stability — which is typically proven through your home study. You’ll also need to make sure that everyone in your home is on board with your plans for adoption, and to have a discussion with them about what their roles will be once the child arrives. Although it may be challenging to raise a child while you’re living with your extended family, don’t hesitate to reach out to an adoption specialist for more information on this rewarding experience.
What to Know for Your Home Study
Passing your home study is the key to adopting a child. This step is comprised of two parts: documentation and an in‐home visit. The in‐home visit is where the home study social worker will perform an in‐home inspection along with an interview of every member of your household. This means that if you’re living with your extended family or if your extended family lives with you, every person in the household will need to take part in the interview.
When your home study provider performs your in‐home visit, your living space will be evaluated to make sure that your home is a viable environment to raise a child. They’ll be looking for things like:
- Adequate space for a child
- Overall safety
- Details about your home and neighborhood
- Parenting experiences
All of these factors and more will help prove that you’re ready to bring a child into your home. One of the most important things that adoptive families should take note of is that they must update their home study provider as soon as any changes to their lifestyle are made. This can include a change in jobs, if the adoptive family moves, and if a new family member has been added to the household.
Some states also require that you already have a room set up for a child, especially some foster care agencies, so remember to check in with your home study provider about specific requirements for your state and agency.
How Much Do Adoptions Cost?
The cost of adoptions can vary depending on whether you’re adopting from a private domestic adoption agency, a foster care agency, or an international adoption agency. Domestic adoptions can cost $40,000–$50,000, which is on par with most international adoptions, while the most affordable way to adopt a child by far is through foster care. In some cases with foster care, adoptive families can even receive a subsidy to help care for the foster child.
Your home study social worker will request financial information, usually in the form of pay stubs, income statements and/or tax returns to prove that you are financially capable and ready to provide for a child. While you don’t have to be rich to adopt a child, and there are many different ways of funding your adoption — such as grants, loans, and fundraisers — you do have to show that you’re able to provide a child with the necessities to ensure that they have a life full of opportunities.
Do I Need to Own My Home to Adopt?
No, you don’t need to own your own home to adopt. American Adoptions has had many hopeful adoptive parents adopt while they were renting or living in an apartment. The most important thing, again, is that you can prove financial and living stability. While adoption requirements will vary from state to state, not owning your own home should not prevent you from adopting a child.
The Next Steps
Although you might be living with your extended family, choosing adoption as one of your family‐building options is still a possibility. To learn more about your options, please call 1-800-ADOPTION or request free info online for more helpful information.