– The Adoption Process: Part 2 of 5

Adoption ProfessionalIf you have decided to grow your family through adoption, you have a long and exciting journey ahead of you. This five-part series is meant to give you the basics on the main steps of the process. Today’s post will cover the adoption home study.

As many families know, the home study is one of the most significant points on any adoption journey. It takes a lot of time, work, and organization, but at the end of it, you will be officially ready to adopt a baby!

Every state’s home study process is a little different, but there are always three main elements. Read on to learn about each component of the home study and what you need to do.

The Paper Chase

Arguably the most time-consuming part of the home study is the collection of all the necessary documents. After you have found a home study provider and filled out the applications, you will need to obtain copies of various forms that will be used in the first part of your home study.

Below is a list of the documents you may need to collect:

  • Financial information
  • Physical and mental health information
  • Child abuse, neglect, and criminal background checks
  • Autobiographical statements
  • References

For specific information in your state, visit the Child Welfare Information Gateway.

The Home Inspection

After you have collected and submitted your documents, you will be ready for your home study provider to visit your home. He or she will then conduct a home inspection to determine whether your home is safe and suitable for a child.

Your home study professional will be looking for some of the following:

  • Sanitation and structure of the home
  • Working smoke alarms and access to fire escapes
  • Locks on cases containing weapons
  • Working locks on doors and screens on windows
  • Childproof door and cabinet locks where appropriate
  • Additional safeguards for your child

If you don’t have everything ready at the time of your inspection, don’t worry – the home study is also a learning experience, and your home study provider will help you make the adjustments you need.

The Interviews

Usually at the time of the home inspection, your home study provider will also conduct family interviews. You and your partner will have a joint interview as well as additional interviews, and your provider will also talk to other members of the household. This will help him or her to create a clear assessment of your family life, your motivations to adopt, and your knowledge and understanding of adoption.

From there, your home study provider will submit your assessments for approval. If the elements of your documentation, home inspection, and interviews meet the standards of your state, then you will be on your way to adopting a baby!

Visit tomorrow to learn about the next step of the adoption process: finding and getting to know a prospective birth mother.