The Three Phases of the Michigan Adoption Home Study
A Michigan adoption home study can be stressful. It’s essentially an assessment of your family’s readiness to adopt, so the nervousness some adoptive families feel about it makes sense. It can seem like a home study for adoption is the one thing standing between you and growing your family. However, with the right information and the right adoption home study professional, it really doesn’t have to be so scary. Just look at it as a way to help you pursue adoption; that’s what it is, after all!
Michigan laws dictate that anyone who wants to adopt in the state requires a Michigan adoption home study. This assessment will be conducted by a child-placing agency, and a family will only be able to adopt if the home study provider has no concerns with placing a child in their home.
A Michigan adoption home study has three components:
Step 1: The Documentation Phase
When you begin to prepare for your home study for adoption, you’ll need to begin by gathering some paperwork. In Michigan, you should be prepared to provide your home study professional with:
The ages, nationalities, races, ethnicities and religious preferences of everyone in your home
The marital statuses of everyone in the home
Physical and mental health records for everyone in the home
Educational and employment records for everyone in the home
Proof of property and income. This may include payment stubs or tax information.
Your reasons for wanting to adopt
Background checks that show whether anyone in the home has ever been involved in a domestic violence case, particularly one involving a child
Any criminal convictions
2. Interviews with Everyone in the Home
Once your Michigan adoption home study provider has everything they need from you in the documentation phase, they’ll come to your home. Everyone that lives in your house will be interviewed and should expect to answer questions about daily routines, thoughts on adoption and more. Depending on how many individuals live in your home, this part of the home study for adoption process should take about two to four hours.
3. The Home Inspection
When your Michigan adoption home study provider is finished speaking with everyone in your family, he or she will go around your house to make sure everything is prepared for an additional child. It can be nerve-wracking to have someone assess your home, but this is just to inspect things like smoke detectors and fencing around swimming pools. The goal is just to make sure you’re all ready for your new family member!
Once all three phases of the adoption home study are complete, your home study provider will send you a report of how the process went. As long as all the information is correct, you’ll sign off, and your Michigan adoption home study will be finished! However, you haven’t quite seen the last of your adoption home study provider.
After your child has been placed with you, you may be required to have postplacement visits in your home. Your Michigan adoption home study provider will make these visits at least once every three months until you have your finalization hearing, in which a judge declares your child legally and permanently yours.
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