Once a couple has begun down the road of adopting an infant they will be confronted with many challenges they must overcome prior to being approved. One of these obstacles, perhaps the one that causes the most consternation, is the adoption home study process. This is simply a procedure where a social worker comes into the prospective adoptive parents home to get to know them and how they live.
Although there are no particular standards for a home study, most states or agencies tend to stick to the same aspects in all of their home study processes. To learn more about the specific details about a particular agencies process, it is advised to contact them and ask directly.
Most agencies require future adoptive parents to attend certain training programs prior to the home study even happening. These training programs will help teach the prospective parents valuable information in regards to the needs of infants up for adoption and help them decide what type of infant they can parent most effectively.
They will then conduct a set of interviews with both the adoptive parents that will help the social worker better understand the family and be able to provide the best placement services they can. The discussion will range from how the adoptive parents handle stressful situations such as past crisis or loss. Couples are generally interviewed jointly and then separately. In addition, other family members may be interviewed as well, particularly if the couple has adult children.
Agencies will also perform a home visit to ensure that any infant being adopted will be going to home that is safe and habitable. Some things the social worker will be looking for in this home visit is: working fire alarms, safely stored firearms, safe water and adequate living space for the infant. One thing to keep in mind is that the social worker is not necessarily there to critique housekeeping skills, however, some semblance of order and cleanliness is expected.
Another part of most home studies will be the social worker procuring a copy of the health statements of every member of the family living in the home. Different agencies and different states will require different items on each statement. For instance, some will require infertile couples to actually provide medical proof of the infertility, while others do not. Serious health problems that may affect adoptive parents life spans might, in face, affect whether they get approved for placement or not.
People wishing to adopt an infant do not need to be extremely wealth by any means. With that being said, however, an income statement of the family’s finances will be required to help the agency or social worker determine financial responsibility and management skills.
A criminal background check will also be conducted prior to placement for infant adoption. This check will look for past child abuse issues or other crimes committed that may be unhealthy or cause concern for the mental well being of the prospective adopting parents. During this step, if the social worker suspects the slightest amount of deception or dishonesty they may suggest that adoption isn’t the correct path for the couple.
In the normal adoption situation the home study process is simply just another step on the way to successfully adopting an infant and should not be one of concern but rather taken as an opportunity to prove a couple’s worthiness to be quality adoptive parents.