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If you’re ready to start the adoption process, you’ve probably heard by now that as an American, you have to have an approved home study to be able to do adoption legally. So what should you expect during the adoption home study process? Well, that’s what we’re going to talk about in this video.
If you look anywhere on social media, you’ll find that most people will advise you that the very first thing you need to do when you decide to adopt is to do your home study. Well, in this video right here, I actually share with you why that’s not a good idea, and how to do home adoption study as the first thing you do is actually really going to hurt you. Once you’ve gone through the proper steps to start your adoption, then there’ll be a time when you do have to do your home study and be ready for it. So let’s start at the very beginning.
What is a Home Study?
Well, a home study is a report that is done on your family. So the process that you go through to make sure that your family is fit and actually appropriate to adopt a child. So once that whole process is completed, it’s written into a report, it’s going to be a couple pages long. And that report is what’s used so that other other adoption professionals can be sure that you’re actually fit to adopt a child before they can even work with you or present your profile to, you know, moms who are looking for hopefully adoptive parents to adopt their babies.
What’s The Purpose of The Home Study?
Well, it serves three main purposes. Number one, to prepare your family for adoption, and also to educate you about adoption. Number two, as I said earlier, to determine your fitness as a family to adopt a child and number three to really determine the type of child and the age of the child that would be appropriate for your family to adopt.
What Should You Expect With Your Domestic Adoption Home Study?
Well, there are really four components to the adoption, home study, and how it works. And I’m going to list this not in any particular order, these are just the four components of the home study in general.
#1: Home visits. So what’s going to happen with the home visits is that the caseworker is going to come into your home, they’re going to visit your home. And the purpose of that is just to make sure that home is clean, that your home meets, you know standard housing codes, such as you know, you have a fence around your pool, or, you know, a gun locked in a cabinet and things like that, to just make sure that your home has simple simple cleanliness, basics and things like that, for a child to be able to live in the home and be safe.
#2: Interviews. Okay, your caseworker is going to interview both you and your spouse and anybody else that lives in the house. And they really want to find out about you and about your individual fitness to raise a child. Okay, so they ask you questions about your background, you know, where you were born, where how you were raised, how your family raise you how you plan on raising this child, they’re going to ask you about where you work, and how you met your spouse and how your marriage is going, how you guys solve conflicts, how you come to resolutions together, and they’re basically looking as a whole at you to really figure out whether they think that you are able to parent a child appropriately based on your history based on your experiences, and all that kind of thing.
They’re also going to ask about your adoption goals, okay? Because that’s when they really want to know, they’re going to ask when you’re looking to adopt if you’re open to special needs, things like that. And that’s really important to have in your home study: the age range that you’re looking for, and also if you’re open to special needs, because when you’re sending your home studies out to agencies, all they’re looking at is that home study. So, the home study is really, really important when it comes to the specifics of the kind of child that you want to adopt. If you’re thinking about adoption, and you’re kind of wondering about the home study process, comment below and let me know what questions you have so far about the home study process.
#3: Documentation. Okay, you’re going to have to undergo background checks. Everybody knows this. Usually you have to go through with criminal background checks. You know, child abuse, background checks, all kinds of background checks. Now part of the documentation component of it also includes you showing financial records to show that you’re able to financially provide for a child like giving taxes and how much you earn a year and things like that to your caseworker. Now, this doesn’t mean that you have to be rich, right? It’s just to make sure that you’re financially able to care for a child, a medical exam is often required for home study as well, because they want to make sure that you’re healthy enough to care for a child.
If you have significant health needs and you’re not able to appropriately care for a child your home study probably would not be approved. I get a lot of these questions when it comes to the medical side of things, especially for people who are on medications been on medications for a long time. That’s a question that you have to talk with your agency about to find out based on your medical needs, whether it’s even worth for you to start the home study process just to hear that they’re not going to let you go through the whole process.
A great example of this is actually had a family call me a few months ago and the woman was very upset because they had just gone through the home study process and they learned at the end of it that because her husband was on PTSD medicine. He had been on this medicine for years and was completely stable and had a stable job for a long time. And just the fact that he was on this medicine caused the agency to deny their home study, even though they didn’t have any other issues. So the woman called me very upset because they didn’t know that this was going to be an issue. You know, it’s not like he was on narcotics, or he was doing drugs. This was, you know, medicine that he had taken for PTSD and have been on for a very long time, a lot of people kind of get worried about, you know, if I’m, if I’ve been on this particular medicine for so long, how does that affect me, it really depends on the professional that you’re working with, you’re going to have to talk to them specifically, and ask how that’s going to impact your home study process. So that, you know, you can decide for yourself whether you even want to work at that agency to start with, or if you want to, you know, search for another adoption professional.
#4: Adoption training. And the goal here is for you to really be prepared for adoption, especially if you’re adopting out of your race. Most agencies now are going to require you to do some type of online video courses, you know, watch some videos, and even some books, sometimes they require you to read. And this really varies from state to state when it comes to education, what your specific national professional will require you to do. But really, the point is that you become as educated as possible about adoption, about trauma, about what to expect when that child comes home, about interracial adoption, and all those kinds of things, open adoption, closed adoption. And so it’s really to help you be prepared for adoption. Once you’re finished with all those four components of your home study, then your caseworker will let you know that you’re done. And they’ll let you know when it’s ready. And they’ll send it to you. So you can read it, some agencies won’t send it to you.
But I usually recommend that you ask for a copy of it so that you can read for yourself the report that they’ve actually put together for you. Well, some people get really nervous about the home study, you know, which is understandable, because you’re divulging all this personal information to somebody that you don’t even know. And you’re hoping that the information is going to be enough for them to actually approve you for your home study. But when it comes to the home visits and stuff, as long as your home needs housing codes, you’re going to be fine.
And when it comes to medical exams and things like that, people also get nervous
about medications and things like that. That’s a simple thing. They can ask the agency ahead of time so that you don’t waste $1,500 to start your home study just to find out that they’re going to deny you the other thing with the home study is that it can also feel a little insulting, especially when you already have biological children, right?
But unfortunately, even if you already have biological children, you still have to go through the adoption home study process because adoption is very different from having non biological kids. I know it feels that way. But everybody has to go through it. If you’re ready to start your adoption but have no idea where to start, click here to learn more about our Adoption Success Accelerator program, and I look forward to connecting with you.
Lucrece has helped hundreds of families successfully adopt as an adoption attorney.
She noticed a huge gap in information available to her clients that ended up costing them significantly financially and emotionally.
So, she created an adoption education business that provides in-depth adoption information you can’t find anywhere else that saves families thousands of dollars and several years.
Step-by-step, her clients go from not knowing where to start in the adoption process to successfully adding a new child to their family faster and more affordably.
Bundy offers transformative resources that inspire people to not only grow their family through adoption, but to do it with an expectant heart and a joyful spirit.