Many adoptive parents feel nervous about the home study part of the process. Rest assured that social workers aren’t looking for perfection. They are checking that the environment is safe for raising children as they work on matching the child with the right parents. The best thing you can do is be natural and honest about your daily life and maintain a home that’s safe for raising children.
What to expect
The social worker will request a background check, in which you need to give your fingerprints, on everyone in the household. They will also inspect your home and interview all members of the household. Afterward, you’ll receive an adoption home study document in the mail. Double check that your information is correct, and if anything changes, immediately inform the social worker.
What you need to prepare
You can make the home study less stressful by preparing the documents you need. Gather your proof of insurance, marriage license, driver’s license, financial documents, birth certificates, and physical and mental health statements. If you’re a legal resident of the U.S., then also add your green card to the list.
You must also write down the contact information of three to five references for people who would speak positively about your ability to be good parents. Both you and your spouse should write down information about your lives and why you want to adopt a child. This is an autobiographical statement.
Keep your home safe for children
During the home inspection, your social worker checks the smoke detector, carbon monoxide detector, fire extinguishers and first aid kits. They also look for covered outlets, locks and screens on all doors and windows, covered trash cans and fences around any body of water, including pools and hot tubs.
A home study goes by more smoothly when you know what to expect, so you’ll want to prepare yourself and your home for the inspection and interview. Social workers want to confirm that the child will live in a safe environment and that they are a good match for the family. If you’re approved, a family law attorney may help you through the rest of the adoption process.